Tips for a Fall Color Drive through the Keweenaw Peninsula

When fall in Michigan arrives, there’s no better place to be to see the dynamic colors of a trillion trees! Guest blogger, Jesse Land, provides his recommendations for taking a fall color tour around one of the Upper Peninsula's most cherished areas – the Keweenaw Peninsula. 

Road in fall forest in the Keweenaw Peninsula.
Fall in the Keweenaw Peninsula | Photo Courtesy of Pure Michigan

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1. Where to Start

I recommend starting your day in the town of Houghton. Catch a glimpse into the rich history of the Keweenaw’s mining culture via a tour of the Quincy Mine Properties.

2. Good Eats

Head north on U.S. 41 to Calumet for a bite to eat. The Michigan House Café & Red Jacket Brewing Co. offers everything from burgers to trout, make sure to order a coffee oatmeal stout to complete your meal. If you’re looking to dine by the water, head north and follow M-26 into Eagle River. Visit Eagle River Falls as you come into town, and then make your way to Fitzgerald’s Hotel and Restaurant for the ultimate beachfront meal.

Take a walk after your meal through the historic downtown buildings of Calumet, like the Calumet Theater. If you’re into art, be sure to grab a coffee or ice cream at the very cool converted train depot, 5th & Elm Coffeehouse. The Jampot is also a favorite, so make sure to stop by and pick up homemade jams, preserves and fruitcakes to take back home with you.

3. The Color Tour

The stretch of M-26, north of The Jampot is curvy and wooded, thick with vibrant colors to the east, and views of Lake Superior to the west.

Though M-26 continues all the way to Copper Harbor, be sure not to miss the turn to Brockway Mountain Drive. This little road winds up 720 feet to the top of Brockway Mountain, where on a clear day you can see for miles. The view from the top of “Brockway,” is one of the best in the Upper Peninsula.

Continue down Brockway Mountain drive into the quaint village of Copper Harbor, to peruse the shops and sights. If you’re a history buff, check out Fort Wilkins Historic State Park. I also recommend popping into the Keweenaw Adventure Company. You may not have time for an adventurous excursion on this day trip, but make a note of it for next time because you can’t beat this place for a guided kayaking or mountain biking trip.

From Copper Harbor, follow a freshly paved and fun to drive section of U.S. 41 south, through the “tunnel of trees” back down to the Mount Bohemia ski area, where you can ride the ski lift up the hill and take in, yet another spectacular view of the surrounding area.

A day is not enough to experience all that the Keweenaw Peninsula has to offer. Stop by the Keweenaw Convention Center and Visitor’s Bureau, as you head south to pick up some maps and brochures for your next visit.


About the Author: Jesse Land is the founder of Things to do in the U.P., a website dedicated to helping people discover the best of the Upper Peninsula. For regular Upper Peninsula travel tips, follow Things to do in the U.P. on Facebook.