Exploring Eagle Harbor and Eagle River
in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan

Eagle Harbor and Eagle River are located on Lake Superior in the Keweenaw Peninsula
a few miles west of Copper Harbor on Highway M-26 in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan.

The two small villages in the Keweenaw Peninsula are nestled around the harbor and face north overlooking Lake Superior. (Map) Bring your camera and plenty of film.

EAGLE HARBOR is now a quaint harbor town but was a boom town in the early history of the Upper Peninsula. Everything was shipped into Eagle Harbor by boat as there were no roads. Supplies, settlers, and prospectors came in by boat and copper was shipped out from the Eagle Harbor, Central, Delaware, Copper Falls and other mines.

The red brick Eagle Harbor Lighthouse sits on the rocky entrance to the harbor and is a working lighthouse as it still guides mariners across the northern edge of the Keweenaw Peninsula. The original lighthouse was built in 1851 but was replaced in 1871. This red brick lighthouse is still standing, is furnished with period furnishings, and open to the public from mid-June to early October, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Three Museums are open at the same time. There is a small admission charge to the Light Station complex. If the buildings are closed, you are welcome to walk around and view this historic light house or take photographs.

Eagle Harbor is a great place for cross-country skiing, snowshoeing, or snowmobiling on hundreds of miles of groomed trails. The area is very hilly in places so you can have lots of fun. There are also many hiking, biking and nature trails in the area. Many important historical sites in the area are just waiting for visitors. The Eagle Harbor area is a history buff's dream.

Scuba divers will find many wrecks just off shore in the Keweenaw Underwater Preserve. Recently a large piece of "float copper" was discovered in a nearby harbor by scuba divers so you never know what you might find. Keep in mind that storms come up quickly on Lake Superior and the water is very cold.

Photographers have the opportunity to catch the lake in one her many moods.The winter ice sculptures along the shore are spectacular as the waves rush over frozen ice and build fascinating creations.

Northern Lights sometimes put on their outstanding show. Scientists feel that there should by brilliant displays during the next two years. As you look north towards Canada, with nothing in between but water, star gazing is at its best.

Relax in Eagle Harbor and watch the "lakers" (Great Lakes freighters) and "salties" (ocean going foreign ships) as they pass by upbound to Duluth or Canadian ports, or downbound to Sault Ste. Marie and the other Great Lakes.

Fish in the harbor, at Bailey Lake, or some of the other many lakes and streams or go canoeing or kayaking. Eagle Harbor is ideal for bird watchers, rock hounds, or other outdoor enthusiasts.

The harbor has a sand beach and there is a small marina on the east side. This was the location of the renowned Eagle Harbor Life Saving Station established in 1912. Many lives were saved by these heroic men.

Old Foley Brothers Store
Eagle Harbor School House

The old Foley Brothers Store can still be seen on M-26. This store originated in the early 1850's selling general merchandise. It is the oldest original store in the Copper Country and was here before Lincoln was president. The famous Eagle Harbor Pumpkins sit on the front steps the weekend of Halloween. Unfortunately, the store is presently closed.

The Eagle Harbor School House is being restored by donations of Harbor families. It is located on M-26 near the beach. This school was used from 1872 until 1956 and will now be a place for community gatherings.

The Eagle Harbor Art Fair is the second weekend in August. Fun for the whole family.

EAGLE RIVER
The village of Eagle River is 7.5 miles west of Eagle Harbor on the shores of Lake Superior. This is a very nice scenic drive along the shoreline, with several nature preserves and sand beaches. Eagle River was an important seaport during the early copper mining era.

Eagle River Falls
Eagle River Lighthouse: privately owned

EAGLE RIVER LIGHTHOUSE
The Eagle River Light Station was first established in 1854 on a bluff at the mouth of the Eagle River and once guided ships into this busy shipping port. With the dangerous Sawtooth Reef offshore, this lighthouse was very important during the copper boom with tons of copper shipped from the nearby Cliff Mine. The original lighthouse fell into repair and was rebuilt in 1874 and housed a 6th order Fresnel Lens. The light was deactivated in 1908 as the copper boom at Cliff Mine came to an end. Unfortunately, the Sand Hills Light Station a few miles west of Eagle River at 5 mile point was not constructed until 1917 and at least 10 ships were lost on Sawtooth Reef located off the shoreline at Eagle River. The Sand HIlls Lighthouse is privately owned and is a Bed and Breakfast Inn.

Lodging and other Businesses
Eagle Harbor Lighthouse
Keweenaw County Historical Society, see the exciting work and living history adventures
being done by this dedicated and creative group.

Things to do in the Eagle Harbor area

The Keweenaw Peninsula

Snowmobiling in the Keweenaw Peninsula

 

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Photos: David Martin and ETN

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