NPS Getaway of the Month: Keweenaw National Historical Park
NPS- Dan Johnson
Every month the National Park Service highlights one of our nation’s most notable parks. This month’s featured escape is home to historic mining ruins and must-hike sections of the North Country National Scenic Trail.
Being home to the first metal mining site in all of North America, the history of this well-preserved Michigan-based site goes back over 7,000 years.
Today, Keweenaw visitors are presented with the opportunity to revisit how the area’s first settlers lived, exploring old mines, churches, abandoned railroads and museums that now house old items like cast-iron stoves and even clothes from the families and workers who lived there in the late 1800’s.
C and H mine captain's office. Credit: NPS/ Dan Johnson
Take a ride on an old steam engine where you’ll have the chance to view vintage vehicles along the way, and you can even tour the still-standing, wooden homes that the area’s settlers once lived in.
A trek down the park’s section of the North Country Trail will present you not only with an exquisite outdoor experience, but also the chance to explore old theaters and churches that still house art pieces like painted murals and stained glass windows.
In addition to its historically significant structures, the area, like many of our nation’s other national parks, boasts a unique and breathtaking landscape featuring rolling hills, cliffs and old-growth forests bordering the serene and stunning Lake Superior.
“Beauty surrounded me throughout my trip: in wilderness, in architecture, and in the stories that the cultural history and landscape conveyed,” park ranger Krysten Hintz wrote after a recent visit to the park.
Copper Harbor Lighthouse. Credit: Flickr/JoeRoss
The National Park Services says that the park’s mining complex is the only remaining site of its kind in all of the U.S. and it stands as an invaluable opportunity to keep the stories of the settlers who lived and worked there alive.
Click here to learn more about planning a visit to Keweenaw National Historic Park.