Houghton Things to Do Tips by KimberlyAnn Top 5 Page for this destination
Houghton Things to Do: 17 reviews and 21 photos
Boardwalk in the Sloughs
If you enjoy hiking, there is a lovely 1.4 mile hiking trail a few miles east of Chassell. Drive east from Houghton and through Chassell. A few miles outside of Chassell you will see a sign on your left for the Sturgeon Sloughs Wildlife Area and a lookout platform. From here you can take the pleasant, short walk that will lead you through a grassland, marsh, and forest to the Sturgeon Sloughs where you can stand on a deck and look out at the river. If it is a warm, sunny day and you have binoculars you may spot turtles resting on the downed trees and logs along the shore.
Warning: Sadly the last time I walked this area, I found that the various groups that established the trail were no longer maintaining it. The boardwalk is becoming more overgrown (see my 3rd photo), and there are also a few loose boards. In one section the boardwalk is tilted at an angle, and there are areas where there is only a footpath made by others walking before you. The grass around this narrow footpath can be quite tall, so don’t wear shorts. Also a bench along the river has been taken over by large ferns growing through and around it. Hopefully in the future, one of these organizations will again take up the chore of maintaining the trail.
Private Yacht At the City Dock and the Lift Bridge
The Houghton Waterfront Trail is a paved path, with a boardwalk section that is wheel chair friendly and runs along the Keweenaw Waterway, sometimes called the Portage Shipping Canal. This walk is about 1.4 miles one-way, and is an easy, level stroll. You can begin this walk from either end, but I will describe it from the west end, which begins at Waterfront Park. This park is located off of highway 26 on the west side of town. You will find a parking area at the park, along with a pavilion and restrooms. You will have a great view of the Portage Lake Lift Bridge, as this walk will take you under and past the bridge. From the parking lot the trail runs to the left, and parallel to Memorial Drive. It will run along the waterfront for the entire route. When you get to the board walk area, continue along this, and when it ends at a boat ramp, continue along the black top path. At the eastern end of this walk you will find a picnic area with grills, benches, and a nice view of the bridge and waterway. Bridgeview Park, located on the east end has a sign that will give you historic information about the Portage Shipping Canal, and the bridge, as well as the Copper Boom. This sign includes historic photos. You will pass a public city dock, where you may see private yachts tied up. There will be two entrances to parking areas along this section that you will cross. One is for the Isle Royal National Park Headquarters. On the east end you will find the East Houghton Waterfront Park. Across the Waterway is the old, historic, Quincy Smelting Works.
Directions: Located along the waterway, this paved trail runs from the east side of town to the west.
Waterfont Park's Beach
Along the Keweenaw waterway on the west side of Houghton, you will find the Waterfront Park recreation area. This park offers a shelter, picnic area with barbeque grills and tables, public restrooms, a concession stand serving snacks, a small beach, and a playground with Chutes and Ladders. Chutes and ladders is a play area composed of various sizes of ladders and slides, which my son enjoyed even as a teenager. Photo two is of the Chutes and Ladders playground.
Directions: Located off of highway 26 near the City RV Park on the west side of town along the waterway.
Quincy Mine Shaft #2
Drive across the bridge to The Quincy Mining Company, a cooperating site of the Keweenaw National Historical Park. This was organized on March 30, 1848 after the discovery of copper in the Keweenaw Peninsula, the “Copper Country” of Michigan. A visit here will give you a first hand glimpse of what our Nation’s first mineral boom was like. As part of your visit to this museum you will see the steam hoist building, the Number Two Shafthouse, and experience a short underground copper mining excursion. The Quincy Steam Hoist is the world’s largest steam driven mine hoist and was first operational in 1920. Occupying a four-story hoist house, this hoist could lift 10 tons of copper ore at 36.4 miles per hour. The museum contains the largest display of artifacts and photos in the area. Surrounding the Hoisthouse are a number of mining and railroad artifacts. The Quincy Number Two Shafthouse is the symbol of the “Copper County” and is recognizable from miles around. This Shafthouse is 150 feet tall, was built in 1908, contains all of its original workings and is part of the guided tour. The East Adit and the Quincy Mine was begun in 1860 as an exploratory horizontal tunnel for copper and later provided access to the other Quincy shafts. In 1975 Michigan Technological University began using this as an experimental mine in its related engineering studies and research. As part of your tour you will proceed 2000 feet through the side of Quincy Hill into the original mine workings from the Civil War era. Here you will view numerous mining displays and actual underground mined-out rooms called stopes. This museum is open Mid-May through Mid-October.
My third photo shows a landscape view of the mine, sitting atop the hill over the Hancock Marina.
Address: 49750 US Highway 41, Hancock, MI 49930
Directions: Across the Keweenaw Waterway from Houghton, you will see the Quincy Mine Shaft House #2 on a hill above Hancock.
If you enjoy rocks and minerals visit the A.E. Seaman Mineral Museum, a cooperating site of the Keweenaw National Historical Park. It is located on fifth floor of the Electrical Energy Resource Center at the campus of the Michigan Technological University in Houghton, Michigan. There are over 20,000 mineral specimens on display in this museum, and it is considered to be one of the best university mineral museums in the world. They also have one of the best fluorescent minerals exhibits that I have seen. Pick up information and directions for this at Keweenaw Peninsula Chamaber of commerce, located at 902 College Avenue in Houghton.
