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Upper Peninsula Wildlife Viewing Areas

Masthead - Wildlife Viewing Areas

Upper Peninsula Wildlife Viewing Areas

Deer Marsh Interpretive Trail [Wildlife Viewing Area] - U.S. Forest Service (906) 852-3500. From M-28 in Sidnaw drive south on Sidnaw  Road about 8.5 miles to Ste. Kathryn Campground. Turn right  (west) and proceed about 100 feet to the site entrance on the  left side of the road. Novice and intermediate-skilled hikers will enjoy a close look into a northern wetland ecosystem. The mostly level terrain traverses through forest and wetland habitats snaking in and out of the main body of Deer Marsh. The main trailhead is within the Lake Ste. Kathryn Campground, which provides rustic camping, restrooms, drinking water, and swimming. There is no drinking water on the trail proper. Thirteen artistic interpretive signs describe many of the incredible creatures you may encounter. Viewing platforms and benches are along the trail. The trail is accessible with slopes averaging 5%, and a fiber chipped surface partially graveled. The trail is a loop approximately 3.1 miles long, covering over 300 acres. Families with children should allow about four hours for viewing and hiking. Deer Marsh is brimming with a wide variety of wetland wildlife. Hooded mergansers, wood ducks, great blue herons, American bitterns, bald eagles, ospreys, beavers, river otters, and white-tailed deer are popular. Be on the lookout for black-backed woodpeckers and boreal chickadees. You may also experience a rare sighting of trumpeter swans, in the area. Black bear, pine marten, and eastern gray wolves are visitors to Deer Marsh. Fall color is fantastic in mid to late September.

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Bete Grise Preserve, Gay-Lac La Belle Road, Bete Grise, MI 49950, Phone: (906) 225-0399.  The Bete Grise Preserve, a Nature protected area, is a wetland area stretching along Lake Superior from Bete Grise to Point Isabelle along the Gay-Lac La Belle Road on the Keweenaw's south shore. The area features two miles of premier Lake Superior shoreline and contains roughly 1500 acres of diverse wetland types. There is a small undeveloped parking area on the north side of the Gay-Lac La Belle Road at the boundary between Sections 2 & 3 with a clearly defined trail that leads to the beach. Motorized vehicles, camping or overnight use, fires and removal or collection of any vegetation or nature feature (except berry picking for personal use) are prohibited. Pets on leash are welcome. Open year round to foot travel and other types of passive recreational use such as hiking, fishing, non-groomed cross country ski trails, snowshoeing and the like. HUNTING IS ALLOWED BY WRITTEN PERMIT.

Black River Recreation Area [Wildlife Viewing Area] - U.S. Forest Service Phone: (906) 667-0261. From Bessemer, drive east on US-2 about 1 mile to  County Road 513 (Black River Road). Turn left (north) and follow  the signs for the Black River Scenic Byway. The scenic Black River corridor is part  of the U. S. Forest Service’s National Scenic Byway  system. Rolling forested hills, stands of old growth  forest, wetlands, waterfalls, and dramatic relief  along the river corridor grace this beautiful site.  A campground, group shelter, boat ramp, beach, and  other developments can be found in Black River Harbor,  while much of the rest of this site is rustic and  undeveloped. The Black River Harbor is the only harbor  facility the Forest Service manages in the United  States.  Five picturesque waterfalls along the Black River  and large vertical bluffs along the Harbor are major  scenic attractions of this site. All are accessible  from Black River Road. The North Country National  Scenic Trail is another excellent way to access the  waterfalls and old growth pine/hemlock forest that  line the Black River corridor. The North Country National  Scenic Trail, when completed, will extend 3,200 miles  from New York to North Dakota. For more information  contact: North Country Trail Association, P. O. Box  311, White Cloud, MI 49349. Bald eagles have nested  along the river near the North Country Trail. n addition to being very scenic, the Black River  corridor is home to many uncommon and interesting  ferns and wildflowers, and songbird viewing is excellent  during spring. Watch for red-eyed vireos, hermit thrushes,  pine siskins, and least and great crested flycatchers.  Gulls, mergansers, and other waterfowl are common  at the campground and day-use area beaches along Lake  Superior. Merlins have nested near the bluffs and  are often observed from the harbor. During spring  and fall migrations, the harbor area is an excellent  site to observe migrating shorebirds, waterfowl and  birds of prey. A songbird trail with interpretive  signage that highlights resident breeding birds has  been developed from the campground. A songbird interpretive  tape that features the trail and resident breeding  birds is available from the campground host during  summer months.

