Have a day or two to kill on the UP before my ferry leaves, I need some sightseeing suggestions

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Have a day or two to kill on the UP before my ferry leaves, I need some sightseeing suggestions

Post by cadenparulski »

I'm leaving for the island on the Isle Royale Queen IV out of Copper Harbor next Monday morning (the 14th), but I'm leaving my home state a few days early because I miss the UP and I'm tired of being home. I would like some suggestions of places to see and/or hike.

I'm leaving my house Saturday morning at 3am, and I hope to arrive in Marquette around 3pm where I will be staying the night. When I get up there, I plan on climbing Hogback Mountain, and I want to explore Presque Isle for a few hours- that should kill the rest of that day.

The only thing I have planned for Sunday is the drive to Copper Harbor, which is ~3 hours from Marquette IIRC. This leaves me a good amount of time to see some places I missed last time I was up- I'm looking for places maybe more off the beaten path, preferably that I haven't seen before, but not too far off the track between Marquette and Copper Harbor. I've been to Sugarloaf Mtn, Laughing Whitefish Falls, Dead River, Pictured Rocks, Porcupine Mtns, and a few other places I can't remember at the moment. A couple places I'm eyeing up on the Keweenaw are Brockway Mtn Drive and Bare Bluffs (not too keen on this one since it's a little out of the way, but I'm not opposed to it).

Any and all suggestions are welcome. Thank you!
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Re: Have a day or two to kill on the UP before my ferry leaves, I need some sightseeing suggestions

Post by Midwest Ed »

Bare Bluff is spectacular. I finally made it 2 years ago, a fairly easy 2 mile hike. It's about 200 feet shorter than Hogback at roughly 1000 feet but it is right next to the Lake on a shear cliff, offering beautiful views. What kind of vehicle are you driving? The road to the parking lot off Smith Fishery's Road can sometimes be in rough shape. Not nearly so bad as the road to say, High Rock Bay, but I wouldn't want to take a low clearance car unless it's just been graded. You don't need a jeep though. Any decent SUV should suffice.

Are you interested in history? The copper mining of the 19th and early 20th century once supplied all the world with its copper. Much of it is now part of the National Park system, in and around Calumet and Hancock.

The old growth Estivant White Pines just south of Copper Harbor don't match the Sequoia or Redwoods of the west coast but they are quite impressive.

Brockway Mtn is always a favorite and usually crowed (but not by normal standards). For a more scenic ride take a left on M26 off US41 at Phoenix. Eagle River and Eagle Harbor are nice and it's a roller coaster ride along the shore from there to the southern entrance to Brockway.
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Re: Have a day or two to kill on the UP before my ferry leaves, I need some sightseeing suggestions

Post by dcclark »

If you're interested in the history of the area, consider:

- Take a tour at the Quincy Mine, or just wander the grounds (free).
- Drive through Central, see some of the preserved houses, hike the trail to the old powderhouse ruins. If you do this, carefully follow the Central road up into the cliffs (watch out, it sometimes is impassable in the spring). When you get to the Eagle Harbor crosscut road, follow it into Eagle Harbor and enjoy the scenery. You're driving right through the heart of the old Copper Falls mine as you do so.
- Stop at the Delaware mine for a self-guided tour, see the ruins, enjoy the views.

If you want to see some natural beauty:

- Hike Hunter's Point in Copper Harbor (access from a trail that starts in the boat launch parking lot)
- Drive out past the end of US 41. Park near the first major turnoff on the left. Hike the branch road a few miles until you get to the sign for Horseshoe harbor. Hike the trail down to a beautiful and remote nature preserve with a giant wall of rock right on the shore.
- If you have good 4WD vehicle, drive out past the end of US 41 and follow signs for High Rock Bay. Go there, or at the last branch, go left and find the old rocket range instead. Beautiful views east from Keweenaw point.
- Take Cliff Drive north where it branches off of US-41 and enjoy the views of the cliffs. Stop at the rock piles (on the left) and hike around them. Look for ruins. See if you can find the ultra-steep path up to where the rockpiles flow down from the top of the cliffs.
- Where M-26 splits from US 41 in Phoenix, follow M-26 for maybe 1/4 mile and pull off on the left. Hike in on the 2-track to the rock piles, follow the 2-track up and around them, and come out at a spectacular overlook with a big red lookout tower built on it ("Elmo's tower"). Enjoy.
- Follow M-26 east from the lift bridge to Hubbell, go uphill and find Hungarian falls. A bit out of the way, but they should be absolutely roaring with the spring melt.
- I also recommend Estivant pines and Brockway. No big adventure getting to Brockway, but it's lovely.
- Take M-26 north instead of US 41 and stop at Great Sand Bay and/or Esrey Park. Both lovely, and completely different, lakeshore parks.

If you want to be a bit more touristy:

- Take M-26 north instead of US 41 and stop at the Jampot (Bakery run by monks). Check out Jacob's falls right next door while you're there.
- Have a pasty at Roy's (Houghton) or Toni's (Laurium).
- Park on 5th street in Calumet and see the various galleries and knick-knack shops.

Whatever you do, have fun!
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Re: Have a day or two to kill on the UP before my ferry leaves, I need some sightseeing suggestions

Post by Base654 »

I vote for a French dip at the Library Bar in Houghton then Quincy Mine, then The Jampot and last but not least Brockway Mountain.
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