Snowshoeing in Copper Harbor and the Keweenaw Peninsula opens up a world of it’s own since you don’t have to worry about groomed trails and established pathways.
Snowshoe Parks and Woods
There are several trails excellent for snowshoeing, including the Estivant Pines Sanctuary and the Hunter’s Point Park that are not machine groomed, but are “people groomed” as they are well traveled. They are scenic and easy to moderate in difficulty. There are also groomed trails in and around Copper Harbor and at the Keweenaw Mountain lodge, which have an easy factor built in. Maps are available at the Gas Lite General Store and the Keweenaw Mountain Lodge.
Trails are great, but one of the special things about snowshoeing is, you can go places that are not very accessible in the summer months due to brush and shrubs. The snow gets deep here, and allows the adventurer to snowshoe above all that. It’s fun!
If you venture out to snowshoe unmarked areas of the woods, be prepared and take sensible precautions. This is wilderness and not something to take lightly.
This sanctuary, protected by the Michigan Nature Association, is one of the most popular hiking and snowshoeing in the Keweenaw. Located 2.5 miles south of Copper Harbor, this trail system is a great way to spend an afternoon. The trails consist of 2 loops; the Memorial and the Cathedral. Some of the trees are so big that 2 people can’t touch hands around one! There are numerous unusual plants and flowers as well as countless mushrooms to find. Pack a lunch and enjoy the grandeur and quiet of one of Michigan’s last stands of old growth white pine. Trails are narrow and hilly in spots and there are many roots to navigate.
An absolute favorite special spot in the area, Hunter’s Point is one of the few “flat” areas around and allows for an easy hike or snowshoe along both the Lake Superior and Harbor shores. There are 2 Trail-heads to Hunter’s Point Park. One is just left of the boat launch at the Copper Harbor Marina and the other is further west of the marina with signs leading the way down North Coast Shores Road, which will take you to a parking area and a handicap accessible viewing boardwalk.
There are great birding opportunities on the point, especially during migration. Flora is abundant; wildflowers, lichen, mosses and cedars, hardwoods and pines. The geological formations are special on the point. The basalt in this area is the oldest rock on earth-essentially, the earth’s crust. It’s like a window to the past.
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30 km of winter trails are groomed in Copper Harbor for multi-use among cross country skiing, fatbiking and snowshoeing. This includes a 9 km loop thru Fort Wilkins State Park area, a 5km loop thru the Trails End Campground and antoher 16 km of End of the Road Trails leading to Horseshoe Harbor and the East Bluff. Paper maps are available at the Mariner North and Gas Lite General Store in Copper Harbor.