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The Upcoming 4th of July Celebration

We are happy to announce that there will be fireworks in Copper Harbor this July 4th! However, due to the uncertainty of immunized children, we have chosen not to have the parade or the kid’s games.

Everyone is looking forward to the time when things are back to “normal” and events can be held in their entirety. We know that we will again see the parade meander down the main drag. We’ll enjoy the fire engines with their sirens, the fun floats with candy flying through the air and all the other happy participants. The kids games and contests in the park will bring joy to the children and everyone involved. It’ll happen.

Brand New Website!

We are all proud and excited to launch the new Copper Harbor website! It is full of an incredible amount of information and photos. The site is a work in progress, an ever evolving project. There are some pages “under construction” that will be completed soon, additions made to pages as well as some brand new pages on the way!

The blog will deliver current information, events and photos as well stories and articles about Copper Harbor. You will see a year or so missing on the blog page. These things happen when migrating historical data, but we’re moving forward fresh with a new look and content.

Please browse through the site and enjoy a virtual trip to the harbor.

Signs of Sprrrr… Nope… Brrrrrrr!

With May around the corner, you’d think spring would be here.  Or at least visibly on its way.

I’ll let you make the call.  Here are some notes.

Most days are in the 30’s which isn’t terrible.  It could be colder!

Nary a bud has popped on the trees.  I see some swelling at the tips of the maples, but no real buds yet.  That’s surprising because, most springs, we have a few days that are warm enough to trick some of the trees into starting to bud early.  Not this year!

Nothing is even popping from the ground!  Nothing native, at least.  I saw some tulips emerging from North Park, but no new wild plants even dare.  I don’t blame them.  The last batch of snow just melted!

We got snow half of the days this week, too.  Yeah…

The snow is melting, though!  The trails are starting to clear.  Patches of snow that have yet to turn to mud leap frog with the walkable spots.

And the runoff has mostly subsided as the woods are clearing up.  Not a whole lot of rain, so the runoff hasn’t been as exciting as most years.

Our friends with hearty leaves are standing proud, though!  The green leaves of the pipsissewa, arbutus and bearberry shine in the sun — when the sun comes out!

Pipsissewa amid last year’s ground cover

 

Let’s get off the ground for a bit, and into the air, where we will notice some bird migration.  A few V’s of geese have flown over.  Sandhill cranes squawk high up in the sky.  I’ve seen a merganser couple swimming together.  And a suspected lonely loon.  Not too many of the colorful little guys, though.  I think it’s still too cold for them!

And how about that lake?  Well, the bell buoy just got delivered a few days ago!  That’s always a pivotal moment for the town.  Lake Fanny Hooe is still mostly still frozen over.  Medora (I’m guessing!) is still frozen.  Manganese might be starting to open up.  The road up there is still a bit icy.

Coast Guard buoy drop off

 

Geez, what else can I tell you about how it’s still chilly and uneventful?  There is no word yet about when we might be able to open up businesses and parks again, but we’ll let you know.

In the mean time, stay smart and be safe.  We sure will be happy to see you then!

Getting Creative

Hello from the tip of Michigan!

What is your community doing to keep spirits up?  People are definitely getting creative out there.

Here are some examples of what this little community has been doing in time of social distancing and isolation.

Dressing Like Animals

We’ve had a few flamingo sightings lately.  Apparently this bird didn’t get the “stay at home” memo.  Maybe she got mixed up with a gaggle of geese!

 

We even had a family of random animals walking together during the eve of one of those lovely spring sunsets.  Curious how animals have dogs to walk…

 

Howling Like Wolves

We started a new howl on Thursday evenings.  Neighbors can hear the howls from all over town.  I think this one will get rowdier as time goes on!

Loosely Gathering for Walks

A new group started in Copper Harbor.  It’s called the Social 6.  A few people gather in the morning for a walk about.  In the evening, a few more join with a beverage of their choice to roam the streets of Copper Harbor and share conversation.

“If there’s more than 10 of us, we split into two groups,” says Syd, one of the founding members who makes sure to enforce the guidelines.  “It’s been great for everybody,” she adds.

