It’s not difficult to find a good spot to watch the sun set over Lake Superior when visiting Copper Harbor, MI, the town at the northernmost tip of the Keweenaw Peninsula.
But it occurred to me during last week’s Ride the Keweenaw that I might be able to watch the sun rise over the lake, too. I got up early and drove east on US 41. It turned to a dirt road and I kept going till I saw a crude sign that said “Horseshoe harbor” and followed that road and eventually discovered a walking trail that led to the Mary Macdonald Preserve at Horseshoe Harbor, managed by the Nature Conservancy:
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At the northernmost tip of Michigan’s Upper Peninsula, stunted shrubs and trees cling to ancient bedrock directly in the path of Lake Superior’s fierce winds. The 1,261 acre Mary Macdonald Preserve at Horseshoe Harbor is the largest and highest quality mainland preserve for bedrock beach and bedrock glade communities in Michigan. The rock ridges that define the shoreline are wave-eroded edges of sedimentary conglomerate rock uplifted some 600 million years ago. They now create a barrier between the pounding wind and waves of Lake Superior and the woodlands behind them, protecting and allowing the emergence of slower growth plant species.