Michigan contains two of the most spectacular peninsulas in the country. Our entire state, both the Upper and Lower Peninsula, is overflowing with natural beauty, fascinating history, and attractions that appeal to people from all walks of life. But there’s a smaller peninsula within Michigan that’s like a separate state in itself. The Keweenaw Peninsula, also known as “Michigan’s Copper Country,” offers visitors a whole new world to explore.
The Keweenaw Peninsula juts into Lake Superior and sits at the northernmost part of the Upper Peninsula. It’s home to over 40,000 Michiganders.
The peninsula’s history is grounded heavily in natural resources. It is known widely as the earliest site for mining during America’s copper boom in the mid-19th century. That said, Native Americans in the region had been mining copper for hundreds of years before the trade was industrialized.
Today, Keweenaw’s primary economic strengths are tied directly to the lumber and tourism industry, though its ties to the copper industry continued well into the mid-20th century. Visitors can explore old mines in the area and learn more about the once-booming atmosphere of Michigan’s Copper Country.
But Keweenaw is known for more than just its copper. Nature enthusiasts will be stunned by Isle Royale National Park, which can be accessed from the Peninsula. This gorgeous park is an absolutely breathtaking location for hiking, swimming, and other outdoor activities.
If you visit in the fall, be sure to take a leisurely trip down Brockway Mountain Drive, which boasts some of the most spectacular looks at autumn foliage that our state has to offer.
Regardless of the season, Keweenaw has no shortage of beauty to behold. Its Lake Superior beaches are awe-inspiring, and the peninsula is dotted with quiet fruit fields, small villages, and amazing wildlife — including moose and bears.
Water lovers will find unmatched opportunities for kayaking along the shoreline, while winter sports enthusiasts will also be thrilled with the opportunities afforded by the Keweenaw Peninsula — its location on Lake Superior makes it a major target for lake effect snow every year.
During your stay in this Up North wonderland, stop by the college town of Houghton and check out Michigan Technological University. As the largest city in Copper County, Houghton affords plenty of options for eating, drinking, and absorbing local culture among stunning northern Michigan scenery.
As night rolls around, look up: Keweenaw is home to a handful of ideal areas for spotting the Northern Lights. The photo above captures a particularly stunning view of the Lights from the town of Calumet.
The Keweenaw Peninsula is a magical region full of unspoiled nature, remote beauty, and fantastically breathtaking attractions. Whether you’re headed north to learn more about Michigan’s industrial past, camp below the stunning canopies of our state’s forests, or indulge in some of the most marvelous lakeside views you’ll ever experience, the Keweenaw Peninsula is the place to be.
Of course, this article just barely scratches the surface of all the incredible things to do in the Keweenaw Peninsula. Have you been lucky enough to visit the Peninsula? Do you have a favorite place to explore? Share your stories in the comment section — and start planning your next trip northward.