by Kevin Hillstrom & Laurie Collier Hillstrom (Falcon Guides)
© Kevin Hillstrom & Laurie Collier Hillstrom/Falcon Guides. All Rights Reserved.
The south shore of the Keweenaw, heading east toward the tip of the Peninsula is the crown jewel of paddling in Michigan. Recently preserved, thanks to a 2001 land purchase by the state of Michigan of nearly 9 miles of undeveloped Lake Superior Shoreline and over 6500 acres, is Michigan''s newest state forest area.
Sea caves and arches, sea stacks, a 600 shear cliff and waterfalls cascading into the Lake are just a few of the highlights of this segment along the Keweenaw Water Trail. Backcountry (Leave No Trace) camping is permitted in certain areas and can make an excellent over night or 2 night point to point adventure between Bete Gris and Copper Harbor. Paddlers need to be aware that although this is public land, it is NOT a park.....no permits are needed, however no established faclities (campgrounds, toilets, trash collection, ect.) are provided. Their are no park rangers, visitor centers or emergency phones. It is a remote, unihabited area and emergency evacuations are distant and time consuming at best! Paddlers need to be totally self sufficient as far as knowing their ability levels and knowing how to use the appropriate safety equipment.....(cell phone coverage is hit & miss in this area) and need to be aware of possibly rapidly changing wind, wave and weather conditions as well as the possibility of cold water immersion. Keweenaw Adventure Company in Copper Harbor offers guided tours to this area thoughout the summer and into the fall.
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