Next Exit: Copper Harbor

Freehub’s Next Exit series explores communities around North America that have embraced the mountain bike lifestyle. Diamondback’s Eric Porter tagged along as the crew checked out the growing scene in Copper Harbor, Michigan.

left, right, left, right, repeat

Copper Harbor is the northernmost town on Michigan’s Upper Peninsula and might be considered the definition of “Off the beaten path.” However, to its population of barely over 100 year-round residents, that’s just one of the many factors they love about it, along with the tight-knit community, backdoor access to adventure and seriously stunning views of Lake Superior.

airborne Porter

The mining and logging industries brought a decent crowd to the area throughout the 19th century, but once the resources fell off, so did the population. What remained though were the logging roads and mining tracks, scars from the resource extraction that would eventually sprout area’s first singletrack. Today, there’s over 35 miles of singletrack, making the most of the 500-vertical feet available, and the network has been ranked as one of IMBA’s Silver Level Ride Centers. All of this is proof that a passionate community can create an amazing riding experience with hard work and dedication—no matter how far off the path it may be.

follow the leader

photos: Margus Riga