Address: 1400 Townsend Drive, Houghton, Michigan
Directions: On the Michigan Technological U. Campus.
Take a scenic boat tour down the Keweenaw waterway aboard the Keweenaw Star . The Keweenaw Star is a 110 foot excursion boat capable of carrying 149 passengers along the waterway that served the miners in their heyday. You will enjoy both the history and the scenery of the Keweenaw waterway. They have a full bar, snacks, air conditioning and heat with a dining room for dinner cruises, and an upper deck.
You will enjoy viewing homes, cabins, and the natural environment. Watch for blue herons, bald eagle, cormorants, ducks, Canadian geese, and other birds along your way. At the end of the waterway you will see the working lighthouse that still guides boats safely from Lake Superior to the waterway entrance.
Some of the cruises available are sunset cruises, dinner cruises, lighthouse cruises, color cruises, sightseeing cruises, and special events such as viewing the fireworks in Torch Bay on July 3rd. The Keweenaw Star operates from May through October, departing at 7:00 P.M. May through Labor Day, and 6:00 P.M. Labor Day through October.
The Star is also available for private groups and afternoon charters.
Purchase your tickets at the Dee Stadium, which is located at the corner of E. Lakeshore Drive and Portage Street.
Address: 700 E. Lakeshore Drive, Houghton, Michigan
Directions: The excursion boat is located along the waterway in downtown Houghton next to Dee Stadium.
Other Contact: Email: email@example.com
Phone: (906 )-482-0884
Take a drive to the shores of Lake Superior, sometimes called the unsalted sea. When we took a friend from Japan to the shores of Lake Superior she could not believe that this was not an ocean. She had to taste the water to be sure it wasn’t salty before she could believe it. Here are some interesting facts about Superior. This lake covers 31,280 square miles, which is equal to the combined area of the states of Massachusetts, Connecticut, Rhode Island, Vermont, and New Hampshire. Lake Superior stretches 350 miles east west and 160 miles north south. It takes the sun 30 minutes to arc over the lake. This is the deepest of the Great Lakes with a maximum known depth of 1,333 ft. This lake filled with glacial melt water 10,000 years ago. It holds three quadrillion gallons of water which is enough to cover all of North and South America with a foot of water. Waves of up to 30 feet high have been recorded during storm conditions on the lake. 1979 was the last time the entire surface of the lake froze in the winter. Water temperature averages 40 degrees Fahrenheit, although bays and inlets can warm to 60 or 70 degrees in late summer. Lake scientists call Lake Superior an “ultra-oligotrophic body” meaning that it has few nutrients, sediments, and other material in its waters. Lake and brook trout are native to Superior. Humans have put Brown and rainbow trout, Coho, Chinook, pink, and Atlantic Salomon into the lake. 89% of the Lake Superior basin is forested. The lake has 2,730 miles of shoreline.
More Reviews (35)
- See All A Hotel Across the Waterway
- See All A Taste From Various Countries
- See All An International Food Market
- See All The Portage Lift Bridge
- Winter and Summer Sport Opportunities
- See All So You Want To Visit Isle Royal National...
KimberlyAnn's Related Pages
Houghton Travel Guide
Member Travel Pages
- "Houghton, Michigan, Our Home Away From Home"
- ""My old [Michigan] home""
- "Copper and Turbo"
- "Basaic Isle Royale National Park/Houghton Page"
- "cynthi's Houghton Page"
- "Houghton, MI"
- "lintman1's Houghton Page"
- See All...
- Things to Do in Houghton
- Hotels in Houghton
- Transportation in Houghton
- Nightlife in Houghton
- Restaurants in Houghton
- Shopping in Houghton
- Warnings and Dangers in Houghton
- See All...
Explore the World
- Schönau am Königssee
- Pulau Telok Gong Hotels
- Krems an der Donau Hotels
- Ohridsko Ezero Hotels
- Bad Goisern
- Sechelt Hotels
Badges & Stats in Houghton
- 42 Reviews
- 98 Photos
- 1 Forum posts
- 11 Comments
- See All Stats
- See All Badges (40)
Have you been to Houghton?Share Your Travels
Latest Activity in Houghton
Photos in HoughtonSee All Photos (98)
Top 10 Pages
- Top 5 Page for this destination Yellowstone National Park Intro, 86 reviews, 208 photos, 5 travelogues
- Top 5 Page for this destination Cody Intro, 66 reviews, 212 photos, 6 travelogues
- Grand Teton National Park Intro, 57 reviews, 142 photos
- Florida Intro, 50 reviews, 92 photos, 1 travelogue
- Top 5 Page for this destination Houghton Intro, 42 reviews, 98 photos, 2 travelogues
- Copper Harbor Intro, 36 reviews, 90 photos, 3 travelogues
- Top 5 Page for this destination Marquette Intro, 31 reviews, 76 photos, 3 travelogues
- Top 5 Page for this destination Theodore Roosevelt National Memorial Park Intro, 28 reviews, 60 photos
- Top 5 Page for this destination Big Bend National Park Intro, 37 reviews, 46 photos
- Death Valley National Park Intro, 26 reviews, 52 photos, 1 travelogue