Boney Falls Basin, County Road 523, Gladstone, MI 49837, Phone: (906) 786-1660. This scenic, forested impoundment on the Escanaba River offers beautiful scenery and good wildlife viewing. Hiking trails, small boat access, and a primitive campground add to the attractiveness of this site. Eagles and hawks are commonly seen soaring above the impoundment and river corridor. Fly fishing for brown trout is popular in this area from June throughout the summer. Available at this site: restrooms, trails, picnic area, camping, fishing, boat ramp, drinking water. The river is shallow, so canoeing may be difficult during periods of low water.

Brockway Mountain Audubon Wildlife Sanctuary, Brockway Mountain Drive, Eagle Harbor, MI 49950, Phone: (906) 337-4579.  The Brockway Mountain Sanctuary has a walking trail approachable from Brockway Mountain Drive. The Oren Krumm Trail starts at the parking area on Brockway Mountain Drive and is about 1/4 mile long ending at a lookout point with a long view of the wooded hills to the south. Brockway Mtn Nature Sanctuary encompasses 78 acres below the east end of Brockway Mtn and protects some important species of plants that are unique to Michigan only in Keweenaw County. There is also a 1.6 mile hiking trail to be enjoyed.

Brockway Mountain Drive, Copper Harbor, MI 49918, Phone: (906) 337-4579.  Located in Copper Harbor. Brockway offers you a 9 1/2 mile drive that is has breathtaking views of Lake Superior and thousands of acres of the Keweenaw. It is the highest above sea-level drive between the Rockies and the Alleghenies. It is designated as an official Michigan Wildlife Viewing Area. The biggest wildlife attraction here is the annual migration of birds-of-prey from mid-April to mid-June.

Clark Lake Day-Use Area [Wildlife Viewing Area] - U.S. Forest Service Phone: (906) 358-4724. From Watersmeet, travel west on US-2 about 4 miles  to County Road 535. Turn left (south) and continue about 4 miles  to the entrance to Sylvania Wilderness and Recreation Area. As part of the 21,000-acre Sylvania Wilderness  and Recreation Area, this site has tremendous wildlife  viewing potential. The day-use area boasts an 820-acre  lake with an extensive natural sand beach and a magnificent  stand of virgin northern hardwoods, hemlock, and cedar.  The 8-mile Lakeshore Hiking Trail around Clark Lake  offers beautiful scenery and excellent wildlife viewing.  Visitors must register at the entrance station. The stand of large, old trees at this  site attracts an interesting and diverse mixture of  bird life. Barred owls are common here, and while  they are rarely seen during the day, you can often  hear their familiar ”Who-cooks-for-you, who-cooks-for-you-all” cry at night. The crow-size pileated woodpecker, which  has a flaming red crest atop its head, is a common  sight as it prospects for insects beneath the bark  of old trees. Watch and listen for the many woodland  songbirds that live here during summer, including  the red-eyed vireo, blackburnian warbler, black-throated  green warbler, hermit thrush, and ovenbird. There  is an excellent probability of viewing loons on Clark  Lake. Bald eagles and (more infrequently) ospreys  may also be seen flying or perching around the lake,  and broad-winged hawks nest nearby. Little brown bats  are a common sight near dusk on calm summer evenings.  Fishers, cat-size members of the weasel family, are  seen occasionally during winter. Most of the Clark Lake Lakeshore Trail  lies within the designated wilderness area, so groups  of hikers are limited to ten people or fewer. Beautiful  wetland areas may be seen along the trail.

Cut River Bridge [Wildlife Viewing Area] - From Epoufette, travel east on US-2 about 2 miles  to the Cut River Bridge State Roadside Park on the left (north)  side of the road. Phone: (906)  293-5131. A Michigan Department of Transportation roadside  park is the primary access to a network of hiking  trails that wind in and around the beautiful forested  Cut River Valley to its mouth on Lake Michigan.  A rest stop or picnic at the State Roadside Park provides a beautiful view of Lake Michigan and the mouth of the Cut River Gorge. The real beauty of this site, however, lies hidden among the rolling, forested dunes of the Lake Superior State Forest and within the forested river valley below. Hike the Cut River trails in May to view spring wildflowers such as trout lily, trilliums, and Dutchman’s breeches. Spring, especially in the month of May, is also a good time to view migrating warblers and other songbirds that follow the Lake Michigan shore and concentrate at the mouth and along the gorge due to the rich insect life emerging from the river. Hawks and owls also follow the coastline as they head to their northern breeding grounds in late April and early May. A diversity of forest songbirds use the forested gorge in the spring and summer as breeding habitat and offer good viewing opportunities along the trails. Interpretive markers help visitors identify plants and trees along the way.

