IMBA’s Copper Harbor “Silver Level Ride Center” ranks among the top trail systems in the world! The Keweenaw is an unrivaled mountain bike vacation destination supported by the diverse trail systems at Michigan Tech, Churning Rapids and Swedetown. Great insights and maps can be found on Bike the Keweenaw, or
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 and a bike shop, lodging, dining, campgrounds, shops and a micro-brewery 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. Visit website for more info.
Bill Nicholls Rail Trail
This trail links Houghton to Mass City, a distance of 41 miles on the former Copper Range Railroad grade. The grade crosses the branches of the Firesteel River with 3 bridges that are 65, 75, & 85 feet high. Surface is relatively flat and is mostly sand, some gravel, and clay, not suitable for narrow tire use. Trail is also open to off-road vehicles.
Suggested trailheads include Houghton Beach, South Range at the M-26 crossing, Toivola, Twin Lakes State Park and Mass City.
This is a private paved trail system that is open to non-motorized use. Loops may be incomplete due to farming activity–please stay out of newly planted fields. Trail runs for 7 miles of rolling, moderate terrain through woods and fields. No signs in the summer. Lodging, dining and services nearby.
Trail begins at the Chassell Heritage Center on Hancock Street in Chassell.
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.
Nara Nature Park
Nara Nature Park – Minutes from Houghton. Over 50 miles of exquisite trails. World-class skiing, snowshoeing, hiking, running, biking, birding, boating! Chalet, fireplace, showers. Boat launches. This trail connects to Michigan Tech’s trail system.
Trailhead is along US-41 south of Houghton on the north side of the highway.
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.
The 8 miles of sustainable two-tracks are currently being improved and mapped. This will aloow side by side running and riding options.
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