What to do in Fort Wilkins State Historic Park

The Fort Wilkins Complex was built on the rugged shore of Lake Superior in 1844 and represents an example of a nineteenth century military post. Surrounded by water and forest, Fort Wilkins offers visitors an opportunity to explore the daily routine of military service and experience the hardships of frontier isolation. Copper Harbor Lighthouse, built in 1866, features shipping and period exhibits. Copper Harbor Lighthouse boat tours are available daily June thru September, for a per-person charge. Fort Wilkins became a State Park in 1923. Extensive restoration work and development began in the 1930s under the Work Project Administration.

Fort Wilkins State Historic Park brings history to life each summer. It offers role-playing daily from the last week in June through the third week in August. Costumed interpreters portray various military and nonmilitary fort residents whom resided at Fort Wilkins in 1870. Approximately 30 evening programs are given during July and August.

Copper Harbor Lighthouse, built in 1866, features shipping and period exhibits. Copper Harbor Lighthouse boat tours are available daily June through September, for a per-person charge.

Anglers are invited to explore the waters of Lake Fanny Hooe. A boat launch provides fishing access to perch, trout, and smallmouth bass.

The park has two modern campgrounds with 165 campsites that feature electricity, fire pits, picnic tables, and modern restrooms with hot showers and flush toilets. An organization campground is also available. Camping facilities open April 15 to November 15. All three campgrounds are located on Lake Fanny Hooe. The park has a mini-cabin available for rent. It is designed to sleep four, with bunks and mattresses provided. The cabin has electric lights. Call 1-800-44-PARKS for reservations.

Running around the park, roughly parallel to the park boundary, is a two-mile trail. From the trail, hikers get great views of Lake Fanny Hooe and Lake Superior. The park has one mile of groomed cross-country skiing trails. Snowshoeing is also popular in the park.

A park store sells gifts, T-shirts, snacks and more from mid-May through mid-October.

Recreation
Recreations pursued at Fort Wilkins State Historic Park include viewing history, cabin lodging, camping, fishing, boating, hiking, cross-country skiing, and snowshoeing.

Location
Fort Wilkins State Park is located one mile east of Copper Harbor on U.S. Highway 41.

Climate
The Upper Peninsula normally experiences mild summers with average temperatures near 70 degrees F (21 degrees C). Winter temperatures average 14 degrees F (-10 degrees C). Rain and snowmelt in the region can reach up to 200 inches annually. Travelers should be aware that significant amounts of snow could fall within a relatively short period of time resulting in hazardous road conditions.

Address
P.O. Box 71
Copper Harbor, MI 49918

Phone: 906-289-4215

  • Fort Wilkins State Historic Park Travel Q&A

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