The End of the Earth? No, it’s Copper Harbor, Michigan

Living in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan has some drawbacks, like looooonnnggg winters that turn into mosquito season, roads with potholes the size of meteor craters, and snowfalls that can exceed 300 inches a year.  However, living here does have it’s upside too in the form of gorgeous summers, the Lake Superior shoreline, friendly people, and a sense of timelessness that indicates life runs at a less hurried pace here.  As a motorcycle traveler, one of the greatest benefits to living here is the proximity to one of the most beautiful and scenic drives from Houghton to Copper Harbor and back.

US41

US41 starts here and ends in Miami, Florida and was built upon old paths and trails used by Native Americans, fur traders, and missionaries.

Most people drive to Copper Harbor along US41.  As a matter of fact, US41 begins (or is it ends?) in Copper Harbor.  Instead of the obvious route, we choose an alternate route that took us north along the eastern shore of what’s known as the Copper Country (the thumb of land that juts out into Lake Superior and is dotted with copper mines) to Copper Harbor and south along the western shore back to Houghton.

The scenic route took us through one small village after another.  Each one seemed more picturesque and scenic than the last.  There are turquoise bays rimmed with pure white sand beaches that look like they belong on a postcard of a Caribbean island.  There are waterfalls and rivers with perfect fishing spots that empty into Lake Superior.  Summer cabins and fishing shacks are nestled in amongst the remnants of old copper mines and the people are friendly and welcoming.

The small towns and villages, such as Lac La Belle, Eagle Harbor, Lake Fanny Hooe, Agate Harbor, and Betsy Bay, are as charming as their names.    The roads throughout this drive are some of the absolute best you will find in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan for motorcycling.  Most of them are smooth with enough twists and turns to keep even the sport bikes happy!

 

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