Lac La Belle, meaning beautiful lake, is our neighbor on the “south shore” and is the name of the lake and the town. Located on the other side of the Keweenaw fault, the topography is quite different than Copper Harbor with its layers of beautiful marbled sandstone.
Day-trippers will surely want to explore the surrounding Lac La Belle area, with outstanding examples of wildflowers as well as wildlife. The Gay-Lac La Belle Road is very scenic with many roadside parks to enjoy. The Bare Bluff Sanctuary (Michigan Nature Association) is a somewhat difficult hike, but worth the amazing views from the top.
The lake provides all the basics for water lovers; a state dock and boat launch, gas and additional dockage, and some mighty good fishing. Lac La Belle is linked directly to Lake Superior via a man-made channel maintained by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. There’s a steady flow of anglers moving out into the bay and lake every fine summer morning.
Here is another beautiful lakeside town and the County Seat of the Keweenaw. Eagle River runs through it and there is yet another waterfall here. The wooden bridge crossing Eagle River Falls also provides a chance to sit back and take in nature at its finest. A nearby pullout is available, and the old bridge has been turned into a walkway where you can get a full view of the falls.
During fall, winter and early spring, anyone delighted by the sight of deer should be sure to take a drive around Eagle River, where the creatures can be spotted close up in large numbers. Watching a herd at feeding time at the roadside park right off the highway or up at the county courthouse is an unforgettable experience.
Eagle River is home to a smokehouse; Fitzgerald’s Restaurant (aka: The Fitz).
This charming town is just 15 miles from Copper Harbor on M-26. It’s been said that the drive between the two harbors is one of the best parts of the whole Lake Superior Circle Tour. This harbor is different from Copper Harbor as it has sandy beaches rather than rocky shores. It is the home to the Eagle Harbor Lighthouse. The lighthouse and Museum is open to the public for a nominal fee.
At Jacob’s Falls, between the small, friendly communities of Eagle River and Eagle Harbor, you’ll see a white clapboard cottage that houses the Jampot. Operated by the Brothers of St. John Monastery, this quaint shop features baked goods and other delicacies prepared by the monks. Ample information is available on establishment of this monastery and its mission.