Andrew Shandro and Trek Bikes visit Copper Harbor, Michigan

Jun 22, 2012 at 11:27
by Aaron LaRocque  
Copper Harbor lies at the end of US 41 at the tip of the Keweenaw Peninsula. Situated in the center of Lake Superior, it's a little off the beaten path. When the folks at Trek first mentioned this trip I had to dig out the map to see just where we would be going. The adventure had Shandro and myself heading from Vancouver to Houghton County Memorial Airport in Michigan's Upper Peninsula, where we would be met by Hansi Johnson, the regional IMBA director, and Aaron Rogers, the Copper Harbor Trail Club President. We weren't sure what we were in for but the locals showed us a good time both on and off the bike, in true Midwest style.

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The purpose of the trip was to experience and capture some of the riding and celebrate the designation of the Copper Harbor trail network as an IMBA Ride Center, one of only 7 in the world. In addition to the Ride Center designation, the Copper Harbor Trails Club held a grand opening to a new gravity fuelled jump trail, "Flying Squirrell".Copper Harbor has been a favorite lesser known Midwest riding gem, so Midwest-based Trek Bicycles has invested heavily in their trail network, providing a $10,000 matching contribution to the Copper Harbor Trails Club to help establish the trails. In addition, $10 from every full-suspension bike Trek sells goes to IMBA to build and support riding areas like Copper Harbor.

flying squirrell in Copper Harbor

riding the Flow Hansi Johnson Photo

AaronRogers and Andrew Shandro riding in Copper Harbor

Shandro heading Downtown Hansi Johnson Photo

www.TrekBikes.com
www.CopperHarborTrails.org

Have you ridden Copper Harbor? Do you want to now?
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73 Comments

