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Part of the allure of the Keweenaw is how easily it is to find solitude in the outdoors.  With only a few communities and fewer roads, it's easy to get off the beaten path and find a quiet place to setup camp.  Secluded far from civilization yet still within reach, disappearing into the woods for a night or weekend is incredibly easy.  Couple this with the abundance of motorized campgrounds in and around Copper Harbor and it's obvious why both locals and visitors love camping in the Keweenaw area.

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Photo Credit:

Nathan Miller

There's ​always room for more, though.  With several thousand acres of Michigan Department of Natural Resource (DNR) land at the tip of the Keweenaw, there are countless more opportunities to establish wild and scenic campsites along the shores of Lake Superior.  In fact, that's been the goal all along: when the DNR acquired these lands in the early 2000s, a plan was created that laid out sites for both motorized and non-motorized primitive camping.  These areas would have easy road or trail access, parking, pit toilets, and other amenities to keep visitors happy and healthy.

Unfortunately, a lack of funding, public support, and shifting priorities all worked to hold up this vision.  Fifteen years on, very little has been accomplished despite growing visitor numbers.  High Rock Bay and Keystone Bay are often packed with tents on busy summer weekends as people flock to the shore by any means possible.  It's a fight for space as there are no marked sites, trails, or places to use the restroom.  These special places are being degraded not only by their popularity, but a lack of management.

The Keweenaw Outdoor Recreation Coalition has united users of all backgrounds and interests to encourage the DNR to follow the plan they created to manage this landscape for the benefit of the public.  We need their help to care for these places before what makes them special is lost forever.  Join or donate to KORC today so that our favorite camping areas remain accessible and pristine for future generations!

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