Brockway Mountain Drive, Keweenaw Peninsula Autumn

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Once you’ve driven out to the end of the Keweenaw Peninsula, it’s easy to drive to the top of it!  Brockway Mountain Drive provides a beautiful route along the top of a long ridge, overlooking Lake Superior to the north, and the peninsula to the south.  It’s even more extraordinary in Autumn when the leaves start to change.

Location

Brockway Mountain Drive is located along a mountain ridge just west of Copper Harbor, Michigan.  From Copper Harbor, follow M-26 west for a short distance, and watch for the left turn onto Brockway Mountain Drive.

My Visit

Brockway Mountain Drive begins with a quick drive uphill, to gain some elevation and get to those excellent views.  You’ll find this sign at the beginning of the road, where it splits from M-26, just west of Copper Harbor.

I was visiting in the first week of October, which was just the beginning of the fall color season.  The trees were beginning to turn — but I’d suspect that it would be even more colorful towards the end of October.  The presence of the lake delays the changing of the leaves, in comparison to the more inland forests.

Brockway Mountain Drive

As you make the initial climb, you’ll find a nice viewpoint on a hairpin turn.  Stop here for an aerial view of Copper Harbor and Lake Fanny Hooe (on the right).  A short peninsula juts out into Lake Superior…

… and if you look very closely, you can see the Copper Harbor Lighthouse. A ferry used to take visitors out to tour the lighthouse, but that service appears to have ended in 2016.

As I continued on from that first viewpoint, I stopped numerous times to take pictures along the road.

If you happen to have a mountain bike with you, Copper Harbor has numerous trails.  The On The Edge trail is one of them, rated “advanced”.

The best place for pictures is at the West Bluff Viewpoint.

At this point on Brockway Mountain Drive, you are 1,328 feet above sea level, and 726 feet above the lake’s surface.

I took a few photos that made it look like the leaves were really turning, but the truth is…

… the fall colors were just starting, and there was still a lot of green on the mountains.

After the West Bluff Viewpoint, Brockway Mountain Drive continues for a while, before dropping down the north side of the hill, and rejoining M-26.  The views are not as spectacular, but it’s still a very satisfying scenic drive throughout the trip.

Silver River Falls

Just about a hundred yards west of the end of Brockway Moutain Drive, M-26 crosses the Silver River.  There’s a small parking area here, next to Silver River Falls.  It’s not one of the more impressive falls you’ll see on the Keweenaw Peninsula, but since you’re here, you should go ahead and check it out.

Once I was back on M-26, I continued on towards Eagle Harbor, where an excellent lighthouse awaited.

Drivelapse Video

Here’s a look at the drive on Brockway Mountain Drive:

The Bottom Line

Even if you don’t arrive for the best of the fall colors, you’ll still enjoy the scenery on Brockway Mountain Drive — especially the view from West Bluff.  Be sure to include it in your visit to the Keweenaw Peninsula.

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