Archives—May 2014

Activities in the Keweenaw Part 1: Hiking

Hello Parents,

A photo of the Holy Transfiguration Monastic Park in Eagle Harbor.  Shared by the monks of the Holy Transfiguration Skete, these rugged trails span 2.5 miles and allow hikers to enjoy a span of natural beauty
A photo of the Holy Transfiguration Monastic Park in Eagle Harbor. Home to the monks of the Holy Transfiguration Skete and shared to the public, these rugged trails span 2.5 miles and allow hikers to enjoy a span of natural wildlife and unparalleled beauty.  Photo courtesy of the Keweenaw Convention and Visitors Bureau.

I hope you all had a wonderful Memorial Day weekend!  The weather here has been absolutely beautiful as it feels like summer has finally started. The sun is shining, birds are chirping, and a warm breeze sweeps by as it seems like residents have awoken from hibernation and are finally getting to spend time outside. With this gorgeous weather finally here, everyone in the community is out and about, whether they’re cycling, running, walking, rollerblading, hiking or swimming! There’s plenty to do in the Keweenaw during the summer months, and this will be the first of multiple installments describing some of the exciting activities in which students and community members alike can participate.

This week I’d like to talk about different areas to hike in the Keweenaw. Hiking is a big part of the culture here during the summer. There is so much nature, forests, and undeveloped land that it’s close to impossible not to find a gripping area to explore! Many tourists come from all over the country to visit the Keweenaw during the summer and explore the forests and natural wonders.  Below, I’ve outlined a handful of some of trails to hike. A full list of trails can be found at the Keweenaw Convention and Visitors Bureau website.

Copper Country Trails
1.) Twin Lakes Nature Trail
The Twin Lakes Nature Trail is located in the Twin Lakes State Park in Twin Lakes. There are 1.25 miles of hiking trails that run through the original Military Road connecting Green Bay, to Fort Wilkins in Copper Harbor.  The terrain is flat and easy to hike.  A Michigan Recreation Passport is required for entrance into the park.

2.) Tech Trails
The Michigan Tech Trails are located across from the Student Development Complex and houses 35 km of trails and a variety of terrain for hikers of all levels. The trails range from easy to difficult, wind around the southern boundary of Houghton, and lead into the Houghton-Portage Township School Forest. These are great trails for your students to explore because they are free for students and really convenient to visit.

3.) Marsin Preserve
The Marsin Preserve is owned by the Keweenaw Land Trust and is located on the Houghton Canal. The sanctuary was designed to make natural land open to the public to explore and enjoy the outdoors. There is both a preserve and a 0.75 mile hiking trail that includes forested and shrubby areas, wet meadows, and a plethora of wildlife and waterfowl to observe.

4.) Black Creek Nature Sanctuary
The Black Creek Nature Sanctuary is a Michigan Nature Association Sanctuary that includes 241 acres of land and 1,500 feet of Lake Superior Shoreline. Located in Calumet, the terrain on the trail is moderately difficult, as it includes sloping geography. The views of Lake Superior, beaver ponds, and stark trees make this a beautiful trail to visit.

Keweenaw Peninsula Trails
1.) Gratiot Lake Overlook Sanctuary
The Gratiot Lake Overlook Sanctuary includes 100 acres of Michigan Nature Association Sanctuary and one mile of nature trails. The terrain is moderately strenuous and includes a gentle 400-foot climb. This beautiful trail includes a panoramic view of Gratiot Lake from a high bluff as well as gorgeous views of a waterfall on Eister Creek.

2.) Central Mine and Village
The Central Mine site houses two hiking trails (one is .25 miles long and the other is .5 miles long).  Sponsored by the Keweenaw Historic Society, these trails explore the woods and the historic site of the Central Mine which operated from 1854 to 1898. The Central Mine and Village is especially unique because it explores wooded areas as well as a historic site within its trails.

A view of the top of Bare Bluff of Grinnell Memorial Nature Sanctuary.  Photo courtesy of
A view of the top of Bare Bluff of Grinnell Memorial Nature Sanctuary. Photo courtesy of the Keweenaw Convention and Visitors Bureau.

