Outside of Academics

There really is a lot of stuff to explore and do!

Houghton is a small town along the Portage Canal (in)famous for its snowy winter.  As you enter Houghton, you see a sign that says “Welcome to Houghton, Birthplace of Professional Hockey”. Along with professional hockey, it is also the home of the Huskies (Michigan Tech students), our Home Away From Home. Some people might say it is the “end of the earth”, yet there is a lot of stuff to explore and do when you’re not running experiments, grading papers, or studying.

Student Organizations
The Experience Tech

The Experience Tech fee is paid by students at the start of every semester, helping finance a wide variety of activities across campus available to all students.

  • Sports and Recreation opportunities are widely available in the Houghton area.  Some options include intramural sports leagues, adult fitness classes, and many others.  The Student Development Complex (SDC) also has excellent facilities.
  • The world-acclaimed Tech Trails is great for hiking and biking in warmer months, and skiing and snowshoeing in the winter.  
  • Outdoor Adventure Program (OAP) offers MTU students in-season rentals of various outdoor equipment.  They have a wide range of things to choose from:  kayaks, snowshoes, skis, mountain bikes, and more.  Their office is one of the best places to rent your sports gear to experience outdoor fun.
  • Rozsa Center for the Performing Arts offers a wide array of national and university-produced theatre, music, film, and dance productions.  Tickets can be obtained at the Central Ticket Office in the SDC, via email at tickets@mtu.edu, by calling (906)487-2073, or at the Rosza Ticket office up to two hours before the event.
  • Winter Carnival celebrates the snowy playground our campus becomes each winter.  This unique Michigan Tech tradition exhibits student-constructed snow statutes, broomball tournaments, and many other student activities.
  • The A. E. Seaman Mineral Museum showcases marvelous minerals from the Great Lakes region and around the world.  
  • Mont Ripley is a great place for skiing, snowboarding, and downhill tubing during the winter months.    
Keweenaw Peninsula

The Keweenaw Peninsula constitutes the northernmost part of Michigan’s upper peninsula (UP).  It is a place filled with pristine beauty that can help you find inner peace amid your whirlwind adventure.  Here are some recreational places offering a range of activities:

Houghton County
  • Ray Kestner Waterfront park (aka Chutes and ladders) is situated by the Portage Canal and has a volleyball court, campground, and occasional live performances.  Chutes and Ladders is the perfect place for adults and children alike.  Rental kayaks are available in warm weather, and the park is converted into a skating rink in the wintertime.
  • The North Canal Township Park (aka Breakers Beach) is situated across from the north side of McLain State Park, with a breakwater built to preserve the Keweenaw Waterway. 
  • Agate Beach is a great place for beachcombing for agate rocks.
  • Keweenaw National Historical Park is a perfect place for history lovers to learn how the ‘Copper Country’ was forged.  The US copper boom began in the Keweenaw, bringing mining industries to the area. 
  • Bridgefest is an annual tradition celebrating the Portage Lake Lift Bridge, which connects the twin cities of Houghton and Hancock.  Festivities usually include a parade, fireworks display, and more!
  • Take full advantage of the winter to go ice fishing in Portage Lake or one of the inland lakes.  The UP is also one of the best destinations for snowmobiling.  Please note that fishing in Michigan requires a fishing license through the DNR.
City of Hancock
  • McLain State Park is a huge park located on the shores of Lake Superior.  It offers warm-weather activities such as camping, fishing, hiking, hunting, beachcombing, as well as skiing and snowshoeing in winter. 
  • Maasto Hiihto Trails and Churning Rapids Nordic Ski Area is a great place for cross-country skiing in winters and hiking in summers.
  • Hancock Beach is the perfect summer picnic spot.  This scenic beach has trails wandering into the adjacent woods, and even has an ice cream stand!
  • Tour the Quincy Mine, a 175-year old copper mine in the heart of Hancock and learn about mine history and how miners survived at that depth. 
  • The annual Canal Run has walks and runs of various lengths available for all ages.  Many community members also enjoy volunteering for the event or simply cheering on participants.
City of Calumet
  • Calumet Waterworks is a serene park located on the shores of Lake Superior with an excellent view of the Northern Lights (under the right conditions).
  • Equally beautiful in the summer and winter, Black Creek Nature Sanctuary is located along Lake Superior shoreline, preserving the indigeneous flora and fauna.
  • The Calumet Theatre is a national historic landmark over 100 years old that continues to offer various events to the local community each year.
  • Pasty Fest is an annual festival celebrating the Upper Peninsula’s traditional food – the pasty!  The event is held downtown Calumet along with a parade and community events.
Copper Harbor
  • Brockway Mountain Drive  is a scenic roadway to the west of Copper Harbor.  It is one of the best lookout points for fall colors in the Keweenaw and a perfect location for bird-watchers during seasonal migration.
  • The Estivant Pines Nature Sanctuary is one of the oldest nature sanctuaries in Michigan.  Consisting of 508 acres in the Keweenaw, this sanctuary is home to about 85 bird species and the oldest white pines in the Upper Peninsula.  Some of the trees here are 400 years old!
  • The Copper Harbor trails are rustic and beautiful for bikers, hikers, skiers, and campers.
Fourth of July Fireworks

Fourth of July fireworks celebrate Independence Day in the US and take place after sunset.  The exact date may vary depending on what day of the week the holiday occurs. Check out the link to see the 2021 schedule.  Some local places worth considering:

    • Village of South Range
    • Village of Lake Linden
    • Copper Harbor
City of Chassell
  • Centennial Park is located on the shores of Portage Canal, and offers activities for children and adults such as fishing, a playground, and swimming.
  • The Strawberry Festival is an annual strawberry-themed event on a weekend close to July 4th.  It is a great time to sample the strawberries and locally crafted goods!
Exploring da UP