Davidson Lake Wildlife Viewing Area, U.S. Forest Service, Trout Creek, MI, Phone: (906) 852-3500.  This site contains a diversity of habitats and a maze of hiking trails. Pick up a brochure at the site or at the Forest Service office. Because of its diversity, a wide range of wildlife viewing opportunities exist including ruffed grouse, woodcock, bear, marten and fox in the upland areas; wetland areas include beaver, river otter, and mink. From Trout Creek, go north on Gardner Rd. to Five Mile Rd. Turn right. Go 3 miles to sign for Wildlife Management Area.

Deer Marsh Interpretive Trail, Sidnaw Road, Sidnaw, MI 49961, Phone: (906) 852-3500.  The well-maintained interpretive trail at this site gives a close look at the plants and animals that live in and around wetlands. The trail traverses forests and open areas as it snakes around the main body of Deer Marsh. You may see a wide variety of wetland wildlife such as ducks, geese, herons, shorebirds, beavers, and otters. Also, watch for deer, eagles, osprey, and songbirds. Best viewing opportunities are in the spring, but summer and fall can be good, too. Portions of this area are open to public hunting. Contact the Michigan Dept of Natural Resources for affected seasons and locations.

Eagle Harbor Environs, M26, Eagle Harbor, MI 49950, Phone: (906) 337-4579.  The Eagle Harbor environs encompass the 37 acre Clark Memorial Nature Sanctuary & the 25 acre Eagle Harbor Red Pines Dunes Nature Sanctuary the hiking trail is 4.3 miles.

Estivant Pines Nature Sanctuary, Manganese Road, Copper Harbor, MI 49918, Phone: (906) 337-4579.  The Estivant Pines Nature Sanctuary is a 377 acre wilderness, hiking trails, you may see several of the 85 species of birds, 23 species of ferns, 13 types of native orchids, old mine workings, rock out-cropping along with virgin cedars. Cross-country skiing and snowshoeing are available during winter months.

Fumee Lake Natural Area [Nature Preserve, Wildlife Viewing], US 2, Norway, MI 49870, Phone: (800) 236-2447

Hardwood Impoundment, Fordville Rd, Foster City, MI 49831, Phone: (906) 875-6622.  This area offers some great viewing opportunities of wildlife that have grown accustomed to vehicles passing them along the two dikes that cross the impoundment. A small boat access site is also available. Bald eagles nest in the vicinity and are frequently sees roosting or hunting along the dikes. On the lakes and wetland areas you may see mallards, Canada geese, grebes and other waterfowl. Look for herons wading in the shallow water. Belted kingfishers are also common in the area.

Helmut & Candis Stern Preserve, at Mount Baldy, Eagle Harbor, Eagle Harbor, MI 49950, Phone: (906) 225-0399.  A Nature Conservancy site, the Lookout Mountain Preserve includes 1371 acres that encompass several thousand feet of frontage along Lake Bailey, a 200+ acre glacial lake and steep wooded slopes with a mix of hardwood and conifer forests and offers spectacular views of Lake Superior and the Keweenaw from atop Mt Lookout, nearly 700 feet above the shoreline. Motorized vehicles, off-road vehicles, bicycles, pets, smoking, camping and fires are prohibited. Access is just south of Eagle Harbor, east of the Cut-Off Road. Open year round 7 days a week.

