It's no exaggeration to say that Keweenaw County has some of the best mountain bike trails in the Midwest. Over 37 miles of singletrack trails stretch from the summit of Brockway Mountain to the rugged shores of High Rock Bay. For over two decades volunteer and hired crews have been carving trails out of the rocky hillsides, making Copper Harbor a top destination for both local and visiting riders. Today, tens of thousands of riders visit the Keweenaw each year in search of a thrill or an epic view of Lake Superior. Mountain bikers are a major economic driver in Copper Harbor and bring in considerable revenue that supports local jobs right here in Keweenaw County. It's hard to argue the impact of trails when restaurants, motels, breweries, and stores are full of riders and their families after a day in the woods.
The Copper Harbor trails are located on land across a wide array of ownership. Grant Township and Keweenaw County welcome trails on their property, as does the Michigan DNR. Private businesses and individuals also allow trails to cross their property, with permission of course. Conservancies are even in the game and have generously allowed trails to be built to bring people in contact with nature. However, there's one type of landowner that refuses to step up to the plate: outside investment firms. With faraway hedge fund managers calling the shots, tens of thousands of acres has been off-limits for trail construction. Connectivity between areas is limited to where we can get access, and with absentee investment firms standing in our way our local trail system will never reach its full potential. Additionally, some of the best pieces of property for trails have already been sold to private individuals with no interest in trails of any type.
The future is bright for trails in Copper Harbor if we can secure access to the vast corporate timber lands in the heart of Keweenaw County. Dozens of miles of trail have been envisioned connecting East Bluff, Schlatter Lake, Montreal Falls, Eagle Harbor, and more, a network that would make our current trails look tiny by comparison. However, none of these dreams will be possible until we secure access to these investor-owned landscapes. We encourage you to help us create a new future for the Keweenaw by joining KORC or giving today!