Out of the four seasons, spring gets the least amount of love from Keweenaw enthusiasts. Unlike the long days of summer, the brilliant colors of fall, or the epic snow of winter, this shoulder season is often overlooked by locals and visitors alike. While the weather is wildly unpredictable, the months of April, May, and June can be really rewarding times to experience many of the amazing Keweenaw outdoor (and indoor) attractions.
Avoid the Crowds…
This goes without saying, but because spring isn’t the most popular time of year to visit, you won’t need to share the trails very often. In early spring (late March thru April) you may still need snowshoes or skis, but by the time May rolls around, you can grab your best hiking boots or hop in your ATV. You’ll also find the lack of crowds brings more lodging options with better deals and easier access to your favorite eateries.
The Keweenaw’s waterfalls roar to life as the 270+ inches of snow melt away. Waterfalls are beautiful all year-round, but they’ll never be more impressive than in April and May.
Nothing Biting (Except the Fish)
Mosquitos and black flies are a nuisance in the summer, especially if you do any backcountry treks. Not so in the spring. Much like the fall, these early months are relatively bug-free, so you can leave your insect repellant behind. With that said, Northern Pike and Walleye season starts mid-May in the Upper Peninsula.
Isle Royale National Park
Isle Royale National Park is an international attraction thanks to its untamed, natural wilderness. Won’t take my word for it? Just ask National Geographic who named Isle Royale one of the top destinations in the world for 2021. The national park opens in mid-April, and if you’re willing to tolerate the chilly temperatures, you can practically have the 45-mile long island and all its trails to yourself (Well, you’ll have to share it with the island’s wildlife residents).
Maple Syrup Tapping
As snow melts, the region’s maple trees begin to produce sap which can be condensed into tasty maple syrup! Across the Keweenaw hobbyists and commercial syrup produces kick-into high gear as they rush to collect the sweet sap to help bring your pancakes to the next level. Check out how it’s done by reading Nathan Miller’s (fellow Keweenaw.info contributor) adventures in maple syrup production.
Annual Hawk Migration at Brockway Mountain
Each spring, approximately 10,000 soaring birds, many of the hawks, pass over the narrow tip of the Keweenaw Peninsula between March and May. On the West Bluff of Brockway Mountain, you’ll find a raptor counting station where you can observe bald eagles, peregrine falcons, and other raptor species riding thermals.
Experience the Keweenaw
An annual Memorial Day Weekend extravaganza, Experience the Keweenaw encourages locals and visitors to get out on the trails and explore the great outdoors through a series of mini-guided hikes, bikes, runs, paddles, and more throughout the Keweenaw Peninsula. For many of the volunteer organizations who maintain the trails, Memorial Day Weekend has become the official “kick-off” event for the season.
About the Author
Brad is the Executive Director of the Keweenaw Convention & Visitors Bureau. He gets paid to share all the cool stuff about the Keweenaw Peninsula. It’s a tough job, but someone’s got to do it.
- Link to Michigan DNR elicense https://www.michigan.gov/dnrlicenses?utm_campaign=dnr_cvb&utm_medium=weblink&utm_source=cvb
- Michigan DNR Outdoor Fun: https://www.Michigan.gov/OutdoorFun