Explore Eagle River
Si quaeris pago amoenam, circumspice
(apologies to my Latin teacher, a permanent Eagle River resident)
Follow the copper path to historic sites, a waterfall, beaches, and businesses within easy walking distance.
The 2017 satellite image in the background doesn't show the township square park or pavilion.
Eagle River Walkabout
Start at the Pavilion and walk southwest towards the Community Building (Stop in at the Museum if it is open.) Cross the Eagle River on the Upper Bridge and head towards the Douglas Houghton Monument. The complete loop is a little over one mile long. You can drive the route but the lower bridge is closed to traffic so you will have to turn around at the lighthouse.
The Eagle River Historical Museum
The museum is on the second floor of the community building The pilot house from the ship wreck of the Tioga is in the foreground
Eagle River Upper Bridge Park
Bridge built in 1915. Retired in 1990 and refurbished in 2019. Imagine being on this bridge when the snowplow went across...pretty exciting. Some of the bridge's original railing was used as fencing for the park's dog run.
The Eagle River Falls and Dam
The Falls changes dramatically with the rivers flowrate. This picture shows it after a spring rain. The falls evolves more slowly as the old fuse factory dam crumbles. The dam was once large enough to host hockey matches between local teams.
Continue walking southwest off the bridge along 4th street and M26. The last house you pass on the left was built in 1856 by the owner of "the Soap Factory".
Douglas Houghton Monument Park
Monument in memory of Michigan's first state geologist. Built in 1914. Supposed to contain a time capsule but efforts to find in in 2014 failed. (Our family's legend is that grandfather Picchiottino made the lead container and left some memento inside.)
Go northeast from the monument along "West Main"/ aka "Back Street". The second house on the left was a store built in 1854 and just beyond on the right was an 1855 brewery with storage caves in the river bank.
Eagle River Light house
In service from 1857-1892.
Now available for rent.
Proceed across the lower bridge and walk up East Main to the Eagle River Store if it is open.
The lower bridge park
Good views of the river and lake. Fish and waterfowl are often seen here in the spring.
Think about enjoying a pasty or ice cream cone from the store at the picnic tables.
The Eagle River Store and East Main Street
Dates back to the 1860's. Usually open in the summer. Pasties, sandwiches and ice cream available. The row of historic houses in this block includes the home of the store owner (1871), store warehouse (1851), German Hotel /Saloon /Jail (1846), and two other houses/hotels built in 1846.
Proceed towards the lake along East Main. You can get a good look at the light house and lower bridge from Second Street and East Main.
Eagle River Beach Park
The public beach near the Eagle River's mouth. Swim in the lake or river, pick agates or picnic. A long dock was built here in 1843. Some of the original pilings may be visible when the lake level is low. Over the years, the beach also had warehouses, hotels, and a fishing village. The wooded lot on the land side of Front Street hold the remains of hotels, warehouses and homes built in the 1840's.
Eagle River Beach Park
The public beach extends northeast of the Eagle River Inn /Fitzgerald's restaurant where lodging, food, and drink are available.
The schooner Peninsula (1849-1854)
A ghost? "She was unloading cargo when a gale hit. She backed away from the dock but broke her propeller shaft, becoming helpless, being then driven on the reef and destroyed by wave action."
The hull wreckage was carried toward shore. During the 50's the overturned hull was visible above the waterline. The hull is now buried in a sandbar and the wreckage is roughly 300 feet offshore at 330 degrees. It may be visible in the water from shore. It was in 2017, not visible in 2019, visible in 2021.
Deer park in winter
Heavy snows drive deer to the lake shore from December to May. The local winter herd often exceeds 100. The natural browse is not sufficient for a large number of deer to survive so locals, like Jack, give them a hand. Even wild deer adapt to humans when they are hungry. Click here (scroll to bottom) to see Jack tend to his herd.
Deer park in summer: no Jack, no deer, no snow.
But there are picnic tables and vault toilets.
Follow Maple street (it jogs to the right before heading up hill) to 4th street, then go left a short distance to the Camp gateway.
Gitche Gumee Bible Camp
Hosting Christian campers of all ages since the 1930s.
Turn around and head down 4th Street towards your starting point.
Keweenaw County Sheriff's Office
Helpful people inside. Built in 1866.
Keweenaw County Courthouse
Eagle River has been a county seat since 1845 and the Keweenaw county seat since 1861. This building built in 1866 has a courtroom and county offices staffed by friendly people.