Houghton and Hancock are a pair of small towns in the Upper Peninsula of the state of Michigan, and home to Michigan Technological University and Finlandia University. Although separated by a canal, they are connected into a single community by a unique lift bridge.

Get in

The two main routes into Houghton and Hancock from the south are US-41 and M26.

Travelers coming from Green Bay or the central or eastern Upper Peninsula will likely travel on US-41. You'll know you've arrived because you'll suddenly find yourself surrounded by large modern university buildings, sprawling parking lots, and fraternity houses; you're on the campus of Michigan Tech. Keep driving to reach downtown Houghton, where the architecture transforms into old red sandstone buildings lining the tightly-packed small town business district overlooking the canal. US-41 then crosses the lift bridge into Hancock, which climbs the ridge on the north side of the channel.

Those arriving from central Wisconsin, Minnesota, or the Western UP will take M26. The first thing you will see will be the Walmart on the right, and an eroded cliff on the left. Like US-41, M26 crosses the lift bridge.

Houghton County Memorial Airport, , has a few flights each day from Chicago although they tend to be fairly expensive. The airport is located about 5 miles north of Houghton/Hancock. To get to Houghton, there is an Avis car rental on-site and Neil's Cab service is also an option.

Get around


Houghton-Hancock are very small cities and are easily accessed by foot, although some streets can be very steep.


Neil's Cab (+1 906-482-5515) operates a few taxis in the area and the City of Houghton operates a shuttle service .

Another taxi service is Copper Country Limo, featuring airport and local transportation. This is a smoke free service. They do local and long distance with a strectch limo also available. Serving the University and Airport. (906-370-4761 or www.coppercountrylimo.com)


For exploring the area, a personal car would be best. Car rentals area available at the airport.

The road names can be confusing as the same road can have different names in different areas. Coming into Houghton, US-41 is called College Ave after Michigan Tech, and then changes to one-way Shelden Ave in downtown Houghton, crosses the bridge, and splits into two different directions of M-26 and US-41. The Yooper Loop is a rather challenging piece of road on the south side of the lift bridge, where Memorial (US-41), Montezuma, and Shelden meet. Go slow, but don't stop and remember to check your blind spot if you need to go onto M-26.



Houghton-Hancock is mostly known for its cross country skiing. 4 local cross country trail systems groomed for both skating and striding are in the area. Mt. Ripley is open to downhill skiers and snowboarders, and is owned by Michigan Tech. Downwind Sports and Cross Country Sports are good places to rent equipment and ask about trails and waterways.The Breakers and McLain State Park are the closest access sites to Lake Superior. Swimming anywhere on Portage Lake can be refreshing in summer, as is canoeing or kayaking. Fishing is a popular activity both on Portage lake and the many nearby lakes.

Houghton is also the home port for the Ranger III, a 125 passenger National Park Service ferry ship that takes passengers to and from Isle Royale during the summer months.

There are five screens in the Rogers Cinema 5 theater, which is located in the Copper Country Mall.



Pasties are the most famous food in the Copper Country but there are a number of restaurants offering unique and high quality foods.


The Upper Peninsula has a long drinking tradition, and the neighborhood bar is common here.


Go next

Routes through Houghton-Hancock

END Copper Harbor  N  S  L'Anse Marquette

This article is issued from Wikivoyage - version of the Thursday, October 09, 2014. The text is available under the Creative Commons Attribution/Share Alike but additional terms may apply for the media files.