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Adventure Magazine

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The Hot Zones
Houghton, Michigan
Houghton, Michigan A Superior Sports Port

• Access
• Hiking
• Diving
• Paddling
• Biking
• Room and Board
• Resources

The Keweenaw Peninsula juts out into Lake Superior like a 60-mile-long [97-kilometer-long] thumb. Houghton is right in the middle, gateway to thousands of square miles of forests and waterways, as well as Isle Royale National Park.

As the largest town in the area, Houghton is also the cultural hub, with restaurants, lodging, even a small university to add to the atmosphere of leafy Midwestern tranquility—earning it a place in the book The Best 100 Small Towns in America.

All prices in U.S. dollars
 

Access
Northwest flies into Houghton several times a day.

Hiking
With 165 miles [265 kilometers] of hiking trails, roadless Isle Royale is made for backpacking. The pièce de résistance: the Greenstone Ridge Trail, 40 miles [64 kilometers] of rugged trekking along the spine of the island, past woodland lakes and shorelines, and up and down steep ridges popping with wildflowers.

You can reach Isle Royale via a park-operated ferry that departs Houghton for Isle Royale twice a week ($96 round-trip).

Diving
Scores of divable shipwrecks lie in Keweenaw Underwater Preserve, along the north shore. The Mesquite, a U.S. Coast Guard cutter that went down in 110 feet [33.5 meters] of water in 1989, is in excellent condition; virtually all its equipment is still on deck.

Other wrecks are concentrated near Eagle River, Eagle Harbor, Copper Harbor, and Lac La Belle. Superior Divers Center (+1 906 289 3483), in Copper Harbor, has guided underwater tours starting at $60 an hour.

Paddling
The hundred-mile [161-kilometer] Keweenaw Water Trail circles the peninsula; for a free route map, contact the Keweenaw Tourism Council (800 338 7982 [U.S. and Canada only]; www.keweenaw.org).

Full-day excursions with Keweenaw Adventure Company (+1 906 289 4303; www.keweenawadventure.com), in Copper Harbor, are $95.

Biking
The Jack Stevens Trail winds 14 forested miles [23 kilometers] on an abandoned rail bed between the Portage Lake Lift Bridge and Calumet.

The Hancock Bike Shop (+1 906 482 5234) rents bikes for $15 per day.

Room and Board
Rooms in the porticoed Charleston House Historic Inn come with four-poster beds (doubles $238; 800 482 7404 [U.S. and Canada only]; www.charlestonhouseinn.com).

The Douglas House Saloon (+1 906 482 2003), aka "the dog house," is a popular hangout for local undergrads.

Resources
Keweenaw Peninsula Chamber of Commerce (800 338 7982 [U.S. and Canada only]; www.keweenaw.org)

Isle Royale National Park (+1 906 482 0984; www.nps.gov/isro)

U.S. Map

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