July 13 & 14 — In the two days we had in Copper Harbor and ‘The Keweenaw’ before heading to Isle Royale National Park, we happily managed to work in a fair amount of hiking!
On the first day we hiked 3.1 miles up Brockway Mountain, interestingly enough on a mountain bike trail. We learned that The Keweenaw boasts more than 160 miles of singletrack mountain bike trails, making this a very popular biking destination. The International Mountain Biking Association (I.M.B.A.) works hard on the upkeep of these trails, and it shows.
While hiking on these trails is certainly permitted, we were always watching ahead and prepared to get out of the way of an oncoming mountain biker or two. As we saw a few coming down the trails we were on, we could tell that they were very happy to be speeding down the trails, and we were very happy NOT to be speeding down the trails; rather instead to be hiking on them with both feet on the ground!
We took a different, very scenic route down and ended up about a half-mile from our car, so had to hike back to it along the road. No bother, though… we were very happy to have the exercise climbing the mountain and then descending back down – it turned out to be 6.5 miles round trip according to my FitBit pedometer — not too bad….
All along the way we saw lovely wildflowers and I now know several new wildflowers by name, including the beautiful Orange Jackweeds, Canada Jackweeds, Ox-Eye Daisies, and Everlasting Sweetpeas.
Another extraordinary thing about this hike was that all along the trails we saw (and ate!) wild blueberries and wild strawberries. We also saw, then later learned about Thimbleberries, with which locals make and sell jam to us tourists. These, too, grew all along the trails, but weren’t yet ripe enough to pick.