Black River Harbor, 15 miles north of Bessemer, is one of only two harbors in the National Forest system. It is located at the mouth of the Black River and offers a picnic area, pristine beach, boat launch and hiking access to Rainbow Falls.
Originally the summer fishing grounds for the Ojibwa and later the site of a 1920's commercial fishing village, Black River Harbor is as rich in history as it is in scenic beauty.
Summer temps and a south wind allow for Lake Superior shorelines to warm up. And, despite the Lake's reputation for tall, cold waves and winter gales, it's not unusual for the water to turn to glass in July and August.
Lake Superior was called "Gichigami" by the Ojibwa... meaning "big water". It is the coldest, deepest and cleanest of the Great Lakes. At its farthest points, it is 350 miles long and 160 miles wide. It has a surface area of 31,820 square miles... almost the same size as South Carolina. There is enough water in Lake Superior to cover the entire land mass of North & South America with 1 foot of water!
Lake Superior's beaches hold some of the oldest rocks on the planet. The beach at Black River Harbor is ever changing with the weather. Waves constantly turn over sand and lake stones. Among the tumbled stones you will spot agates, quartz, marble, granite, chert, fossils, rhyolite, basalt, epidote and more.
The drive to Black River Harbor follows the Black River Scenic Byway. The road descends almost 1000 feet in elevation from Bessemer to Lake Superior. On the way, you will pass Copper Peak Ski Jump, trail heads for the 5 named Black River waterfalls and the village of Black River Harbor.