Houghton Waterfront Trail

Pack up your bikes and running shoes and head to the heart of "Copper Country" to explore the natural beauty and rich history of the Keweenaw Peninsula. The historic cities of Houghton, Hancock and Calumet offer the perfect place to stage your biking adventure with plenty of good lodging and dining options, parks and local attractions.

Houghton Waterfront Trail and Houghton-Chassell Trail

The Houghton Waterfront Trail and Houghton-Chassell Trail form one continuous 10.25-mile non-motorized multi-use trail on the former Houghton, Chassell and Southwestern Railway.

The Houghton Waterfront Trail begins at Houghton Waterfront Park where you will find parking, bathrooms, a picnic area, waterpark and RV camping. The 4.5-mile trail is paved with asphalt and well maintained. It follows along the water's edge through downtown Houghton (past the historic railroad depot), the campus of Michigan Tech, and a series of waterfront parks. When you reach a bridge over the Pilgrim River, you have arrived at Nara Nature Park. Here you can hike several boardwalks out into the Pilgrim River delta or explore several miles of nature trails.

South of the Pilgrim River Bridge the trail changes its name to the HoughtonChassell Trail as it transitions from asphalt to a fine limestone aggregate surface. The 5.75-mile pathway weaves through the front and backyards of a long series of summer cottages nestled between M-41 and the Portage Lake shoreline. Chassell Centennial Park marks your arrival in Chassell where you will find restrooms, water, picnicking, convenience stores and an ice cream shop. In its heyday, Chassell was a major lumbering town. A historical marker at the park provides a brief history of the community.

Hancock-Calumet Trail

The 13.5-mile Hancock-Calumet Trail was built on the bed of the original Copper Range Railroad, the first railway constructed on the Keweenaw Peninsula (in 1889) to haul raw copper from the mines in Calumet to processing facilities in the port city of Hancock. This is a "motorized" multi-use trail, but suitable for runners or cyclists with mountain or fat tire bikes.

The trail begins near the base of the Houghton Hancock Bridge at Porvoo Park. The first two miles of trail are paved with asphalt as it climbs a steady incline. Just north of Ingot Street, the grade begins to level off and the trail surface transitions to crushed stone aggregate. As you travel through the scenic wooded terrain, the trail passes by Boston Lake, several wetlands and the remnants of abandoned mining operations.

The trail officially ends at the abandoned Copper Range Railroad Depot. Head east of the depot to explore historic downtown Calumet where you will find several restaurants, stores, historic sites and the Coppertown USA Mining Museum.

Read Less Text...

Trail Maps

Get a Map Download a Map
As seen in Michigan Trails Magazine.

Houghton Waterfront Trail PDF Map

Googleâ„¢ Map Link

Newsletter Signup

Michigan Trails News In Your Email. Periodic newsletters with late-breaking stories and trails updates. We won't share your email address with anyone else.

Your Name:
Your Email:
Validation Code:
Enter Code:  (ALL CAPS)

Trail Resource Guide

Trail Groups and Developers
Michigan Department of Natural Resources Michigan Department of Natural Resources
525 W. Allegan Street
Lansing, MI 48909

Web Link
Michigan Trails & Greenways Alliance Michigan Trails & Greenways Alliance
PO Box 27187
Lansing, MI 48909
(517) 485-6022
Web Link
Tourist Information
Upper Peninsula Travel & Rec Asso. Upper Peninsula Travel & Rec Asso.
1050 Pyle Drive
Kingsford, MI 49802
(906) 774-5480
Web Link
Trail Supporter
DTE Energy DTE Energy

Web Link
League of Michigan Bicyclists League of Michigan Bicyclists
416 S. Cedar Street, Suite A
Lansing, MI 48912
(517) 334-9100
Web Link
Michigan Brewers Guild Michigan Brewers Guild
225 W. Washtenaw, Suite C
Lansing, MI 48933

Web Link
Sinas Dramis Law Firm Sinas Dramis Law Firm
3380 Pine Tree Road
Lansing, MI 48911
(517) 394-7500
Web Link

Page Sponsors

These organizations and businesses help make our website and magazine possible. Please show them your support.

MGTA Billboard Ad Pure Michigan Billboard Ad MGTA Billboard Ad