Fort Wilkins State Park - Camp and Explore Copper Country History

Fort Wilkins State Park – Camp and Explore Copper Country History

Fort Wilkins State Park

Located at the northern tip of the Keweenaw Peninsula, Fort Wilkins State Park has a rich history, numerous scenic sites and two large campgrounds. It is one of the premiere draws to the old mining town of Copper Harbor and features a fort restored to 1840s conditions and during the summer staffed with a cast of historical interpreters.

Fort Wilkins Soldier Barracks

We have camped here on two separate occasions, and were impressed both times. The camping area of the park was almost completely full when we visited in August 2012, and while the campground was about half full in May 2010 on another visit, we had the fort itself to ourselves (we were the only car in the lot!). There are 150 sites in the campgrounds, as well as hiking trails and fishing/kayaking opportunities.

The fort was constructed as a place to house troops who were brought in to keep order between miners and local Native Americans during a mid-1800s copper rush in the area. The fort’s land backs up against Lake Fanny Hooe and there are several great hiking trails on the property (which also connect to the campground).

Other buildings (some survived, others have been reconstructed) include a blacksmith shop, store, solders’ quarters and a storehouse:

The park also includes the Copper Harbor Lighthouse, which can be seen from a parking area on the opposite side of US-41. A boat tour runs over to the lighthouse several times a day.

Copper Harbor Lighthouse

Fort Wilkins State Park is located at 15223 U.S. 41 in Copper Harbor MI.