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Heritage Trail Sites

Heritage Trail Sites

The Iron County Heritage Trail is officially designated as 14 miles of U.S. 2 from Iron River to Crystal Falls under the Michigan Historic Heritage Route Program.  The Trail is promoted as a collection of 14 unique sites along or accessible via spur routes of the designated Iron County Heritage Route.  All 14 sites make a unique contribution to the area and help tell the story of Iron County’s people and places.

Heritage Trail Sites operate independently so admissions and hours may vary.  Links and phone numbers are provided to find out additional information on each site.

brochure Map is an Adobe pdf file.

 


 

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Iron County Heritage Museum
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The 10-acre grounds contain six complexes – logging, homesteading, mining, transportation, Vicotriana and the Arts with 26 buildings.  The main building with archives has over 100 exhibits, a Cultural Center seating over 300 and a stage for performances, and is adjoined by the Lee Icmuseum_ThumbLeBlanc Wildlife Art Gallery.  The Headframe (pictured) was placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1983.Location: Drive 2 miles S of Iron River on M-189; turn E on 424 to Caspian, then left to Museum Road.Phone:(906) 265-2617
Website: http://www.ironcountyhistoricalmuseum.org/

 


 

Pentoga Park Indian Burial Grounds

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This is the site of a pre-European Native American settlement and permanent area headquarters where Ojibwa Bands congregated.  A number of wooden burial structures have endured time to protect and mark the graves of these ancient bands.Pentoga_Thumb
Location: County Road 424 at S end of Chicaugon Lake.Phone: (906) 265-3979

 


 

 Alpha Circle Historic District

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Established in 1914, this example of early engineering and government planning showcases a traffic circle and is located on a 4.5 acre site where all significant public buildings of Alpha were constructed adjacent to the drive.Alpha_ThumbLocation: County Road 424, center of Village of AlphaPhone: (906) 875-3465 

 

 

 Iron County Courthouse

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Located in the Crystal Falls Historic District, it is the most architecturally significant building in the County.  With the use of regional materials in its construction and the numerous and varied tributes to the area’s influential cultures, this building is an accurate reflection of the days when iron was King. Courthouse_ThumbLocation: 2 S Sixth Street, at the top of the hill in Crystal FallsPhone: (906) 875-3301

 

Harbour House

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Originally built in 1900, this Queen Anne Colonial Revival home has been restored and is now a museum featuring furnishings, decorations and artifacts from IronCounty’s past.Harbor_House_ThumbLocation: 17 N 4th St in Crystal Falls.Phone: (906) 875-4341 or (906) 875-3454
Website:  http://www.harbourhousemuseum.org/

 


 

 Mansfield Location & Pioneer Church

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Mansfield is the site where one of Michigan’s worst mining disasters occurred on September 28, 1893; 27 miners lost their lives in a cave-in. Also at the site is the Mansfield Church built in the late 1800’s.  This log structure was completely restored in 1987 and serves as a landmark and reminder of the small mining settlement.Location: 7 miles N of M-69 on Mansfield Cutoff Rd, 1 mile N on Stream RdMansfield_Thumb Phone: (906) 875-3553

 


Amasa Museum 

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The Amasa Museum, located in the Main Street Historical District of Amasa, formerly the township hall, is a fine example of late 1800s balloon style architecture. The main floor has many pictorial displays of the mining and logging industries that helped build Amasa, plus Amasa School and Triangle Ranch memorabilia.Amasa_ThumbLocation: 12 miles N of US 2, just off Hwy 141 on Pine St in AmasaPhone: (906) 265-2617

 


 

Fortune Pond 

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Fortune Pond is an example of how mine sites can be reclaimed by nature.  This iron mine produced 1,316,905 tons of iron ore from 1953 to 1958. It had one shaft with two drifts used to drain the 210-foot deep pit. The pit is 1,930 feet long by 750 feet wide and now lends itself to a scuba diver’s and fisherman’s paradise.Fortune_ThumbLocation: 3/4 mile N of US 2 on New Bristol Rd, 2 miles W of Crystal Falls.Phone: (906) 265-3822

 

 

 Be-Wa-Bic (Bewabic) State Park

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This 315-acre State Park has a number public log buildings built by the Civilian Conservation Corps in the 1930s, which includes stonework along the beach and parking lots. Interpretive signing on the upper level near the campgrounds affords the visitor a chance to see how early settlers cleared the land for lumbering, mining, agriculture and tourism.Bewabic_ThumbLocation: 4 miles W of Crystal Falls on US 2Phone: (906) 875-3324
Website:  Bewabic State Park

 


 

Larson Park 

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Established in 1919, this park is the first roadside picnic site in Michigan and perhaps in the entire United States.  Developed by road engineer Herbert Larson after noting the lack of public rest areas, Larson was determined to provide a stop for travelers where they could relax, rest and share information before proceeding on their journey.Lasronpark_ThumbLocation: On US 2 four miles E of Iron River Phone: (906) 875-3301

 

 


 

Apple Blossom Trail

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This paved non-motorized pathway along the banks of the Iron River was originally the major corridor for the rail lines that hauled thousands of tons of iron ore fromApple_Blossom_Thumblocal mines to the steel mills of Chicago and Indiana. The site where Harvey Mellon first discovered iron ore in 1851 is along the route.Location: Trail Head located at the Iron County Chamber of Commerce; Access points in downtown Iron River or Caspian. Phone: (906) 265-2514 (Caspian City Hall)

 


 

 Lake Ottawa Recreation Area & Campground

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An Ottawa National Forest recreation site that offers  hiking trails to Orville’s Bench on the Ge-Che trail. The site introduces visitors to one of the most breathtaking natural views in the County.  The pristine lake contains the remnants of some of the area’s earliest residents; prehistoric Indians dating back at least 2,000 years.lakeottawa_ThumbLocation: 1 mile S of US 2 on M-73 to Ottawa Lake Rd, 4 miles. Phone: (906) 265-5139
Website:  Lake Ottawa Recreation Area

 


 Mile Post Zero & Treaty Tree

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This site notes where Captain Thomas Cram placed the first marker at the survey point establishing the Wisconsin-Michigan state boundary in 1840. As part of the settlement of the “Toledo War” between Michigan and Ohio, the Upper Peninsula was granted to Michigan. The site also tells the story of a treaty for passage with Chief Ca-Sha-O-Sha and the band of Ojibwa near a large tamarack tree at the headwaters of the Brule River.Treatytreepostzero_ThumbLocation: From M-73 continue on Ottawa Lake Rd to West Brule Lake Rd to Stateline Picnic Grounds, total 7 miles. Phone: (906) 265-5139

 


 

 Camp Gibbs Recreation Area

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In 1935, Camp Gibbs was established as a Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) camp. The materials and methods of construction represent a time when frugality was critical to the survival of society.Camp_gibbs_thumb

 

Location: 10 miles N of US 2, about 2 miles W of Iron River.

Phone: (906) 265-5139

 

 

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