Things To Do: Attractions & Adventures
Video Credit: Western Upper Peninsula Visitors Bureau
The great outdoors of the Western Upper Peninsula offers many places to create great family memories and connect with nature. Take a relaxing day sight seeing all the natural beauty surrounding BPLA. Be one with nature out in the woods along a cross country ski or snowshoe trail. Treat your palette with local cuisine at one of the many restaurants in the area. Or enjoy a show at one of the theaters in Ironwood. There is always lots to do in the Big Snow Country! Click here for the Area Attraction map!
Copper Peak is the world’s largest artificial ski jump, and the only one in the western hemisphere. A chairlift ride to the top of the hill, elevator to the observation deck, and 60 ft. walk to the upper platform promises you the most panoramic views in the Midwest. From the start of the top chute, Copper Peak’s rocket-steep in-run forms a descent three times greater than Niagra Falls. This one of a kind adventure is worth the trip up North alone, something you won’t soon forget!
The mountain bike trail system designed for Copper Peak caters to all types of riders, whether you are a beginner or extreme downhill rider, this trail system has a little something for everyone. There are 7 miles of amazing trails that traverse through Copper Peak’s majestic landscape. Click here for a full list of the area’s mountain biking trails courtesy of the SISU Dirt Crew!
Copper Peak was the host for the Red Bull Run on May 12th, 2018. The Red Bull Run was the first event to take place at Copper Peak since 1994. Stay tuned for more information on the future of Copper Peak and the Red Bull Run!
Our rich and diverse heritage in the region has given way to many unique and historical land marks across the range. Some must sees are:
- Hiawatha- Is the world’s tallest and largest Native American statue. He stands at 52 feet and weighs 16,000 pounds.
- Ironwood Depot- Built in 1892, the passenger service ended in 1970s and the railroad tracks have been removed. In their place is the Cross-State and Regional bike trail-head and Western UP snowmobile trail-head. The Ironwood Depot is now the office of the Ironwood Chamber of commerce and a museum maintained by the Ironwood Area Historical Society.
- Miners Memorial Heritage Park- The Miners Memorial Heritage Park is built on the reclaimed site of the late 1800s and early 1900s iron mines supplying the metal for America’s industrial revolution. The mid-20th-century moonscape left by the closing of the mines known by the locals as the “caves” was reclaimed by nature and is now 165 acres of woods, trails, and year-round community activities in the center of Ironwood, Michigan.
- Mt. Zion Observation Deck- Located at the top of Mt. Zion Ski Hill, near Gogebic Community College, is the handicap accessible observation deck. The observation point offers breathtaking views of the surrounding landscaped facing Lake Superior. This is a must see all year round but especially during the fall season!
The Porcupine Mountain Wilderness State Park is the largest state park in Michigan and is very popular destination for hiking, biking, fishing and more. It is also home to abundant wildlife, photo-worthy destinations like Lake of the Clouds, numerous waterfalls and hidden lakes. The Porcupine State Park is only an hour away from Big Powderhorn Lodging. Here are just a few highlights:
- Presque Isle Waterfall Loop- Your 2.5 mile hike will include sections of boardwalk, forested trail, and a suspension bridge. Soon after leaving the parking lot, you will cross over the suspension bridge to follow East River Trail. Here you will be able to see three gorgeous waterfalls, Nawadaha, Manido and Manabezho falls.
- Lake of the Clouds Overlook- Lake of the clouds is a gorgeous blue lake amid thick emerald forests. In the fall the trees burst into a fiery palette of oranges, yellows and reds. This is one of the most photographed features in the U.P.
- Little Carp River Trail- One of the most scenic trails in the park. Rapids, waterfalls and old-growth forest make for spectacular hiking. Good brook trout fishing.
- Union Bay Beach- Union Bay is a beautiful 2+ mile stretch of sandy shoreline.
- Summit Peak Observation Tower- Summit peak is the highest point in the park. A viewing deck and observation tower provide outstanding views of the park and surrounding area. 0.5 miles
- More Information: Official Waterfall Map | Visitors Guide | Area Map
The Western U.P. is the perfect place to take a Golf Getaway. We offer three scenic golf courses that will appeal to golfers of every skill level. Just a short drive a way is the 18 hole Gogebic Country Club and in neighboring Wisconsin you can try out Eagle Bluff which also has an 18 hole course or Skye Golf’s 9 hole course located in the Whitecap Mountains.
