Craggy bluffs. Wild shorelines. Towering pines. And the occasional waterfall thrown in for good measure. All this and more is easily accessible via a multitude of hiking paths found across the Keweenaw. Whether you prefer exploring the public pathways at Hunter's Point in Copper Harbor or the Redwyn Dunes inland of Great Sand Bay, there's something for everyone and rarely will you run into a crowd. Conservancies up and down the Copper Country have worked hard over the years to provide the public places to hike and sight-see, as well as many other locations owned and managed by local municipalities. It would take a dedicated hiker several weeks straight to bag them all.
One thing is missing, however: connectivity. Our hiking trails may be diverse, but they are disconnected from one another. Aside from the in-progress Keweenaw Point Trail, few individual trails stretch for more than a mile or two. This makes long-distance travel on foot difficult. What is stopping us from constructing a thru-trail across the spine of the Keweenaw? Corporate land ownership. Tens of thousands of acres at the heart of the Keweenaw are owned by absentee investment firms focused on satisfying shareholders, not our community. Building hiking trails is not a high priority for them. Nor is protecting corridors between protected areas so that future trails may be built. If someone is interested in purchasing a piece of land, they're interested in selling.
Our community has an opportunity to close the gaps between our trails and create a hiking trail unlike any other in the Keweenaw. The Keweenaw Outdoor Recreation Coalition is working to secure public access to the vast interior landscapes of the Keweenaw so that we can extend our trails across the region. Countless special places remain to be discovered and shared if we can protect the land beneath them. Local control of our shared landscape is essential if we are to create new trail corridors, whether they are short access paths to beautiful vistas or 50-mile long backpacking routes that take a week to traverse. Help us build an awesome future for the Keweenaw by joining KORC today!