Keweenaw Adventure Company’s Mission & History:
MISSION: To be the hub for human-powered recreation in Keweenaw County by providing essential goods and services that connect people with awe and respect to the Keweenaw Peninsula – ultimately contributing to the region’s well-being through education, stewardship, conservation and responsible tourism.
Established in 1994, Keweenaw Adventure Company (KAC) specializes in Lake Superior sea kayak adventures and mountain biking on Copper Harbor’s internationally recognized trail system. We offer a variety of guided day trips for both activities, as well as multi-day kayak tours on Isle Royale National Park and along the Keweenaw Water Trail. KAC has a small retail shop where we host a supply of essential bike parts and kayak accessories, bicycle, canoe, sit-on-top kayak, SUP rentals, bicycle service (mechanics), eco-interpretive hikes and a shuttle service. More than just a retail shop, we have also built our reputation as advocates, trail builders, community organizers and folks who like to have a good time – and also folks that like to promote trail safety and etiquette, too!
The KAC Story and Vision:
Steve and Julie Brimm founded Keweenaw Adventure Company (KAC) in 1994, offering sea kayak instruction, guided tours and outfitting in the summer months and specializing in dog sledding adventures during the winter.
In the summer of 1995, Sam Raymond was living in Colorado when he came for a week vacation to his past-summer home of Copper Harbor. His mountain bike broke down while on a ride and there was no one in town who could help to get his bike back on the trail. Disappointed that he wasn’t able to ride for the duration of this vacation, the seed for Sam’s dream was planted while on his long drive back to Colorado. This dream was to open the first bike shop in Copper Harbor to service the needs of the traveling biker, while building a foundation to establish the area as the premier mid-western mountain biking destination… ultimately a “build it and they will come” philosophy.
…the seed for Sam’s dream was planted while on his long drive back to Colorado. This dream was to open the first bike shop in Copper Harbor to service the needs of the traveling biker…
A couple years later in 1997, Sam spent an extended time in Copper Harbor with his passion for mountain biking learned in Colorado. He spent a lot of time exploring the backcountry and doing work bringing abandoned hiking trails and skidder roads back to life as singletrack mountain bike trails. At the same time, he helped to lead the charge of a small, loose-knit group of volunteers who together began to establish many of Copper Harbor’s “legacy” trails, in addition to co-organizing the annual mountain bike race event, the Copper Harbor Fat Tire Festival (now Bell’s Beer Harbor’s Trails Festival), for which he served as race director from 1999-2012. Sam’s dream was starting to come true, as he started to work within the greater community promoting the economic and recreational benefits mountain biking could contribute to the area’s tourist-based economy.
Sam’s dream was starting to come true, as he started to work within the greater community promoting the economic and recreational benefits mountain biking could contribute to the area’s tourist-based economy.
Sam was lured back to allure of Copper Harbor for the summer of 1998, and was hired and trained by the Brimm’s as a sea kayak guide at the KAC. Still in the process of laying ground work for his envisioned bike shop, the opportunity presented itself when the Brimm’s chose to move on, leaving KAC up for grabs. No time was wasted, and that very autumn ownership of the business was transferred to Sam and officially became Keweenaw Adventure Company, LLC. The result was a better rounded summertime land and water adventure company. It continued its role in sea kayaking, specializing in instruction for beginners, guided day tours and outfitting for Isle Royale National Park and Keweenaw Water Trail multi-day adventures.
The dream of Copper Harbor’s first bike shop blossomed into a reality. The “outpost shop at the end of the road” today hosts top of the line bicycle rentals, qualified bicycle mechanics, mountain bike guide and shuttle service and stocks an essential supply of parts and accessories. KAC has a variety of area maps and is recognized as the area’s experts for providing trail information and local marine forecasts. Strong involvement with the Copper Harbor Trails Club continues and its longstanding grassroots promotion of mountain biking – including conservation, land acquisition projects and responsible stewardship to guarantee the continued future public access to the trails in Keweenaw Peninsula carry on.
The dream of Copper Harbor’s first bike shop blossomed into a reality.