Bring your frisbees with on your next trip and enjoy playing the area courses. Mt Zion at Gogebic Community College offers a gorgeous 18 hole course that takes you all over the ski hill. Norrie Park has a 9 hole course that takes you through the community park and along the Montreal River.
The Historic Ironwood Theatre
The Ironwood Theatre was incorporated in 1988 as an independent, non-profit cultural organization. The Ironwood Theatre is a volunteer based organization with an eight Board of Directors, one part-time staff, and more than 100 individual volunteers, all of whom donate their time and skills because they believe in, and love the theatre.
The Ironwood Theatre was built as a vaudeville & silent movie palace in 1928 under the direction of Architect Albert Nelson at a cost of $160,000 (equivalent of approximately $2,000,000 today). Under the leadership of A.L. Pikar, the theatre became the center of entertainment in the Ironwood area. The Hollywood Golden Age of the 30s, 40s and 50s followed the Great Depression and the theatre flourished during these decades.
Learn more about the history of the theatre during a tour! Call the theatre at 906-932-0618 to set one up! Or take in one of the many shows & performances put on throughout the year!
- Adventure Mining Company- located in Greenland Michigan, operates real mining tours of the once operational Adventure Iron and Copper Mine. The mine opened in 1850 and closed in 1920. It is the best preserved mining site of its age. The tours offer an insight into real mining, the way that it was. These range from adventure to educational levels and are available from late May into mid October.
- Stormy Kromer Factory Tours- See where and how the famous Stormy Kromers are made. Free factory tours weekdays at 1:30pm. (unfortunately the factory tours are suspended due to COVID, in the meantime, you can get a glimpse of the factory virtually. Watch the video here)
- Little Finland- The National Finnish American Festival (NFAF) Cultural Center, known as Little Finland, is located on US Highway 2, just west of US Highway 51 South. The center keeps alive the proud heritage of the many Finnish immigrants who settled in the Hurley Area. Its’ purpose is to foster a cultural center and preserve the Finns rich heritage with song, dance, and ethnic foods.
Annual Area Events
This area boasts a year-round schedule of community events. From ski racing to weekend long festivals to atv rally’s, there’s something for everyone!
- January: Snowmobile Olympus- Exciting snowmobile racing action on the fast & historic track located at the Gogebic County Fairgrounds. Ironwood, MI.
- May: Memorial Day Weekend ATV Rally– Ride the trails, participate in the Poker Run, attempt the infamous mud pit, & ride in the largest parade of ATV/UTVs you have ever seen. Hurley, WI
- July: Bessemer Blast- A full week of Fourth of July fun! You will find games, mud runs, karaoke, street bowling, and the best parade & fireworks in the upper Mid-West! Bessemer, MI
- July: Festival Ironwood– Four days filled with live music, great food, fun contests and exciting activities. Ironwood, MI
- August: Gogebic County Fair– Four days filled with rides, shows, live music, and great food. Enjoy unique events like the antique tractor pull, lumberjack shows, livestock auctions, and more! Ironwood, MI
- August: Paavo Nurmi Marathon– Wisconsin’s Oldest Marathon Held the Second Saturday in August. Ending on Hurley’s Famous Silver Street this event is a great time for all. Event categories include: Full Marathon, Half Marathon, 2 person Relay & 5 person Relay. Hurley, WI
- September: Bessemer Pumpkinfest– Fall festival that includes free carnival rides, crafts, car and tractor shows, variety entertainment, pet events, contests, games, food events, face painting, bingo, dessert social, raffles, Zombie Pub crawl, Fall Harvest Dinner, and much more. Bessemer, MI
- October: ATV/UTV Pumpkinrun– The Annual Pumpkin Run ATV/UTV Rally is held in Mercer, Wisconsin and takes place on all Iron County ATV/UTV trails and routes. The purpose of our rally is for participants to take part in a poker run, making stops at different locations across all of the ATV/UTV Trails. Iron County, WI
- December: Jack Frost Festival– Christmas card charm in downtown Ironwood. Friends and family line the streets to witness the famous Jack Frost Festival of Light Parade. The spectacular festivity with floats, lights, and a special appearance by Mr. Jack Frost. Ironwood, MI