  • + 18
 My gal and I go to Copper Harbor every July for a week. We love the trails, kayaking and even a little 4x4 action! We look forward to this every year and weeks from today it happens! Go visit..its awesome.
  • + 3
 Holy shit how have I not heard of this place! I am so close to these trails. Going to have to make a trip there this summer.
  • + 2
 i just finally showed up in marquette after an 8 hour drive, and its great to see one of the first things on pinkbike is about U.P. biking Smile
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  • + 15
 there's mountain biking in michigan? i had to read the title 4 times just to be sure.
  • + 32
 There is mountain biking everywhere.
  • + 12
 clue's in the name. MOUNTAIN biking. like where there are mountains? so thats why it aint canadabiking see?
  • + 3
 dam u beat me to it savage Frown
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  • + 9
 Just want to say thanks to Trek, Shandro, Aaron, and everyone else that helped make this happen... Copper harbor is an awesome place and its about time they start getting some recognition. I lived there for over a decade and some of he best riding in the country lives here and there are no crowds, the locals are happy to show you the best trails and entire community is always working to make things even better. That said there are 3 other major trail systems in the area with amazing riding as well... If anyone does make the trip... As you should... Stop by The Bike Shop or Down Wind Sports for info.
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  • + 10
 Looks REALLY fun! Natural tech, flow, jumps, berms, built features. What more is needed?
  • + 7
 Nothing.... about time the great state of Michigan gets reconized!!!!
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  • + 8
 These trails are what got me into mountain biking (They are about 40 minutes from my school)! I'm proud to say I can shred these trails, in Michigan nonetheless
  • + 2
 wow lucky! and i thought I was lucky going to school in harrisonburg! copper harbor just got added to my road trip list!
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  • + 4
 So pumped this made it to pinkbike! This is f'in sweet! I went to school up there and have been going there the last few years. Trail didn't take off till after I left, but it keeps me going back. Anyone within driving distance should make the drive up there, and make sure to check out the MTU tech trails and dirt jumps too!
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  • + 3
 Aaron showed me these trails about two years ago and I was blown away. If you have ever ridden in Michigan, Copper Harbor is almost another world in itself. There is altitude, rock formations, trail worthy dirt and biking and building trails is are totally kosher. Looks like they have build a ton since I have been there. The riding and terrain really reminded me of ridding in Whistler. Super stoked for the area to get some publicity.
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  • + 5
 Every time I see a video of Shandro or any Trek athlete riding a Slash it makes me want to get one.
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  • + 2
 I love stories like this about towns and regions that "get it". Understand that mountain biking is a good activity that's beneficial. Understanding that encouraging people to visit and that mountain biking tourism can be a real shot in the arm to a region's economy.
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  • + 2
 I was gonna go last weekend with my buddy, but opt'd for 7 springs bike park because the weather wasnt favorable, only to our discovery it was pretty riding weather all weekend there instead. Def, going to copper harbor soon!!!!
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  • + 2
 A friend and I rode Copper Harbor two weeks ago. People are all super nice in town, Keweenaw Adventure Co guys are great, $18.50 gets you a shuttle van to the top from 12-5, and Flying Squirrel is the coolest trail I have ever been on. We're going to the Marquette Bike Jam next weekend, then back up to Copper Harbor the weekend after.
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  • + 2
 I'm in the Pacific Northwest now but lived in Michigan my whole life until I moved here 5 years ago. Even went to Michigan Tech but had no idea about trails in Copper Harbor. Looks like I have a good plan for my next vacation!
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  • + 1
 So pumped this made it to pinkbike! This is f'in sweet! I went to school up there and have been going there the last few years. Trail didn't take off till after I left, but it keeps me going back. Anyone within driving distance should make the drive up there, and make sure to check out the MTU tech trails and dirt jumps too!
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  • + 1
 Copper Harbor is on the list... I grew up in Appleton, WI but never got to ride much of anything good, just some local short singletracks in the parks, etc. Made it back to WI a few years ago and just got back from a visit there. Rode Underdown trails near Irma, WI, Ninemile in Wausau and the Cable trails. All highly recommended, also found some kind of fun singletrack in Peninsula State Park a few days ago. If you're going up to Lutsen or anywhere near there along the north shore, stop in Knife River at Russ Kendalls to pick up some great smoked whitefish
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  • + 1
 Some things to point out from the video:
1. Want to camp for free and get hammered? Go to where they were shooting skeet and climbing around the chimney. (See point 3 for what beer to buy, or your gay)
3. KBC beer in hands on the beach...BEST FU**IN BEER IN THE WORLD
2. Flying Squirrel? Excuse me, but I prefer to call it The Midwest's A-Line
4. Stairway to heaven is cool, but a tad over-rated. In my opinion, red line is the harbors root and rock hidden gem.
5. Copper country has SO MUCH to offer other than MTB as well. But don't tell too many of your friends...one of the reasons I love the area is because of it's seclusion.
6. 3 comes before 2 because don't you dare tell me you don't go buy beer BEFORE every single epic ride you take

