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Things to Do in Houghton, Michigan

Houghton Things to Do

Houghton, Michigan is best known for Houghton, Lake. However, there is more to do than just visit the lake. Here are top activities and attractions to check out while visiting Houghton.

Tours of Quincy Smelter

The Upper Peninsula use to be a major mining region of the country. While this no longer is the case, there are the remains of several turn of the 20th century manufacturing and production “towns.” While not actual cities, many of these smelter plants are made up of 20 or more buildings. Now more or less ghost towns, it is a pretty interesting tour. Plus, the facilities are right along the water, with a hilly, green backdrop. It really is rather beautiful and yet eerie at the same time.


There are several excellent hiking destinations in the area. None of the hikes are terribly difficult, so if climbing large hills or steps is hard on the knees you don’t need to worry. For the most part these trails are flat with a few gradual inclines around hills. However, you’ll be out in nature without large cities in the backdrop. Everywhere you turn will be vegetation and something to see. It is also a nice spot for local bird watching. Hawks and eagles do call this area home, so if you keep your eyes open, you may see several birds of prey, including bald eagles.

There are several biking trails that go along with the hiking trails here. The biking trails mostly go around the Houghton waterfront (the Houghton Waterfront Trail is by far the most popular). At some of the small shops near the water you can rent bicycles, although as it is a small town the bicycles do go quickly, so stop by in the morning to see what sort of bike supply is available).

Rocks and Minerals

If you are a rock fan, this is a fantastic little stop for you. In the city area there are several different rock and mineral shops to check out. You’ll find both locally sourced rocks and gems imported from other regions of the country. You’ll also come by some of the famous Petoskey stones. If you’ve never seen a Petoskey stone before and are a rock collector, you need to pick one up. It is a smooth stone on the surface, but when you put it under water it comes to life and you can see naturally created designs, almost like snowflakes.

The Waterfront

Waterfront Park is the best destination for taking in the water. It is always gentle and the slightly rolling sand down into the water is perfect. The beach generally isn’t busy, although some crowds can develop during the summer weekends. There is a recreation area next to the park where you can picnic, play games or just kick back and relax.

Editor’s note: The information contained on this page was compiled using real traveler reviews about things to do in Houghton, Michigan.

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