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Black River Harbor Scenic Parkway & Campground

Black River Harbor
The Harbor at the Black River Scenic Recreation Area - Michigan Upper Peninsula

Black River Harbor is the only Great Lakes harbor located administered by the USDA Forest Service. The harbor has services for day and transient boaters, including several dock-side picnic tables. The scenic hiking trails through an old growth hemlock and hardwood forest and five waterfalls make this one of our favorite scenic stops around Lake Superior. And as we discovered in some fall visits, the waterfalls can be as spectacular in the fall as they are in late spring.

Black River Harbor and Recreation Area is located 15 miles north of Bessemer, Michigan via County 513 - the Black River Scenic Byway. In 1904, this was a wagon road from Bessemer to Lake Superior. In 1924 Gogebic County began construction of the harbor park, later transferred to the USDA Forest Service. The park includes a vending machine kiosk, picnic area, playground, pavilion, campground and a sandy beach.

Black River Harbor Campground

lake superior view black river harborblack river harbor campgroundblack river campground

The Ottawa National Forest campground is on a bluff overlooking the lake. It has 40 well spaced and nicely maintained campsites, some with Lake Superior Views. Seventeen camp sites are no reservation, first come first serve; but 23 of the 40 sites can now be reserved through

There are 2 "modern" vault toilets at each end of the campground. [During our recent visit we found them clean and free of odors.]

stairway to Rainbow FallsHiking trails lead to the harbor park and to an extensive sand beach (see picture) offering lots of rock picking for rock hounds and agate seekers, plus swimming and a secluded peaceful stroll along the lake for relaxing exercise.

In 2022, the road through the campground and all of the campsite parking pads were freshly paved.

black river park campsite     campground park road

black river harbor maphiking trail to black river harbor

Hiking Trails & Campground

Click on the map of the harbor camping, hiking trails, and recreational facilities. A quarter mile trail leads from the campground to the harbor park. (Right Picture)

North Country Trail Map


< < < Also a section of the North Country Hiking Trail runs through the park linking all the waterfalls.

Other Nearby Campgrounds

Curry Park, Ironwood, Michigan

Little Girls Point, Ironwood, Michigan

agate hunting on the beach

Agate Hunting & Rock Picking

Black River Harbors sand beach is one of our favorite rock picking and agate hunting beaches. See our article on BRH Beach Rock Picking/Agate Collecting.

Black River Harbor National Scenic Byway Waterfalls

Hiking Trails & Waterfalls along the
Black River National Scenic Byway

In the last two miles before the Black River empties into Lake Superior, it drops 200 feet. Along this stretch there are five waterfalls, each of which has a trailhead parking area and a trail leading to the falls.

rainbow falls
See the Black River Waterfalls Here.

North Country Hiking Trail

suspension bridge

The North Country Trail runs adjacent to the river and crosses the suspension bridge near the mouth of the river. The trail goes by the eastern side of Rainbow Falls before turning east towards Porcupine Mountains State Park.

North Country Trail Map

< < < see graphic of the North Country Hiking Trail running through the park linking all the waterfalls.

black river harbor hiking

Jo and the Andrews family pause along the trail to Rainbow Falls by a huge old hemlock tree. A beautiful old growth climax forest lines the river's gorge.


  Scenic Fall Color Drive - Black River Harbor & Little Girls Pointcolor tour upper peninsula

One of our favorite fall color drives runs from just north and west of Hurley from US Highway 2 towards the lake and Saxon Harbor, then crosses into Michigan to Little Girls Point. From Little Girls Point you can return through the wooded hills and hardwood forest away from the lake and eventually connect with the Black River Scenic Byway that will return you to the lake shore. Learn More about the Black River Scenic Byway and our this color tour drive here.

Stormy Kromer HatThe Original Stormy Kromer Wool Cap in Red & Black

Stormy Kromer and his hat have a long history with Wisconsin (Stormy was born in Kaukauna, Wisconsin) and Yoopers. Originally hand made by Stormy's wife Ida beginning in 1903. Now continuing to be made in the USA in Ironwood, Michigan, this practical winter hat is made in a variety of colors and patterns.

See our article and pictures on taking the Stormy Kromer Factory Tour. - Reinhold Development - 2023 Mobile-Friendly Lake Superior Circle Tour Travel Planner

gooseberry falls park
Winter - Michigan UP
Winter - Wisconsin Winter - Minnesota
Winter - Sault Ste Marie.

Little Girls Point Campground
Best Upper Peninsula Campgrounds

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Lake Superior Camping
& Campground Directory

Best Camping along Lake Superior.

Upper Tahquamenon FallsTahquamenon Falls State Park and Waterfalls.

Brockaway Mountain Fall Color By Ziming Zheng
Copper Harbor and Brockaway Mountain

Manabezho Falls
Presque Isle River Waterfalls

Wisconsin Outdoor Treasures Hiking Michigan's Upper Peninsula
See Eric Hansen's guide to hiking the Upper Peninsula and other guides for best hiking in the Upper Peninsula [More info]

miners castle on the pictured rocks cruise
Pictured Rocks Cruises

Upper Tahquamenon Falls
Michigan Upper Peninsula Waterfalls

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Travel Information

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Lake Superior Circle Tour Road Map & Guide to Travel Attractions around Lake Superior.

keith aliUP200 Sled Dog Race & Festival

Identifying Lake Superior Agates and Beach Rocks.Lake Superior Agate?

rainbow falls fall color black river harborBlack River Harbor
Scenic Byway - Fall Color.

Best Rock Picking and Agate Hunting Beaches in the Upper Peninsula. grand marais beach and grand sable dunes

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Upper Peninsula Fall Color Tour Map

Big Sand Bay Eagle Harbor, MI
Copper Harbor & Keweenaw Scenic Drive

Upper Tahquamenon Falls
Upper Tahquamenon Falls

Porcupine Mountains Lake of the CloudsPorcupine Mountains State Park was voted #2 Best State Park in the U.S.


Lake Superior Golf Course Reviews
See our Reviews of Michigan Upper Peninsula Golf Courses around Lake Superior.