The Keweenaw is an unrivaled mountain bike vacation destination supported by the diverse trail systems at Michigan Tech, Churning Rapids and Swedetown. IMBA’s Copper Harbor “Silver Level Ride Center” ranks among the top trail systems in the world! If you like to mountain bike, the Keweenaw is the place to be with trail systems for every skill level. Check out this post from a mountain bike enthusiast!
Copper Harbor Trail System
Copper Harbor’s IMBA “Silver Level Ride Center” features a variety of gateway, cross-country, flow and gravity trails suitable for riders of all abilities. Over 35 miles of trails are easily accessible from anywhere in town, with principal trailheads located at the Copper Harbor Community Building and Keweenaw Mountain Lodge. A bike shop, lodging, dining, campgrounds, shops and a micro-brewery are all nearby. Designated as Human-Powered Trails, riders need to be aware of hikers and trail runners on the trails and yield to them accordingly.
While the trail system hosts a small percentage of easy-rated trails, two-thirds of the trails are rated as intermediate, with the rest advanced and expert-rated. Riders should expect sustained climbs and descents up to 600’ vertical on purpose built singletrack trails inclusive of hard-packed dirt, bedrock, cobbled rock, roots, boardwalks and bridges. Flow trails feature berms and rollers designed to “flow” through the woods, while gravity trails additionally include jumps, drops, rock gardens and/or other technical features.
Riders will enjoy scenic, high-point vistas above Lake Superior with trails traversing through sections of old-growth forests, along inland lakes and streams and points of historical significance. Downhill enthusiasts may want to consider Keweenaw Adventure Company’s shuttle service where they will haul riders and their bikes to the top of the trail system for descents of up to 3 miles per run…a concept utilized by many ski areas, only using vans instead of a chairlift!
Trail maps are available at the Keweenaw Convention and Visitors Bureau in addition to bike shops and other locations throughout Copper Harbor and the greater Keweenaw area. Additional information, including Trail Genius virtual maps available here.
Riders may park at the Copper Harbor Welcome Center to access the trailhead.
Churning Rapids is a private trail system open to non-motorized use. Several loops offer distances up to 12 miles of moderate to difficult trails featuring woods, bridges, bogs, streams and fun singletrack. Other bikers, hikers and horses may be present…please stay off trails during early spring and other wet times of the year. Lodging, dining and services nearby.
To reach trailhead, take M-203 north from Hancock 4.5 miles to Christensen Road, which you follow to the designated trailhead.
Michigan Tech Recreational Forest
This trail system offers two distinct trail areas with distances up to 18 miles of marked and unmarked single tracks and widened ski trails. This is moderate difficulty with rolling hills. Some ski trails are closed to biking, please obey signage. Lodging, dining and services nearby.
Trail head is located off US-41 on the Michigan Tech campus. Take MacInnes Drive/Sharon Avenue to trailhead or Sharon Avenue from M-26 to trailhead.
The Swedetown summer trail system consists of over 22 miles of purpose built single-track trails. The terrain is rolling through the hardwood and plantation pine forest of the Swedetown Recreation Area. The trails will challenge advanced riders to ride at a speed but are not overly techincal, allowing beginning single-track riders to gain confidence and bike handling skills. It is a system that is great for families allowing advanced riders to add harder loops to their ride and then catch up with those who bypass them. The loops and segments allow users to customize their ride to fit time and ability. Being centrally located to the other trail systems in the Keweenaw it makes a great warm up ride when visiting the area. Trail runners have also been enjoying the single track trails as well.
A downloadable map is available here.
To reach the main trail head, take the Swedetown Road off of US-41 in Calumet to the Swedetown chalet/parking area. Another trailhead is located off M-203, 1/8th mile north of the Cloverland Road intersection.
List of Members
507 Oak Street
Calumet, MI 49913
308 Shelden Avenue
Houghton, MI 49931
155 Gratiot Street
Copper Harbor, MI 49918