Chassell, Michigan (Map)
Recreation and Attractions
Chassell is located on Chassell Bay, within the Keweenaw Waterway
which separates the Upper Peninsula of Michigan from the Keweenaw Peninsula.
Sturgeon River Slough
The slough has been developed with the aid of many wildlife clubs and is managed by the DNR. This part of the slough has the 1.5 mile De VriendtNature Trail. A great place for bird and animal watching.
At the De Vriendt Nature Trail, follow the interpretive signs, climb the observation deck and enjoy this nesting place for Canada geese, mallards, wood ducks, black ducks, and blue-winged teal. Eagles, blue herons, and osprey are seen here regularly. Beavers, muskrats and other water loving creatures are in abundance.
Further south of Chassell (8 miles) turn right at Arnheim Road and drive into a larger area of Sturgeon River Slough. Wildlife is everywhere. Drive into the slough at dawn or dusk and you will see an overwhelming number of deer. Drive very slowly. The slough is ideal for paddling, photography, and bird watching. Hunting and fishing are permitted here during the regular state seasons. Hunters, be sure of your game identification, Conservation Officers are everywhere throughout the slough. Please wear hunter orange clothing after Sept 1.
Portage Entry Park
The fishing boats you will see are not what you would expect. These are working boats, bringing in the Lake Superior Whitefish and Trout daily. When you go out for a fish lunch or dinner, these fresh fish are on your table. Fresh fish may also be purchased at fish markets in Hancock.
Keweenaw Waterway Lower Entry Light, also called the Portage Lake East Entry Light is located on a concrete pier by the town of Jacobsville, on the north side of Portage Lake. This light can be viewed from Jacobsville or the Portage Entry Roads south of Chassell.
Keweenaw Water Trail
The Portage Waterway Segment is an excellent venue for viewing historic mine workings. In the mid-1800's the Keweenaw was internationally known as the source of the world's purest "native" copper. Native copper occurs in a metallic state within the earth, and deposits of native copper are rare. Copper mining led to extensive development of the Keweenaw Peninsula, and Keweenaw and Houghton Counties had over 100,000 residents at the turn of the century.
Snowmobile rentals for the Chassell area:
Dan's Recreation Snowmobile Rental 3 miles south of Houghton in South Range.
and M&M Power Sports in Hancock.
The Chassell-Houghton snowmobile trail on the old railroad grade is open. Please check with your lodging host for information about the Chassell trails.
Snowmobile the Keweenaw Peninsula from Chassell (Maps). The Chassell Trail, (#15) to Painesdale is presently closed near town, but you can use back roads or trailer your sleds west of town and pick up the famed Bill Nichols Trail that runs from Mass City to Houghton. Turn right for Houghton or turn left and take the trail towards Ontonagon. Detailed maps available from Chassell businesses. The Chassell-Baraga Trail is open.
From Houghton, cross the two level bridge on the bottom level and pick up the Stevens Trail North outside of Hancock.
Mount Ripley Downhill
Photos: Portage Waterway & Painesdale Mine by Mary Deloria
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