The 16 Greatest Places to Live in America by Outside Magazine, Sept. 2014

A dip in Lake Superior.   Photo: Aaron Peterson
A dip in Lake Superior. Photo: Aaron Peterson


—–Houghton was rated number 15 out of 16 greatest places to live in America. —–

—– The article says —–

Yes, Houghton (pop. 7,700) is out there. It’s about as far north as you can get in the state, on the far point of a peninsula (the Keweenaw) that’s already on a remote peninsula (the Upper). And yes, the winters are eight months long. But that means that your neighbors and the students at Michigan Tech—who double the population during the school year—are not only your friends but your adventure partners, too. And there’s plenty to do, even in winter.

More than 28 miles of World Cup-caliber nordic trails track the outskirts of town (Michigan Tech will host the National XC Skiing Championships in 2015 and 2016), and nearby Mount Bohemia claims the best powder east of the Rockies, with an annual average of 273 inches and 900 feet of vertical. Come summer there’s boating, surfing, and kiting on Lake Superior and the 23.5-mile Portage Canal, weekly outdoor concerts downtown, and some of the country’s most underappreciated mountain-bike trails at Copper Harbor. “There’s not one outdoor sport you can’t do here,” says Caleb Wendel, an avid mountain biker and owner of Houghton’s Rhythm Bike and Board.

Climbers head to Cliff Drive, to scale Shit Hooks and some 70 other routes rated to 5.11d, or ice-climb Horsetail Falls at Red Ridge, where 40-to-80-foot cliffs overlook Lake Superior. Anglers aim for Pilgrim River to fish for trout or catch spring steelhead on the Elm and Misery Rivers south of town. To refuel, grab a Widow Maker black ale at Keweenaw Brewing Company, and don’t miss the pork and beef pasty at Roy’s Pasties and Bakery.
—Nick Davidson

Make the Move
Any house in town is well situated, but look for one in the $100,000 range close to Portage Canal for the best access to local restaurants, Lake Superior, and trails (citywide median: $130,000). The largest employers include Michigan Tech and Portage Health (median household income: $23,912).

Article By: THE EDITORS at Outside Magazine

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