 

The Social 6 group meanders here and there before loosely gathering in front of one of the many closed businesses for a picture.

Outdoor Activities

Other locals have been getting out on their own for a prolonged walk, snow bike ride, run, etc.  The sun has been shining a little bit more, so that makes this time a little more bearable.

The community itself is still trying to contain only its residents.  Probably much like yours.

Get creative.  Stay safe.  Be smart.  Stay home.

We’ll see you on the flip side of this!

(I apologize in for the low quality photos.  I pirated them from our community forum.  Thank you to the people who took them for documentation sake!)


This blog written by resident author Amanda Wais

A Word from the Mayor

Just kidding.

We don’t have a mayor!

But we would like to make a special announcement that we will be able to whole-heartedly welcome you back to our little town once the world’s current situation clears up and our businesses are able to re-open their shops, restaurants, motels and doors in general.

We wish you and yours the best during these times.

Feel free to plan your vacation for when you are able to return here in the next couple/few months… nobody really knows.

In the mean time, we will do our best to show you pictures of the lake and wilderness, so you can find a breath of fresh air.

Today’s morning window frost

 

“Window pane” ice along the shore last week

 

Thanks for your patience and understanding while the world slows down and gets back on a new pair of feet.


This blog is written by resident author, Amanda Wais.

In Like a Lamb…

Here we are in the month of March.

But winter isn’t over!

March is a great time of year to visit Copper Harbor.

Why?

  • We get frosty sunrises!

From the Harbor Haus beach 3/3/2020

 

  • Much of the snow is packed and crusted over, so you can walk on top of it!
  • Until we get another blizzard…

From the Harbor Haus beach 3/5/2020

 

  • The town is overall quieter than in January and February
  • The snowmobile trails are groomed until April 1st
  • The ski/bike trails are still groomed
  • Crust riding on the shore on your snow bike is amazing
  • Mount Bohemia is still open
  • Some days are sunny and bright with no bugs!!!
  • Many nights are starry and clear
  • Until we get another blizzard…
  • On the warm days, you can find a stick and carve out little streams in the slush for the puddles to run into the ground
  • You can feel a little bit better about not shoveling right away because, well, it will melt soon
  • The once dry roads leave prints in the packed down snow until the wind blows it off

Footprints found on 3/6/2020

 

We have already been teased quite a bit with abundant sunshine.  It seems like spring could be right around the corner.  And then we get a blizzard two days later, so we can make fresh tracks again.

It’s really all okay.  It’s only March.

We’re in the Keweenaw.  Winter is not over!

PSA!  Don’t miss The Brockway Mountain Challenge on March 21st!  It’s a snow bike race over Brockway Mountain Drive, a cookout/party and live music with Frank an’ da Beans at The Pines Resort!


This blog written by resident writer, Amanda Wais

CH SNOW

Did you know that winters in Copper Harbor are going to get even cooler?

A group of adventurous locals have started a new club in town.  It’s called CH SNOW.  With all the potential this town has as a winter wonderland, CH SNOW has decided to see how far they can take it.

2019 Ice Formation Near Porter’s Island

They have been collaborating with a few existing local organizations which include:

  • Copper Harbor Downtown Development Authority
  • Copper Harbor Trails Club
  • Brockway Mountain Challenge
  • Keweenaw Mountain Lodge
  • Rock Solid Trail Contracting
  • Copper Harbor Improvement Association’s Advertising and Marketing Committee

Some of the efforts that the group would like to promote yet this winter are:

  • 30km of groomed snow bike, cross country ski and snow shoe trails with updated grooming reports
  • The Copper Dog 150 sled dog race held on February 28, 29 and March 1
  • The Brockway Mountain Challenge snow bike race held on March 21
  • Crust riding for fat bikes in the springtime
  • Harbor ice reports
  • An outdoor snow science adventure class (TBD)

Kid’s Rides at the Copper Dog 150

That’s right!  Winter is not over!  For current information on those events, like CH SNOW on Facebook!

