The true definition of northern Michigan, the Keweenaw County region is outdoor recreation at its absolute finest. Whether you call it the Great Lake State, the Wolverine State, or the Water Wonderland, the only state to border four of the five Great Lakes offers adventure around every corner. Find yourself among golden leaves, crisp outdoors air, and crystal clear skies in America’s northern hemisphere, near an unsung staple of Michigan’s recreational reputation – Keweenaw County.
- Isle Royale National Park
In the heart of Lake Superior, this group of islands provides solace for indigenous species and dedicated adventurers alike. If you’re in the mood for some easy recreation, the Isle Royal National Park is your go-to destination for outdoor exploration. Kayak through deep blue waters, hike well-maintained trails, and even get in your share of bird watching, all within the confines of protected park property. Since it was declared a UNESCO International Biosphere Reserve in 1980, the space has existed both for the enjoyment of the visitors who frequent the park, and for the preservation of those species within the park itself.
Officially, the park itself is formed by Isle Royale, supplemented by hundreds of adjoining islands. Characterized by jack pines, white spruces, paper birches and sugar maples, there’s more than enough shade to provide each park-goer with a unique flavor of rejuvenation. And with an animal portfolio that includes snowshoe hares, moose, wolves, and various species of fish.
- Mount Bohemia
Visit the authentic Michigan outdoors at Mount Bohemia, the extreme skiing and snowboarding destination in the northern United States. It’s a resort property that includes more than 1,000 acres of explorable land. On the shore of Lake Lac Labelle, the site also makes each resort-goer a privileged guest of terrific sunrises over open waters.
Of course, the main attraction of this northern Michigan destination is the world-class skiing and snowboarding to be had onsite. However, you can also take easy advantage of guided tours, meal packages, and top-tier hospitality ventures, all for a single, all-inclusive rate. And with two chair lifts going simultaneously, you can explore snowy Michigan to your heart’s content, before venturing indoors to sample culinary mastery at the restaurant. The North Pole Bar provides all the refreshment you will need after a long day on the slopes!
- Estivant Pines
More than 500 acres of open land provide the perfect backdrop for outdoor adventure at Estivant Pines, a nature sanctuary protected and maintained by the Michigan Nature Association. And if the network of hiking trails on the premises aren’t enough to satisfy each guest, you can also count 85 individual bird species, among moderate to intermediate hiking venues. Especially during climatically mild portions of the tourist season, Estivant Pines is buzzing with outdoor activity. If you’re there during the summer, you can take advantage of preserved trails, ranked by trailheads; if you find your way to the Estivant Pines Nature Sanctuary during winter months, don’t forget your cross country skis, and your snowshoes!
This nature preserve is believed to house the very last of the virgin white pine in all of Upper Michigan. Park-goers are therefore provided the opportunity not only to discover new corners of the northern outdoors, but also to witness aging history. And with trees between 130 and 150 feet in total height, you’re actually going to have to crane your neck to catch sight of the treetops!
- Manitou Islands
One of a series of Michigan islands, which extends beyond the Straits of Mackinac. The Manitou Islands are actually divided into the North and South Manitou Islands, each unique in their flora and fauna, sporting differentiated ecosystems. Off of South Manitou Islands, you can catch sight of the wrecked ship Morazan, while the northern island installment is identifiable by its shrubbery.
Both islands offer onsite camping endeavors, allowing visitors the opportunity to select a personalized, outdoor Manitou experience. Live amid northern Michigan wilderness, and if time permits, make sure that you explore other portions of the Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore. Bird watchers can spot hawks, eagles, and various smaller bird species.
- Copper Harbor
Anyone in search of picture-perfect fall colors needs to cross Copper Harbor from their Michigan bucket list. Located right on the edge of the water, Copper Harbor offers water recreation and hiking/biking opportunities, to both visitors and locals alike. Take on the waters of Lake Superior on a guided or self-guided tour, or check out the local center of town, where all of the shops, eateries and retail venues you’d expect to find are waiting for you.
Don’t forget that northern Michigan enjoys another natural, geographical perk: the Northern Lights! Ask around to discover the best vantage point, and enjoy your seat for the show in the sky. Isle Royale is only 50 miles away from this historically important, welcoming Michigan home.
- Keweenaw Brewing Company
After a day full of exploring the local scene, venture indoors to the Keweenaw Brewing Company, where affordable, on-tap refreshment awaits by the glassful. Loved by locals as much for its quality beverages as for its terrific pricing, it’s become a must-see stop for anyone passing through the region. Better yet, the Keweenaw Brewing Company is more than simply a location for delicious brews; it’s also a line of brews itself! The location serves up popular favorites, as well as specials of its own design.
Black, blonde, and amber ales are all made daily onsite at the Keweenaw Brewing Company, as is their Borealis Broo. Fresh or canned, they prove a beverage well worth your investment. More than 12,000 barrels were created in 2017, and the company aims to eclipse that total this year. Visit their tap room at any time of day, for a freshly-served special, courtesy of friendly service.
- Porcupine Mountains
Known affectionately as the “Porkies” by the locals, the Porcupine Mountains in northern Michigan proves an alpine ski region in the winter, and a verifiable privilege for any dedicated hiker, come summertime. Whether you find yourself on the slopes for a December ski run, or a July stroll through shadowy pines, the mountains themselves are easily navigable, and trails are always well-marked.
You’ll achieve great views of the surrounding region without all the hard work. Exert yourself to a hiking or skiing pace most comfortable for you. Multiple lodging options exist not far from the mountain itself, allowing you to make quick work of the distance between your pillow and unforgettable mountain memories in the making. Michigan’s Upper Peninsula is waiting, in the form of the state’s Porcupine Mountains.
Discover Michigan’s Outdoors, No Matter the Season
No matter the time of the year, Michigan and its Keweenaw County await your indulgence. Take to a ski slope of your choosing, or stop by in the summer for select outdoor majesty, that always pairs well with a cool beverage from the Keweenaw Brewing Company. So long as authentic outdoor adventure remains at the top of your priority list, it’s time you started crossing these Michigan attractions from your bucket list. For more destination guides and accommodation reviews, hotels and vacation rentals, check out Trip101.