3.) Redwyn Dunes Nature Sanctuary
The Redwyn Dunes Nature Sanctuary is a unique one-mile hiking trail that weaves around sand dunes, dune ponds, and wooded areas in Eagle River.  A wide variety of waterfowl can be observed in the sanctuary. The terrain is gentle and is an enjoyable hike for all.

4.) Lake Bailey Audubon Sanctuary
The Lake Bailey Audubon Sanctuary near Eagle Harbor houses two miles of hiking trails that weave through thick, dense woods. It’s a beautiful hike for tree and plant enthusiasts, as many of the wildlife species here are rare or threatened.

5.) Keweenaw Shore/Upson Lake Nature Sanctuary
Starting at the Keweenaw Shore Nature Sanctuary, this beautiful two mile hike takes hikers across unique Keweenaw geology and a wide variety of wildlife habitats. It is the only hiking trail in the Keweenaw that is not a loop. It ends at the Upson Lake Nature Sanctuary in Eagle Harbor, which also gives rise to beautiful and bountiful wildlife.

6.) Estivant Pines
Estivant Pines Wilderness Nature Sanctuary in Copper Harbor is a beautiful woodland that houses more than 510 acres of hardwood and eastern white pine trees.  This Nature Sanctuary offers three interspersed looped trails of one mile, 1.2 miles, and 2.5 miles of robust, rugged terrain. These lustrous trails are open year round to for hiking, cross country skiing, and snowshoeing.

7.) Grinnell Memorial Nature Sanctuary
This most beautiful and challenging hike to Bare Bluff in Bete Gris is one of the most phenomenal sites in the Keweenaw.  This three mile hike is at a high difficulty level, and it’s advised to allow three hours for the trip.  The top of Grinnell Memorial Nature Sanctuary overlooks the southeast view of the Keweenaw Peninsula in a stunning view of Lake Superior and the surrounding areas of the Keweenaw.  This is truly one of the most beautiful popular spots in the area.

8.) James Dorian Rooks Nature Sanctuary
Formerly known as the Brockway Mountain Nature Sanctuary, the James Dorian Rooks Nature Sanctuary is a beautiful trail of ridges and crags that overlooks Lake Superior. Located near Copper Harbor, these trails give a breathtaking view of the Keweenaw.

For more information on hiking trails in the Keweenaw, please visit the Keweenaw Convention and Visitors Bureau website.

As you can see, there are many trails with a  variety of difficulty levels to hike in the Keweenaw Peninsula. I highly encourage your students to visit some of these wonderful trails, if they haven’t already explored them! The unparalleled beauty of the nature in the UP isn’t something to pass up, and as you can see, there are plenty of opportunities to explore some of the wonderful nature reserves and wildlife in the area!

That’s all for this week. If you have any questions about the trails mentioned in this article, or would like to learn more about a specific topic, please feel free to email me at  In the mean time, enjoy the beautiful weather outside, and I hope you get to explore some your own hiking trails in your hometown!  Until next week!


Community Events in May

Hello Parents,

A photo of the employees of the local grocery store, Keweenaw Co-op for Bike to Work Day 2010.  Photo courtesy of the Keweenaw Co-op.
A photo of the employees of the local grocery store, Keweenaw Co-op, for Bike to Work Day 2010. Photo courtesy of the Keweenaw Co-op.

I hope you’re all having a great week!  Everything in Houghton has been going wonderfully, as classes have kicked off to a great start and the weather is on its way to turning this season into a beautiful summer.  Although it’s not quite as crowded during the regular academic year, campus is abuzz with hard-working students and student employees as they work their way through the summer months.

As I mentioned in my previous post, there is a lot going on in the Keweenaw this summer!  Last Thursday marked the sixth annual Bike to Work Day, where local residents were invited to go green and reduce their carbon footprint by walking or riding their bicycle to work rather than driving their car. Rest stops were designated along the way in various areas around the Keweenaw for participants to enjoy some light refreshments and conversation with friends on their way to work.  Participants were invited to register to be eligible for prizes donated by local bike shops. This is a really cool event that makes improving fitness and helping the environment fun and enjoyable, and it’s a great way to build community within the local area!

Here are some other events going on in the area for the remainder of the month:

May 23-25: Ride the Keweenaw Weekend
Ride the Keweenaw is an annual event sponsored by various local businesses and hosted by the Copper Harbor Trails Club.  Events will take place on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday and include guided group rides and tours of the Keweenaw and its various bike trails, clinics and demonstrations of mountain biking tricks and techniques, as well as trail races and grill-outs. This is a fantastic opportunity to learn more about and celebrate mountain biking in the UP, and it’s a great way to promote the stunning qualities that the Keweenaw has to offer.

