FORT WILKINS STATE PARK


In addition to camping and day use facilities, this park features a restored army military outpost and lighthouse museum.

History

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.

Camping and Day Use

The park has two modern campgrounds with 165 campsites that feature electricity, fire pits, picnic tables, and modern restroom buildings, with hot showers and flush toilets. An organization campground is also available. All three campgrounds are located on Lake Fanny Hooe. Day use visitors can visit the Fort Historic Complex, Copper Harbor Lighthouse and make use of the picnic area and picnic shelter in the park.

Mini-Cabins

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.

Trail Information

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.

Boating and Fishing

A boat launch is located on Lake Fanny Hooe. Perch, trout, and small mouth bass are found in the lake.

Winter Activities

The park has one mile of groomed cross-country skiing trails. Snowshoeing is popular in the park.

Area Attractions

Located near the park, are: the Estivan Pines ( a virgin stand of white pine); old copper mines; the Delaware copper mine (take a guided tour of an underground copper mine); Brockway Mountain Drive (which offers scenic views of Lake Superior, various inland lakes, panoramic area views); a lighthouse; waterfalls; shipwrecks (dive charters are available); and the City of Copper Harbor (with gift shops, restaurants, museums, etc.). One can also enjoy mountain biking trails, kayaking, hiking trails, a golf course, and snowmobile trails.

Other

The park offers role-playing daily from the last week in June through the third week in August. Role players portray various military and nonmilitary fort residents who resided at Ford Wilkins in 1870. Approximately 30 evening programs are given during July and August. The Park Store sells gifts, t-shirts, snacks. The store is open mid-May through mid-October.

Location

Fort Wilkins State Park is located one mile east of Copper Harbor on US-41.


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