Adventure Copper Mine
flickr image by xray10

Adventure Copper Mine

Highway M-38, Greenland, Michigan, USA

Your hosts for this mining adventure are Matthew and Victoria Portfleet of Adventure Mining Company. The Adventure Copper Mine is located in Ontonagon County, Michigan, at the base of the Keweenaw Peninsula, located in the Upper Western Peninsula, Greenland, Michigan. The Adventure Copper Mine is approximately a half an hour distance from the Porcupine Mountains Wilderness State Park.  While visiting the mine area, there are also available many miles of hiking and mountain biking trails. On these trails through the forest you will find old home foundations, and prospecting pits from those early days of mining. Also something that may interest you, this is the location of the annual “Miner’s Revenge Mountain Bike Race” in mid July. It is the only Mountain Bike race of its kind, where you will race over the mountain and then right thru it ! A third of a mile of the race is underground, and you will need a flashlight for that! These are some of the most preserved copper mines in Michigan. You can choose one or all of three tours of the underground mines. You also can experience some excitement and exercise by exploring the first level by rappelling via harness  and rope to explore the second level of the mines.

The Adventure Mine was opened on an existing 5,000 year old prehistoric excavations located on the Adventure Bluff which were extensive for that time. There were five original shafts;four were inclined at 45 degrees to follow ore, one vertical. The deepest one had 13 levels, and followed the ore further down to a level of 1300 ft.

For those interested in the geology of the copper mine, the mine is situated on ancient basaltic lava flow, and the copper which was found and mined was in pure metallic form. Early miners found large masses of copper in the Adventure Mine, some pieces as large as many tons. Copper being mixed in the flow of lava, formed in the cracks of the molten lava flow.

The Adventure Copper Mine was a working, producing copper mine from 1850-1920, and supported both the young and old miners of the time. The mine was completely “hand dug” during this time and very productive. It was decided to close the mine because it went bankrupt in 1920. The reason it went out of business was the cost to mine and refine the copper cost more than it could be sold for.

The tours of the Adventure Mine is the “Real Deal”. You are issued a hard hat with headlight, which you will use on the underground tour, as there are no lights in the underground mines. Temperatures are a cool 48 degrees and footing can be rough, so dress accordingly. There are four levels of tours available, each with a different level of difficulty, but one for everyone. Choose from the Trammer’s Underground Tour, the Prospector’s Underground Tour, The Miner’s Underground Tour and the Captain’s Underground Tour. Also note that the Adventure Mine is very “kid friendly”, having all necessary for their enjoyment, like flashlights, bats, rocks, all terrain vehicles and hardhats.

Date posted: 11th February, 2013

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