The Keweenaw Peninsula juts north into Lake Superior from Michigan’s Upper Peninsula and is home to the richest copper ore (97% pure) on the planet. American Indian artifacts made from this region’s copper have been found at several other National Park Service (NPS) sites, such as Georgia’s Ocmulgee Mounds National Historical Park and Ohio’s Hopewell Culture National Historical Park. In the 1840s, immigrants representing 38 ethnic groups flooded this area to work as miners. More recently, the NPS led a project to recreate historic buildings and archaeological sites within the digital world of Minecraft (click here for an article).
Adventure Mine Tours, Quincy Mine, Delaware Copper Mine, downtown Calumet, Laurinium Mansion
The NPS does not have much of a presence in this park, but rather relies on its partners to preserve the heritage sites. We highly recommend the Miner’s Tour guided by the Adventure Mining Company in Greenland, Michigan. In addition to getting a great history lesson, we rappelled down an 80-foot deep mine shaft and walked across a swinging bridge without handrails. They also offer a less intense tour for all ages.
We walked the streets of Calumet, Michigan while doing our laundry across the street from the historic Calumet Theatre. The NPS visitor center was closed, but we still got to see the Copper Country Firefighters History Museum and the Keweenaw Heritage Center inside St. Anne’s Church. We also recommend a stop at the quirky vintage consignment store in the three-story Vertin Building built in 1885.
Quincy Mine is the most tourist-friendly part of Keweenaw National Historical Park offering a museum, tram ride, and underground mine tours.
No NPS fees, but each heritage site charges its own admission with one of the cheapest being the $1 donation per person requested at the Copper Range Historical Museum in South Range, Michigan.
Most roads are paved, with the exception of the short gravel road to the Adventure Mining Company.
Fort Wilkins and McLain State Parks both have campgrounds and dispersed campsites can be found in parts of Ottawa National Forest. Backpacking is popular in Porcupine Mountains Wilderness State Park.
Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore (Michigan)
Isle Royale National Park (Michigan)
Explore More – How deep was the shaft dug at Quincy Mine before it was closed in 1945 and allowed to fill with water?