All that aside, the keewenaw is an awesome place to live and the people are one-of-a-kind. Oh, and norcal77....GO f*ck YOURSELF!
  • + 1
 While I love Copper Harbor, comparing flying squirrel to A-Line is laughable.
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  • + 1
 Wow, that's about as remote as it gets for michigan. It is an incredibly beautiful part of the state however. Nice to see solid dirt on the trails! Much of the trails I've ridden in Michigan have had a high sand content. (Petoskey region) This looks like dirt and rock. Would love to get up there some time. Lots of other good riding going on in the UP elsewhere too.
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  • + 2
 Looks awesome. Thunder Bay should follow the same path and then it would give 2 reasons to ride out there. part of the circle tour!
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  • + 3
 To anyone heading up make sure to hit flow, garden brook, and woopidy woo and you wont be sorry. Great Riding.
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  • + 2
 My rockshox judy shot the spring out of the top and hit me in the ear on Red Trail. Then it was time to get something better! Is pauls plunge really gone?
  • + 1
 unfortunatly yes but red has been improved and another trail has been added to replace pauls
  • + 1
 yeah, unfortunatly paul's is gone, however downtown makes up for it. Lots of stuff happening up here in the harbor!
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  • + 1
 Went to school up that way, but that was 12yrs ago and never heard anything then. Gonna try and get up there the week of Labor Day...MI has dope trails Upper and Lower! Rider of 22yrs! Smile
  • + 1
 Hey jisoel, just to give you a heads up there is a pretty bike bike race up there that weekend. www.keweenawadventure.com/fat_tire.htm,
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  • + 1
 There's dope trails all over MI...went to school up that way, but that was 12yrs ago and never heard of anything then. Hope to get up there during the week of Labor Day! Rider of 22yrs Smile
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  • + 1
 My favorite trails to ride and they just keep getting better. Big thanks to Aaron and the rest of the trail crew. Great to see this made it to Pink Bike.
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  • + 1
 So proud to live in Copper harbor and work at KAC. These trails are an amazing breath of life to midwest biking, anyone in the area should check it out.
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  • + 1
 Amazing place to ride and visit. Great for all skill levels and IMBA supported. 5hr drive for us and can't wait for this years Fat Tire Fest race.
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  • + 3
 Look great! Added to the destination bucket list
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  • + 1
 I was last up there almost exactly one year ago. I need to make another trip up there this year, perhaps this fall since my summer is full.
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  • + 1
 VERY KEWL!!!...its awsome to see all these places that non of us have herd of that has epic riding. I LOVE IT!!! Going to have to put this on my places to ride list.
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  • + 2
 Smells like....ROAD TRIP!!!!!! Anyone know if there are any ferrys from the Canadian side to Copper Harbor?
  • + 2
 take a pitstop at isle royal and than yes
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  • + 4
 YEAH! Go Michigan!
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  • + 1
 Back in Ohio, they have 3 sweet places, Vulture's Knob, Horn's Hill and Mohican Wilderness! It's all about quality of the trails not quantity!
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  • + 1
 Very impressed to say the least, those trails looked like so much fun to ride and even more impressive is how maintained the trails were!
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  • + 2
 Headed there this coming weekend. Pumped to be stoked!
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  • + 1
 Nice job on the edit, I'm glad you guys had fun up here and hope the hangovers weren't too bad
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  • + 1
 Ontario has some nice spots like this up north donno y we don't do the same??
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  • + 2
 Holy awesome. Not far from me I cant wait to get up there!!
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  • + 1
 Another great spot in Michigan is Boyne Highlands ski area. Real nice DH trails and XC loops as well...check it out.
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  • + 1
 Such a wicked trail and riding was top notch. I want to see more of these all mountain videos, gets me stoked!
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  • + 2
 Wow what a stunning looking place,cool trails and awesome scenery.
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  • + 2
 Copper Harbor is what makes being a mountain biker in the midwest worth it
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  • + 2
 how many trails? miles of trails up there?

Looks great..
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  • + 2
 Unga I want a Slash bad...
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  • + 1
 Way cool. Someday. From Montana though, Moab is 12 hours, Copper Harbor is 18. Gonna hit Moab 1st.
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  • + 1
 next year I will ride there.
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  • + 2
 MIDWEST REPRESENT
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  • + 1
 I ride these trails every summer! Only 9 hours away (:
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  • + 1
 Michigan huh. Who knew?
  • + 1
 I've known for a long time now. Moving from Utah to the Yoop mostly for the mountain biking. I've ridden all over the country: Park City, Moab, Fruita, Sedona, Tuscon, GC, Asheville/Brevard, Bootleg, ect....and the riding in the Yoop is just as good(better in most cases) but without all the trail crowding and blown out trails from over use! If you want quality, quantity, variety, without all the crowds....Marquette, Houghton/Hancock, and especially Copper Harbor can not be beat!
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