With a population of just over 5,000, Ironwood, MI, is one of the safest, most close-knit cities that you can visit in the United States. Although the population count might be low, this is one city that can easily be called tiny but mighty. Not only does the town come alive during the winter season, but people from all over the world flock to Ironwood Hotels to warm up for the night before they go on snowy adventures. It is also home to several bucket list-worthy attractions that you’ll want to add to your itinerary this year.
Finding things to do in Ironwood isn’t hard when all you have to do is look to the mountains or nearby Lake Superior, but it does help to have a few ideas of what tourists and locals consider the height of fun. These five things to do in Ironwood are just a drop in the bucket of all the attractions the area offers, but you’ll want to make them each something to try at least once before you head home.
1. Test Your Bravery At Copper Peak
If the thought of flying down this fear-inducing ski jump leaves your heart racing faster than a downhill skier’s, then don’t worry! The jump is currently in the process of redevelopment, which means that it is only open for visitors to take tours where they can learn about the history of the ski jump as they also enjoy the opportunity to take in sky-high scenic views. If you choose to take the challenge, you can ride up on an 800-foot chairlift or opt for the 26-story elevator to make it to the top.
Once you get up there, you might be able to see three states along with Canada, provided that you visit on a clear day. Keep in mind, however, that the height and build of the structure allow for some movement. If you feel swaying at the very top of the observation deck, just remind yourself that it’s all part of the plan. Considering that you can’t find a view like this anywhere else, any jitteriness you feel is bound to dissipate as you relax and take in the picturesque scene.
2. Spend a Day Exploring Downtown
Ironwood’s downtown area might be small, but it is hard to miss considering that the Hiawatha Statue stands right nearby. At 52 feet tall, the impressive fiberglass structure is known for being the World’s Largest Indian Statue. Stopping here gives you a chance to pose like a tourist for the ultimate selfie shot, and you’ll have the opportunity to learn a bit more about the statue’s history.
After visiting one of the town’s significant historical markers, you can keep the educational opportunities flowing by visiting the Ironwood Carnegie Library. The library’s listing on the National Register of Historic Places is notable to visitors. Still, it also represents a major connection between the residents of Ironwood and the rest of the world. Since the library is still operating, you can enjoy popping in and checking out the books before you go back to your Ironwood hotel.
3. Enjoy Your Favorite Activities at Lake Superior
The best hotels in Ironwood are located only about half an hour from the amazing beaches and destinations surrounding Lake Superior. During the summer months, you can swim, kayak and fish to your heart’s content. With the water turning frigid in the winter, you might want to turn your sights more towards boating or hiking along nearby wilderness areas. No matter what you plan to do, you’ll find several fun options to launch your adventure.
Little Girls Point is a family-friendly country park that allows you and your crew to walk along agate-filled beaches to look for barely buried treasure. Black River Harbor is another nearby destination that offers chartered fishing tours, or you might opt to bring your boat if you travel with your own aquatic vehicle in tow. If sea kayaking is more your style, then you’ll find an excellent launch site here. Presque Isle State Park is also available for all-season hikers who want to see the waterfalls in all their glory, whether they are flowing freely or frozen in place.
4. Go Skiing On the ABR Trails
You’ll find no shortage of places to ski near Ironwood, and ABR Ski Trails is a full-service touring center that is located on more than 1,100 acres of scenic land that is perfect for cross-country skiing. You’ll find classic combination trails here, along with single-track trails that include ones for snowshoeing. You’ll also find everything you need to complete your skiing adventure in style. From warming stations to waxing areas, as you’ll find at hotels in Ironwood, you’ll discover that skiing like a pro is more accessible when you have all the tools and amenities you need at your disposal.
5. Take a Tour
The history of Ironwood includes being a mining town and taking a moment to tour one of the many historical buildings gives you a chance to gain a deeper appreciation of what went into building up the area. The Iron County Historical Museum was built in 1893 and originally served as the town hall for the now-gone town of Vaughn. Today, visitors who arrive for tours can enjoy three full stories of displays that cover everything from the history of mining to what life was like on the home front for the people who lived here.
While you’ll come across many legends about various skiers, mountaineers, and miners, one stands out. Stormy Kromer was a genuinely real guy that spent his life as a semi-pro baseball player and railroad engineer. With those occupations, the last thing you might think is that he’d become a fashion designer. But that’s exactly what he did. Now, we won’t ruin your tour by giving you all the details, but it’s worth popping into the Stormy Kromer factor for a tour that tells you more. The tour is free, and you’ll have the chance to pose with the Big Cap statue and even use the site’s picnic tables for a quick lunch while your pet and kids stretch their legs.
Ironwood Hotels give you a comfortable place to stay as you enjoy the wholesome atmosphere of a town that is built around history and a great love for the outdoors. With multiple options for things to do, visitors also love that they can easily find an activity that suits their mood.
Try alternating busy days on the slopes with a few easygoing ones where you can soak up the down-home feel of the local eateries and restaurants. Don’t forget that taking a tour of a least one historical site or factory can round out an adventurous trip while giving you a chance to catch your breath. Whether you stay for a week or a month, you’ll likely find yourself scheduling a second trip to make sure you hit all of the wonderful places you missed the first time around in your new favorite town.