Enjoy an Epic Off-Road Adventure on an Electric ATV at Hamilton’s North Coast Adventures in the U.P. of Michigan
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Enjoy an Epic Off-Road Adventure on an Electric ATV at Hamilton’s North Coast Adventures in the U.P. of Michigan

Polaris Kinetic XP Ranger electric ATV
  • For $299 per person, you can tour remote parts of the Upper Peninsula of Michigan on an electric ATV.
  • Full-day and half-day rentals are available, and the calendar is open for scheduling. 
  • Hamilton’s North Coast Adventures offers off-road tours that bring together nature, Michigan history, copper mines, and electric ATVs.
  • Thanks to a grant from the State of Michigan, electrified adventure tours will bring more business opportunities to an economically depressed part of northern Michigan.

Enjoying the great outdoors doesn’t have to involve loud, polluting, gas-powered off-road vehicles. In the Upper Peninsula (U.P.) of Michigan, EV and off-roading enthusiasts can experience the Michigan outdoors on electrified ATVS at Hamilton’s North Coast Adventures.


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When and Where You Can Reserve Your Off-Road EV Tours

Electrified off-road vehicles rule the day at Hamilton’s North Coast Adventures. Polaris, North Coast Adventures, and the State of Michigan worked together to deliver a zero-emissions experience like no other, and it’s easy to schedule your adventure now.

For only $299 per person for a full-day rental, you can book your ATV adventure on a Polaris Ranger Kinetic ATV for a memorable, exciting, and educational ride between May 15 and November 1. You can book online through the business’s website or call 608-577-6653.


Why Book the Electric ATV Tour

This first-of-its-kind project began when collaborators from Polaris and the State of Michigan began looking around for outfitters who were interested in electrified vehicles. The U.P. (pronounced Yoo-Pee) benefits greatly from tourist dollars, and the North Coast Adventures electrified trip gives vacationers plenty of opportunity to spend money at prime locations in this beautiful and undisturbed part of the country.

The ORV tours on Polaris ATVs include a handful of stops where adventurers get to enjoy the view of Lake Superior, visit an old copper mine, and eat delicious food. Cruising around the U.P. in zero-emissions electric ORVs only enhances the ride because the quiet electric motors let you enjoy the sounds of nature along with the sights and smells.


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Bringing Tourist Dollars to a Remote Part of Michigan

I chatted with Stephen Hamilton, the owner of Hamilton’s North Coast Adventures, about adding electrified ATVs and off-road chargers to his tours. His company became the unexpected recipient of a grant from the State of Michigan, changing the way he and the residents of a remote part of Michigan get to enjoy innovative technology often reserved for busier places in the country. The project brought government attention to the “very rural, economically depressed region of Michigan.”

According to Hamilton, the communities around Ontonagon, Michigan have been receptive to the project. It will bring more people to this part of the state, and it offers more business opportunities, especially near the off-road, solar-powered EV chargers.


EVs and the Yoo-Pee

Electric vehicles aren’t popular in the U.P. simply because of the lack of infrastructure. The U.P. of Michigan has the northernmost point of I-75. After crossing the Mackinac Bridge and arriving in St. Ignace, I-75 in the U.P. stretches about 50 miles before it ends at the Canadian border in Sault Ste. Marie.

There are a handful of state highways in the Upper Peninsula, and they are all two-lane highways. It’s not a place where many people cruise around in their Teslas or electric bikes. Despite the remoteness of the Upper Peninsula, the Chargeway app shows a few Tesla Superchargers in Marquette, Escanaba, and Sault Ste. Marie. If you visit the area in your electric vehicle, you’ll want to plan your road trip thoughtfully, as many of the non-Tesla charging stations are privately owned by resorts and other local businesses.

Hopefully, the electrified ATVs will show the locals and visitors how easy they are to maintain and operate. I asked Hamilton about the differences between driving a gas-powered ATV versus an electrified one. He replied, “Most motorheads like me listen to engines revving and loading to help us understand how to drive a vehicle. That’s all gone except for a slight electric motor whine. So, watching your power draw rate and understanding those effects under loading are the biggest things to grasp.”


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Bringing Electric ATV Innovation to a “Jurassic Park-y” Area

He also commented on how “amazing” the electrified ATVs actually are. He said, “Anyone can hop in, pop on a helmet, buckle up, and drive away onto a unique adventure not possible anywhere else. The dramatic reduction in noise and stunning visibility with the clear doors provides epic viewing from the cabins.”

As a fellow Michigander myself, I have been to the Upper Peninsula a few times. It’s a right of passage to cross the Mighty Mac, but I couldn’t offer any recommendations for places to go or Michigan ORV trails to enjoy north of the big bridge. So, I asked the expert about his favorite part of the electric ATV tour.

Hamilton’s response: “The Pioneer trail from Bergland, Michigan, to Rockland, Michigan. I often describe it as ‘Jurassic Park-y.’ It’s hard to comprehend our predecessors hammering out that incredible mountain road back in the 1930s is our trail today. The terrain it traverses through is spectacular and massive. Our local club MI-TRALE and the Ottawa NF have created a very special experience with that trail. If it’s wet, natural run-off waterfalls can be seen, and the massive trees provide spectacular woodland scenery.”

Michigan is known for its fall colors, and trees in the Upper Peninsula begin changing before those in the Lower Peninsula. If you want a vibrant visual experience, visit the U.P. in late September or early October. Book the fall colors dates before the rest of the world realizes this opportunity exists.


Potential for Growth Without Harming the Natural Environment

The partnership with Polaris EVs and the State of Michigan has opened new opportunities for Hamilton and other business owners in the area. Hamilton is expecting to add more electric ORV tours to introduce riders to off-road experiences and Michigan history. His 1002-acre private ranch has some unbelievable views of Lake Superior along with a rich history of copper mining. He also expects to expand the charging network and add more routes, especially if demand increases.


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IMAGES: HAMILTON’S NORTH COAST ADVENTURES

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AUTHOR: 

KRISTEN BENTLEY

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