Trail Report: Keweenaw Peninsula / Houghton-Hancock, South Range, Copper Harbor
Reported By: Tammi the Trail Goddess at Dan’s Recreation
Date of Report: 03/19/2015
Trail Conditions: Poor
Snow Cover: 8″ – 26″
Area Report: I have been getting a ton of calls wondering if you can still ride up here. So I drove around and looked at the trails close to me. Trail 17 going up through Hancock is pretty much bare and dirt covered, the lower Trail 3 has some bare spots but also has some snow/icy snow and could probably be driven north on. Trail 3 south to Twin Lakes is pretty light down on the waterfront of Houghton with a few bare spots but some snow with lots of dirt on it from the roadway. Going through South Range is the same. Once you get north out of Calumet riders are reported plenty of snow on the trails with bare roads and bare parking lots at gas stations and once in Copper Harbor you would want to park your sled and walk a block or 2 to the bar/restaurants. From South Range south to Greenland has plenty of snow also. The groomer was out on Tuesday and was suppose to go out yesterday but I did not see it so don’t know for sure. The mat that was down under the bridge is no longer there so you will be riding on bare tracks, but doable since its not that far of a distance. Riding is definitely late season riding, so if you come, please do not expect great trails and be flexible when you ride. You may have to turn around and head back where you came from. All roads are bare and all gas stations and parking lots are bare. Be aware if you do go out riding, there could possibly be rocks, stumps, branches and wet spots. Temps are suppose to be in high 30’s and low 40’s today and tomorrow and possibly some light rain in the afternoons, maybe snow tomorrow. It’s been pretty cool around here, even with the sun. The weekend is only suppose to have highs in mid 20’s. Use this info to make your own decision about coming up. I will not tell you one way or another if you call me!! Don’t want people calling me later saying “you told us to come/not come up and ride!! Conditions change daily depending on the weather that day, and the forecast says one thing but its been feeling cooler than what the temp says. Happy March! I know we will have one more snow storm this season, we didn’t get it for St. Paddy’s Day so it will probably wait til the very end of March, when we do not want anymore snow!!
News & Events:
Snow, snow everywhere is a good description of what fortunate snowmobilers encounter when they ride the scenic well-groomed trails of the Keweenaw Peninsula of U.P. Michigan. Couple an extensive trail system, enabling the avid rider to experience the splendor of this area, with plenty of the white stuff, and you have a fantastic winter wonderland. More than 200 inches of snow blanket this region every season allowing sno-riders up to 5 months to enjoy their favorite sport!
The Bill Nichols Trail heads north through majestic forests and over the three Firesteel Bridges which are old railroad trestles rising more than 100 feet above the Firesteel River. This trail provides a tour past the towns of Twin Lakes, Toivola and South Range as it continues on toward the panoramic twin cities of Houghton and Hancock. Delicious, varied dining and comfortable lodging choices abound in this winter wonderland along with any other services snowmobilers may need.
Trail 15 travels east from the Houghton area through Chassel to the Keweenaw Bay. Here it turns south, winding along the bay to Baraga on the southern tip of Keweenaw Bay.
Traveling north from Houghton and Hancock on Trail 3 you encounter many historic signs of the mining of years past. Magnificent rides through Ripley, Dollar Bay and Hubbell grace the trail on your way to the historic towns of Laurium and Calumet. Continuing north on Trail 3 through Mohawk and Phoenix riders can experience the peaceful Eagles Loop, which leads along Lake Superior to the charming towns of Eagle River and Eagle Harbor.
Trail 3 heads east on the Brockway Mountain Trail, which yields a spectacular view of Lake Superior. On a clear day you can see Canada to the North and to the south the breathtaking carpeted forests that surround you. Just a short jaunt from this splendor, riders find themselves in quaint Copper Harbor, an excellent place to enjoy a delicious meal and spend the night in one of the comfortable lodging establishments.
Truly the Keweenaw Peninsula is an adventure every snowmobiler should experience. With over 200 miles of smooth groomed trails connecting to 2500 miles of trails, Michigan’s Upper Peninsula offers the avid rider unlimited riding opportunities. There are numerous warm, welcoming hotels, resorts and delicious dining choices to make your trip a remembrance of a lifetime.