I’ve been to the ends of the Earth and it was beautiful. The northernmost point in mainland Michigan, High Rock Bay, the Tip of the Keweenaw Peninsula. Here, it felt as if we really had reached the ends of the Earth. It’s a calm day. The air is crisp and clean. You feel at peace here. You’re standing in the middle of the largest lake in the world, Lake Superior, surrounded by the power and tranquility of the Keweenaw coast. Some of the oldest rocks on earth jut out of agate beaches. The coastal forest is lit up with yellows and oranges. This is Michigan at its best.
There’s an energy I feel in the Keweenaw, it’s tough to describe but it’s constantly drawing me back. Of all the amazing places in Michigan, Copper Harbor is my favorite. The peaks are higher, the wilderness is remote and the coastlines are powerful. These are ancient coasts, the rocks date back to the Proterozoic Era, before complex life on Earth. Rugged rock formations line the shoreline, each rock face having unique textures and colors. Lichen gives the rocks character, hearty enough to withstand the wind and waves of the big lake. Exploring these areas transports you back in time. Pictures don’t do the Keweenaw justice, but this remains my favorite Michigan landscape to photograph. Spending time with a camera here never gets old.
I traveled to the Keweenaw Peninsula with my friends Chris (Co-Founder of Fauna Creative), Kaitlyn, Nick and Abby in October 2018. Chris and I have had several adventures in the Keweenaw but for the rest of the group, it was their first time this far north in Michigan. The trip was about exploring the best the area has to offer, showing off our favorite places to try to show everyone else why we talk about the Keweenaw so much. Brockway Mountain is the most easily accessible peak. To quote Don Keith AKA Mr. Keewenaw, “My favorite place to watch a sunset is Brockway Mountain… …with its million dollar views of that big snow making monster to the north, Lake Superior.” Here, you get a feeling for your surroundings, a bird’s eye view of the places you’ll soon explore.
There’s Horseshoe Harbor, one of The Nature Conservancy’s preserves in the area. On a calm day, this is one of the most peaceful settings in Michigan. The Upper Peninsula’s only remaining old growth white pine forests, the Estivant Pines is found here and is protected by the Michigan Nature Association. Some of the trees here are more than 500 years old. Mount Baldy towers over Lake Bailey to the west. And highway 41 and 26 wind through acres of forested land, roadside waterfalls and epic coastlines. This is just to name a few of the things you can find at the tip of the Keweenaw Peninsula.
There may be no place more special than the Keweenaw wildernes. To get there from Grand Rapids, it’s more than a 500 mile drive, a long but worthwhile journey. The setting, the clarity, the adventure, it’s all worth traveling to the ends of the Earth for.