Some of the up and coming dreams for the group include (but are not limited to):

  • A groomed trail expansion for snow biking, cross country skiing and snowshoeing from the trails in Copper Harbor up to potentially new trails at the Keweenaw Mountain Lodge (proposed 8km)
  • An ice rink at the tennis court at the Keweenaw Mountain Lodge
  • The resurrected terrain park for snowboarding and skiing at the Keweenaw Mountain Lodge
  • More events in January and Feburary throughout the town
  • An all-inclusive family feel for people who want to enjoy a weekend of never-ending activities, relaxation and socialization

Does this sound like it’s right up your alley?  Then, seriously, follow CH SNOW on Facebook, and stay in the loop.

Winter Recreational Trail Expansion!

Copper Harbor is upping its winter game.

You can now enjoy miles of trails past magnificent vistas and into quiet reprieves.  Whether you like to snowshoe, cross country ski, skate ski or snow bike, Copper Harbor has become a place you can work it out and take it in all at once.

Cross Country Ski

The amount of cross country ski trails has tripled this year.

Tripled???

You bet your sweaty bippy!

Sure you can take the kids or the pups on a lovely loop through the meadows and Fort Wilkins, but now you can take your ambitious self past the beginning of Highway 41 — or to the “End of the Road Winter Trails,” as they’re called.

Why should you Nordic track all the way up that hill?

Because you can see this…

Do you know this view?

A little sun shining on the Nose of Brockway Mountain from the turnoff to Horseshoe Harbor always puts a little glory in your soul.  Get it!

From there you can do the whole 16 km loop around the trail to Horseshoe Harbor and even up to the lookout on East Bluff!  Just start at the turnaround at the beginning of Highway 41.

Skate Ski

One of Copper Harbor’s newer residents, Casey Krueger, has taken it upon himself to groom to the East Bluff Lookout with four passes at each crack to make sure it’s wide enough to skate ski.

“I wanted to ski out my back door,” he told me.  “Winter is my big passion, and this is one of the few remaining places where there’s real winter!”

Casey actually grooms the whole 16 km of the End of the Road Winter Trails every other day to make sure that you (and he) can enjoy the awesome views and get the best of winter exercise while the getting is good.

“It’s all just starting now, but I’d like to get a small Pisten Bully one of these years, so I can groom it that wide to the top in one pass,” Casey said.

Because who wouldn’t want to pant all the way up to this view?

Do you know this view?

It’s the sunrise from the lookout on East Bluff looking south.

“On a clear day, you can see Mount Houghton and the Huron Mountains,” Casey assured me.

So you can now skate ski from the beginning of 41 to this lookout on East Bluff.

Snow Bike

Got your fatty wheels pumped up?  (Not too much… just enough!)

You can ride the 16 km to all the vistas mentioned above!

If climbing on your fat bike is not your thing, head 1 mile west of Copper Harbor on M-26 to Trails End Campground.  There’s a gentler 2 km loop out there.

But if you start on 10th Street by the highway, you can also ride 2 km to get there and then 2 km back.  Or ride through the meadow and state park from the trailhead in town.

Dan Kauppi is the big push behind getting groomed trails out at this campground.  He also reinstated the Brockway Mountain Challenge, which used to be a ski race, but is now a Fat Bike race over Brockway Mountain Drive!  This year, it’s held on March 21st.  Think your thighs can handle it?  Check out their facebook page!

Multi-Use At a Glance

Okay, so here’s the fun at a glance (distances are approximated):

  • 9 km of easy terrain trails go through the meadow and Fort Wilkins starting at the trailhead by the Welcome Center
  • 16 km of big elevation trails head up from the Beginning of 41 turnaround and offer amazing vistas along the End of the Road Winter Trails
  • 6 km of gentle trails run from 10th street and loop through Trails End Campground
  • All 30 km of trails are groomed for snow biking and cross country skiing
  • All 30 km of trails allow for snowshoeing and pets on the side of the tracks
  • The trail from the beginning of 41 to the lookout is wide enough to skate ski

Need a map?  There is a nice laminated one on the counter at the General Store and other businesses in town to look at.

Want snow reports?  Like the CH SNOW page for winter recreational events, grooming reports and updates!

And for goodness sakes, get out there!


This blog is written by resident author and outdoor enthusiast Amanda Wais.

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