Activities in the Keweenaw Part 2: Kayaking and Canoeing

Hello Parents,

Me and a friend during a canoeing/camping trip at Sylvania Wilderness and Recreation Area in Watersmeet, Michigan.
Me and a friend during a canoeing/camping trip at Sylvania Wilderness and Recreation Area in Watersmeet, Michigan.

I hope you’re all having a great week!  The Fourth of July Weekend here was absolutely beautiful!  Friday the Fourth was gorgeous and sunny, and it made up for the rain we got on Saturday and Sunday. The weekend was a glorious celebration filled with fireworks, parades, food, music, and family fun. I hope you all had a wonderful celebration of your own within your own communities.  I spent the holiday weekend with my family and celebrated with relatives whom I don’t often see, so I had a wonderful weekend!  I hope you all did, too.

This week, I’d like to continue with the second part of our Activities in the Keweenaw series.  The first article in May outlined the various hiking spots in the Keweenaw for students to visit; this week’s post will outline the beautiful spots in the Keweenaw to kayak and canoe.

Because Houghton is an area surrounded by a variety of lakes, rivers, canals, and streams, kayaking and canoeing are a huge part of culture here. There are countless places for students to stick a kayak in the water and start paddling. Here are some of the more popular places where paddlers like to visit:

Copper Harbor
Copper Harbor offers a wide variety of waterways for kayakers and canoers alike to explore. Most of these are inland lakes that are all within a ten-mile radius of the Harbor’s village limits. These lakes include Lake Fanny Hooe, Lake Manganese, Lake Medora, Lac La Belle, Schlatter’s Lake, and Lake Bailey. These lakes provide beautiful scenery and a plethora of wildlife and waterfowl to observe along the way, all within a short drive from the Houghton/Hancock area.

Chassell: Sturgeon River and Sloughs
The Sturgeon River also offers an exciting adventure for local kayakers and canoers to paddle. The site offers a ramp for launching and landing small boats, which is especially convenient for those canoeing. Explorers can make their way around the bay, down the Pike River or Sturgeon River, and can enter the Sturgeon Sloughs. The Sturgeon River offers beautiful scenic views, complete with wild animals such as deer, beavers, and waterfowl.

Keweenaw Water Trail
The Keweenaw Water Trail runs along a beautiful rugged coastline of the Keweenaw Peninsula and explores wilderness areas with parks, nature preserves, and sheltered harbors for camping spread intermittently throughout the trail. This waterway is unique because it allows the paddler to make a loop around the pathway without having to backtrack along the trail. The entire route can be paddled between six and eight days, so it’s a great trip for the adventurous paddler!

In addition to these exciting waterways, there are also plenty of kayaking and canoeing options right here in Houghton. One obvious choice for many kayakers and canoers alike is the Keweenaw Waterway, which includes Portage Lake, roughly on the Chassell side of the bridge, and the Portage Canal on the other. Paddlers can launch from anywhere along the canal and enjoy a beautiful trip that’s a little closer to home.

If your student is interested in kayaking and/or canoeing but does not have one of his or her own, there are plenty of options for students to rent within the local area. The first and most convenient place to rent kayaks and canoes is Michigan Tech’s own Outdoor Adventure Program (OAP).  Kayak and canoe rentals from the OAP are exclusive to Michigan Tech students, and we can rent a canoe or kayak from the OAP for as little as $20!  Other places in the Houghton and Hancock area  to rent are Houghton PowerSports in Houghton and M&M PowerSports in Hancock.  Lastly, the Keweenaw Adventure Company in Copper Harbor also rents kayaks and canoes.  In addition to equipment rentals, the Keweenaw Adventure Company offers guided trips and lessons as well, which can be really helpful for students eager to explore new areas or need a little extra help learning the ropes.

As you can see, there is a huge variety of places for your students to visit and paddle in the Keweenaw this summer. The Keweenaw is a very beautiful, scenic area with a lot of waterways that can be used to explore its natural, rustic exterior.  For more information on areas to paddle in the Keweenaw, please visit the Keweenaw Convention and Visitor’s Bureau website.

That’s all I have for you this week!  If you have any questions about places to kayak and/or canoe in the Keweenaw, or would like to see more information written on a specific topic, please feel free to email me at Until next week!



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