The Copper Harbor Mountain Bike Trails were designated as an International Mountain Bicycling Association (IMBA) Silver Level “Ride Center” in October of 2012. Now just behind Park City, UT and on the same level as Sun Valley, ID, Oak Ridge, OR and Tauppo, New Zealand, the Copper Harbor Trails are ranked as one of the top 5 trail systems in the world! Points were scored based on our variety and quality of gateway, cross-country, flow and gravity trails, in addition to the village being considered as mountain biker friendly with its resorts, motels, campgrounds, restaurants, bike shop and a brew pub all easily accessible to/from the trails.
While its reputation may entice the experienced mountain biker, a number of easy & intermediate rated trails do exist…about two-thirds of the singletrack trails are rated as intermediate. Additionally, a network of old logging roads and jeep trails traverse the narrow, uninhabited tip of the peninsula, east of Copper Harbor and offer some less technical riding options. This includes over 8000 acres of State Forest land along Lake Superior and a side trip to the Nature Conservancy Preserve at Horseshoe Harbor. Some popular family rides near Copper Harbor include the Hunter’s Point Pathway, Power-line & Lighthouse Overlook Trails and the Lake Fanny Hooe Trail at Ft. Wilkins State Park. Bikers may ride to the Hunter’s Point and Estivant Pines trailheads, however bicycles are prohibited, as hiking is the only permitted use in these preserves.
The riding in Copper Harbor is REAL mountain biking and really does not compare with anywhere else in the Midwest.
The Bell’s Beer Copper Harbor Trails Festival (formerly the Fat Tire Festival) is traditionally held on the Sunday of Labor Day Weekend. Not part of any point series and with no major prize money at stake, this end of the summer gathering of the tribe is intended to be a fun race and a good time for both the racers and spectators alike. Sunday’s cross country races are gaining a reputation amongst riders for having the most technically demanding and challenging race courses in the Midwest and the event typically attracts racers from a radius including the Upper Peninsula, lower Michigan, Chicago-land, Wisconsin, the Twin Cities and beyond. A true festival by the definition of the word, the Festival now includes a Saturday enduro race and dock-jumping exhibition, with the kid’s race, BBQ, awards & live music along with the cross country race on Sunday.