Image Courtesy of Madison Degnitz
From failed or awkward summer plans to a tragically cancelled Halloween, it may feel like Coronavirus has taken everything from us, but there is so much to look forward to, and you can do it while social distancing!
We might not be able to enjoy cafes and restaurants without fear, but we can still have our pumpkin spiced lattes and sweater weather. The colors of the leaves are going to change whether we are stuck in an executive stay-at-home order or are free to roam. We are blessed to be in a part of the world where the natural beauty is travel-worthy. People come from all over to see the stunning landscapes and colors that are so very prevalent in our world.
Peak colors this year are likely to be from Sep. 25 through Oct. 5, but as anyone looking out their window could see, the trees are already changing and it looks like it’s going to be another stunning fall in the Keweenaw!
If you don’t have a vehicle, why not try simply taking a walk during prime color season, perhaps the road up the hill behind McNair which is arbored in beautiful, tunnel-like trees, or a walk through downtown Houghton and across the lift bridge to appreciate the colors reflecting on the portage water?
If you have a friend or are lucky enough to have a car up here, your options are endless. There is an incredible archway of trees along Brockway Mountain Drive that is absolutely stunning at peak color time. This is a road that will lead you 9.5 miles up M-26 between Eagle Harbor and Copper Harbor. From here you’ll be able to see Lake Superior, inland lakes, and occasionally the northern lights!
Additionally, on US-41 from Delaware to Copper Harbor is an 18-mile segment of tree-canopied road that has been designated a Scenic Heritage Route.
For a spookier vibe, try the dirt road off Houghton Canal Road. This road features a breathtaking tree tunnel and will lead you down to the ghost town, Redridge, where you will also be able to take in historic Redridge Dam and cinematic views of Lake Superior. Another option may be taking a stroll through the Forest Hill Cemetery, across the road from Michigan Tech’s Student Development Center, which is dotted with beautiful autumnal trees. If you do decide to take this trip, however, please stay mindful and respectful.
If you want to make a day of it, stop in Calumet for a filling meal at The Michigan House Cafe and Red Jacket Brewing Co. With everything you need to have an amazing lunch or dinner, this restaurant has options of burgers and sandwiches to full entree dinners and home-brewed beers and stouts.
Stop by the renowned Jampot of Poorrock Abbey in Eagle Harbor Tuesday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. They are open through mid-October and are located near Jacob’s Falls. What better way to enjoy the complex visuals and scents of autumn than a color tour with carefully-made jam and waterfall hunts? The wait is more than well worth it. From specialty jams and jellies to handmade chocolate truffles and fragrant fruitcakes, the Jampot is a must-visit on your color tour.
Head all the way up to Copper Harbor and you’ll find shops to visit and Fort Wilkins Historic State Park where you can walk through and enjoy not only a history lesson but a gentle hike through well-worn paths.
Now that I think of it, maybe this would be a better trip spread over a couple of days. No matter the current status of our world, keep your hopes up! The leaves are changing and if we can’t do anything else, we can at least take in that beautiful world that we live in. Hope to see you (safely) out there enjoying the incredible colors of the Keweenaw!