May 25: Small Mouth Bass Opening Day and Copper Harbor Birding Festival
Get your fishing poles ready as the opening day for smallmouth bass fishing is coming up quick!  There are places all around the UP to fish for smallmouth bass.

May is the prime migratory month for birds in the Midwest. Bird enthusiasts enjoy this season for bird watching and studying. Copper Harbor Birding hosts an annual festival each weekend in May to celebrate the migratory patterns of birds. This weekend they will be taking a bird and bug field trip to Estivant Pines Nature Sanctuary and observe spring migrants and permanent residents of the habitat.  For more details and directions, please visit the Copper Harbor Birding website.

May 26: Memorial Day
Memorial Day is a salient day to commemorate our fallen soldiers. Classes at Michigan Tech are canceled and will resume on Tuesday, May 27. In addition, Fort Wilkins Historic State Park in Copper Harbor will be hosting a Memorial Day Program in honor of lost soldiers. The event will occur on the parade grounds of the park and include a Memorial Day address, musical commendation, a presentation from the students of the Copper Harbor Schoolhouse, and a presentation of colors by the Marine Corps League. Local cemeteries will also have commemorative events, as will Veterans Park in Houghton.

That’s all for this week!  I hope your students are having fun,  staying busy, and enjoying the remainder of May. If you have any questions about any of these events or would like more information on a specific topic, please feel free to email me at  Until next week!



Welcome to Summer!

Hello Parents,

A lovely picture of the Houghton Bridge, which will be celebrating its 55th year of service during the annual Bridgefest Celebration taking place this summer.
A lovely picture of the Houghton Bridge, which will be celebrating its 55th year of service during the annual Bridgefest Celebration taking place this summer.

I hope you’re all having a great week!  With finals complete and the spring semester finished, it’s time for Track A courses and the summer to finally begin.

As some of you may have noticed, there was an absence of last week’s article, and I sincerely apologize for this oversight. I will be sure not to let it happen again, and I hope that the information in this week’s post makes up for it!

This summer is filled with upcoming excitement as summer courses, campus tours, Summer Youth Programs, and Athletic camps take place throughout the four-month break until the 2014-2015 academic year begins. Wadsworth Hall will soon be abuzz with both undergrad students as well as students from these camps throughout the summer. The Rozsa Center will also host a plethora of events during the summer, as various performances will begin July 19 and continue through early August, when they take a short break until they come back in  full swing this fall. As you can see, there’s a lot to look forward to as we begin the summer term!

There’s also a lot to look forward to within the local community as well. Various summer events such as Bike to Work Day, the annual Bridgefest celebration, and the Art and Music Festival in Downtown Houghton will take place during this time. Many of these special events are local traditions, and I look forward to sharing more information about them as they approach this summer!  For more information on these and other events taking place in the Copper Country this season, please visit the City of Houghton Website.

As Track A courses start to take off, Housing and Residential Life has reopened for the summer on Saturday. Wadsworth Dining Hall also reopened for the summer today, and summer courses began today and continue until Thursday, June 26.  The last day for your students to drop Track A courses is Thursday, May 15. Track B Courses will begin June 3 and will continue through August 14.

As you can already see, there’s a lot to anticipate this summer, and it will definitely be a memorable one! Summertime in the Copper Country is truly a unique experience, and I’m excited to share all of the exciting events with you this coming summer. Until next time!


2014 Spring Commencement

Hello Parents,

A snapshot of a 2013 graduate as he prepares to accept his diploma
A snapshot of an excited graduate during Spring Commencement 2013

I hope you all had a great start to the week!  It has come down to the wire as finals week has come and gone, and students are either packed up and set off for home or are preparing themselves for commencement this Saturday. This week has been pretty turbulent for students as they prepared to finish off the semester with poise. The weekend before and the Monday and Tuesday of finals week are typically extremely chaotic. As a student, you’d be lucky to find a secluded place in the library to study! It’s usually bombarded with scores of hard-working students as each work to do their best to ace their finals. The Wednesday of finals week is usually a lot calmer, and campus seems to die down a bit as most students are finished with their finals. Now that finals week is conquered, students can exhale a sigh of relief as they embrace their hard-earned summer break.

