About the Trail

Baraga, Gogebic, Houghton, Keweenaw and Ontonagon counties in Michigan?s Western Upper Peninsula boast over 319 miles of Lake Superior and Portage Waterway shoreline. Sandy beaches to rocky shore and everything in between, the Western U.P. Water Trail is scenic, historic, ecologically rich and undeveloped? Much of it only accessible by water. Experience this unique asset the best way possible?with a paddle in hand!

By definition, a water trail (or blueway) is a network of launch and landing sites, rest areas and attractions for human-powered water crafts on lakes and rivers. Just as land has trails with distinct surfaces and walkways, so does water. The water surface, however, is ever-changing with natural flow, currents, traffic and weather.

The Western U.P. Water Trail encompasses all shoreline from the west to east, Michigan-Wisconsin border (Lake Superior Water Trail) to Baraga County-Marquette County (Hiawatha Water Trail) and even up in the Keweenaw (Keweenaw Water Trail).

It’s more than just paddling. Let the Western U.P. Water Trail be your gateway to every gem the region has to offer: adventure outfitters, comfortable lodging, family-owned restaurants and so much more. Protect this economic and recreational resource through active stewardship. Educated water trail users respect water and shoreline and Leave No Trace.

>>Water Trail History Spotlight! The Keweenaw Waterway, part of the Keweenaw Water Trail, is a designated paddling loop around and through Keweenaw Peninsula. The canal was originally dredged in the 1860s to extend a river used for transportation and fishing. The expanded canal allowed freighters to haul copper from rich copper mines through Lake Superior to larger cities.