Amy Blake–find her on Instagram at amyupnorthwas kind enough to offer up several photos of where she runs just a little further north of, well, most of us. I’ll let her explain…-MRG

Amy, pausing during a run in the always picturesque Upper Peninsula.
Amy, pausing during a run in the always picturesque Upper Peninsula.

My name is Amy, and I probably live north of you.

Where exactly? I make my home in Michigan’s Keweenaw Peninsula, about 30 miles from the northernmost point of the state. We might not always have the greatest cell phone reception, but the scenery certainly makes up for it.

I started out as a suburban road runner about 14 years ago and caught the sickness ran my first marathon in 2004. Though a lifelong athlete, I feel like I fell in love with running late in life. And now, as a mom of two young kids (4.5 and 1.5), running is a necessity.  For health, for fitness, for sanity. :)

"My coworkers and I often run on our lunch break, just so we can run in daylight (and drop my daughter’s backpack off at the nearby preschool)."
“My coworkers and I often run on our lunch break, just so we can run in daylight (and drop my daughter’s backpack off at the nearby preschool).”

I still do a large amount of training on roads to prep for races, but lately I’ve been seeking out trails. It doesn’t take long – I’ve got world-class trail systems a mere mile or so from my home and work.

Swedetown Trails, Calumet, Michigan
Swedetown Trails, Calumet, Michigan

In addition to single track, we have hundreds of miles of old railroad grade – the copper industry here in the early 1900s necessitated miles and miles of it which has since been converted to snowmobile/silent sport trails. When I train in the summer for my annual fall marathon, these are my favorite.

"These photos are from this past fall. Right now everything is covered under about 35 inches of snow (as of this writing, we’ve had 179 inches this season!)."
“These photos are from this past fall. Right now everything is covered under about 35 inches of snow (as of this writing, we’ve had 179 inches this season!).”

When my favorite trails are snowed in for the season, I stick to country roads (spikes and yaktrax are my friends!) and occasionally, find paths less traveled (by people, anyway).

"My friend Nancy and I keeping it weird while running across the Portage Lake Lift Bridge on the lower portion (usually reserved for snowmobilers) that connects our peninsula to the rest of the Upper Peninsula. We didn’t get arrested (phew)!"
“My friend Nancy and I keeping it weird while running across the Portage Lake Lift Bridge on the lower portion (usually reserved for snowmobilers) that connects our peninsula to the rest of the Upper Peninsula. We didn’t get arrested (phew)!”

I feel really fortunate to live in such a beautiful area that others can only visit on vacation and try to take advantage of running in it as much as I can. Come visit and bring your running shoes!

Learn more about Amy and her running on her blog » 

Where do you love to run? if you are interested in sharing a beloved Michigan running location, wherever it may be throughout lower Michigan or the Upper Peninsula, email a picture and a description of the area (and why you like running there so much) to: michiganrunnergirl [at] gmail [dot] com (Please try to keep your story/description to 300 words or less). I’d love to feature a variety of routes, from city landscapes, rocky or sandy shorelines, wide open hills and meadows, tree-lined trails…you get the picture. I can’t wait to see your running route!

 

 

 

 

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4 Responses to “My Michigan Run: Amy Blake shares some gorgeous runs in the U.P.’s Keweenaw Peninsula”

    • Very cool, Angela! I remember you saying you lived up there years ago – lucky you! :) My brother went to college in Houghton and never left. He loves it up there. It’s definitely one of our favorite places in Michigan – great camping, and so many trails for running, hiking, biking…don’t get me started on the beauty of Lake Superior! Glad you liked Amy’s pictures – thanks for posting!

  1. Gah, I really need to get to the UP (and up north in general) to run! I feel like I’m cheating Michigan by not having explored all the beautiful trails it has to offer. This year will be different as I’m going to experiment with trail running

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