Students can find their final grades and final exam scores via Banweb. Once logged in, students can click the Students tab → Student RecordsFinal Grades. When you see the drop-down menu, click Spring 2014. If this option is not showing up in the drop-down menu, it means that there are no grades submitted yet for this semester. Once at least one final grade has been submitted, your student will be able to click Spring 2014 and check his or her final grades.

With the conclusion of finals comes commencement. The 2014 Spring Commencement will take place this Saturday, May 3, at 10:30 a.m. at the MacInnes Student Ice Arena. A complete list of all undergraduate graduation candidates can be found on the commencement website. This year’s commencement speaker will be former NASA astronaut and associate administrator for education, Leland D. Melvin, and the student speaker will be sound-design major Collin Doerr-Newton. If you are unable to attend commencement but would still like to take part in the activities, a live-stream commencement video is available to watch from the comfort of your own home.

Graduates can claim up to four commencement tickets at the Campus Bookstore from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. through Friday, May 2.  After May 2, students can receive additional, unclaimed tickets from the SDC Central Ticket Office on a first-come, first-served basis. Graduates are expected to attend commencement rehearsal on Friday at 1:30 p.m. Students will line up at the SDC Multipurpose Room and proceed to the MacInnes Student Ice Arena. Rehearsal will last approximately one hour, and graduates aren’t expected to wear their cap and gown for rehearsal. Signs will be posted by department, and then by the name of the student, so students just need to find their department, name, and then get in line!

On the day of commencement, graduates are expected to arrive no later than 9:45 AM. Family members are not permitted to sit with their graduate and must sit in the appropriate seating for audience members. It’s important for guests to keep in mind that the MacInnes Student Ice Arena and Wood Gym are alcohol-free facilities, and no alcohol will be tolerated in these areas. For guests with mobility limitations, special seating will also be available. Unfortunately, however, Michigan Tech is unable to provide wheelchairs. In addition, a signer will be present to assist the hearing impaired throughout the commencement ceremony.

A birds-eye view of a past commencement in the McInnis Student Ice Arena
A birds-eye view of a past commencement in the McInnis Student Ice Arena

Commencement photo arrangements have been made with a professional photographer to take a photo of each graduate as he or she receives their diploma on stage. Ordering information will be mailed to each graduate’s home within four to six weeks of commencement.

In addition to commencement, there are also a plethora of receptions and celebrations for undergraduate candidates to attend. The President’s Reception for Graduates for graduates and their families will be held on Friday, May 2 from 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. at the MUB Ballroom.  Hosted by President Glenn Mroz, this reception will provide hors d’oeuvres and a cash bar.  Business attire is requested.  No RSVP is necessary, but questions can be directed to Roberta Dessellier at 906-487-2200 or via email at The Graduate Reception will also take place directly after commencement in the SDC Multipurpose Room. Special areas for taking photos will be available and light refreshments will be provided. Commencement flowers will also be available for purchase before and after the ceremony while supplies last. Funds from the flower sales go toward the Michigan Tech Student Foundation endowment for student scholarships.

In addition to these receptions, the 2014 Commencement Brunch will take place on Saturday, May 3, 1:00–3:00 p.m. in the MUB Isle Royale Ballroom. Tickets can be purchased online, at Ticketing Operations in the SDC or may be purchased at the door for $26 per person (admission is free for children under ten years of age).  A full menu for the brunch can be viewed at the Commencement Brunch Website, and includes carved roast round of beef, carved leg of lamb with mint jalapeno sauce, grilled rosemary chicken, and a variety of other enticing cuisine to enjoy.

If you have any questions regarding commencement, please contact Emily Walikainen at the Registrar’s Office by phone at 906-487-2319 or by email at

That’s it for this week!  As students get ready to embark on their summer adventures—whether they return home, study abroad, stay at Tech, or enjoy another adventure—I hope that they stay safe and enjoy their time off!  If you have any questions about commencement or would like to see more information on a specific topic, please feel free to email me at I will continue to write updates on ParentNet Weekly over the summer, so I look forward to sharing some of the exciting news from around the Keweenaw during the summer months! Until next week!