Isle Royale National Park [Wildlife Viewing Area] - National Park Service, Isle Royale National  Park, Houghton, Phone: (906) 482-0984. Ferry services operate from Houghton, Copper Harbor, and from Grand Portage, Minnesota. Seaplane service is also available in Houghton. Wheeled vehicles are not permitted on the island. However, you may transport a motorboat or canoe to the island on the National Park Service ferry. Isle Royale is a pristine island wilderness area. Its rocky cliffs and jagged coastline stand in stark contrast to the flat blue surface of Lake Superior. The island is 45 miles long and 9 miles wide. It is an archipelago, with the main island surrounded by over 400 smaller islands. The vegetation is primarily forested and its forests are in transition. The aspen and white birch that followed forest fires caused by early settlers are rapidly declining due to lack of fire. Northern boreal forests of balsam fir, white spruce, and white birch occur near Lake Superior and along some interior lakes and streams where it is moist and cool. On warmer and higher interior ridges, sugar maple and yellow birch predominate. This diversity is further enhanced by dozens of inland lakes, ponds, streams, and wetlands. Nearly all of the island is officially designated as wilderness and is probably one of the most intact ecosystems in Michigan due to its isolation and lack of human influence. Wheeled vehicles are not permitted on the island, and low impact, leave-no-trace camping is required, making this site a backpacker’s dream. It contains more than 160 miles of hiking trails and nearly 40 primitive campgrounds. Numerous private ferry and seaplane services are available to transport you and your gear to the island. A modern resort, the Rock Harbor Lodge, is open the first week in June into the first week in September. Isle Royale is not the kind of site where you can just "drop in." You have to make a serious commitment of time and resources to visit the island. Getting there requires a six-hour ferry ride from Houghton. Call ahead for details and reservations, and make your plans thoughtfully. Established by Congress in 1931, this national park was designated part of the National Wilderness Preservation System by Congress in 1976, and as a Biosphere Reserve by the United Nations in 1981. A visit to this site is a special experience that will remain with you forever. The beauty of this pristine wilderness—trees, wildflowers, water, and wildlife—and the mystique of experiencing this wildness on a remote island, is difficult to describe. Isle Royale offers visitors a chance to completely immerse themselves in a unique island ecosystem.  Whether you tour Isle Royale on foot or by boat, wildlife viewing opportunities are abundant. For most visitors, moose and wolves are at the top of their wildlife viewing wish list. Moose are seen fairly commonly, and often experienced at close range. Hike slowly and quietly almost anywhere on the island for an opportunity to see one of these largest members of the deer family. Moose came to Isle Royale in the early 1900s, probably swimming from the Canadian mainland. Because they had no natural predators on the island at that time, the moose population grew rapidly until there was not enough food to go around. With nothing left to eat, the moose population crashed due to starvation. Over time, the plants that had sustained the moose slowly began to grow back. As the few remaining moose found more and more food, they again began to reproduce rapidly, and the cycle started all over again. n the winter of 1948-49 a pack of eastern timber wolves crossed the ice of Lake Superior to Isle Royale. Wolves are natural predators of moose, but the relationship between these two species is very complex. The interactions among wolves, moose, and the island’s vegetation have been the subject of pioneering wildlife research for over 45 years; research that continues today. In the late winter of 2002, researchers estimated the moose population to be 1,100 animals. The wolves, in three packs, totaled seventeen animals. The stealthy and secretive wolves are rarely seen, but a few lucky wildlife watchers catch glimpses of them occasionally. In addition to moose, opportunities for viewing common loons, beaver, and red foxes are excellent. Beaver activity may be seen anytime along the hiking trails and streams. The beavers themselves are mostly nocturnal, but they may be seen during the early and the last light of day. Before making the trip to Isle Royale, visitors should do some advance reading on the wildlife and other natural resources of this special place. It will make the trip much more interesting and fulfilling, and much safer. Isle Royale offers a peaceful, picturesque, wilderness experience. Visitation is limited to keep it that way. Yellowstone National Park has more visitors some days than Isle Royale has all year. About 20,000 visitors come to the island annually. Most of the people you encounter here—whether on the ferry, on the trail, or in the only restaurant at Rock Harbor—are seeking that same wilderness experience.

Keweenaw Shore Nature Sanctuary, M-26, Eagle Harbor, MI 49950, Phone: (906) 337-4579. The Keweenaw Shore Nature Sanctuary is a unique nature sanctuary with one of the most interesting short trails in the Keweenaw, the 3/4 mile trail crosses some of the best geology in the Keweenaw area and has 4 different plant communities.The hike can be continued through the more difficult upson Lake Sanctuary."All Michigan Nature Association Rules Apply".

Horseshoe Bay [Wildlife Viewing Area], From Saint Ignace travel north on I-75 about 7 miles  to the M-123 exit. Turn right (south) onto Mackinac Trail Road  and continue about 1.5 miles to the entrance to foley Creek  Campground on the left side of the road. Horseshoe Bay is a broad embayment of Lake Huron  that lies north of St. Ignace and the Straits of Mackinac.  The U.S. Forest Service administers much of the land  along this bay, and their Foley Creek Forest Campground  is a scenic place to sample the area’s wildlife. The  campground is nestled among large white pine trees,  providing an attractive appearance. A hiking trail  on the site connects the campground with a sandy beach  on Lake Huron. This campground is generally open from  the end of May through the beginning of September.  Call ahead for details. This scenic, wooded camping area is home to white-tailed deer, raccoons, red squirrels, and many forest bird species. Local residents commonly use the campground roads for walking and outdoor exercising. Because of this regular "foot traffic," deer have become accustomed to people and are often easy to observe up close. Raccoons are common residents of many of Michigan’s natural areas. Though much smaller in size, these clever campsite raiders are closely related to bears. The one-mile hiking trail begins at the north end of the campground and winds through a northern white cedar swamp on its way to a sandy beach on Lake Huron. This trail is wood-chipped and dry, offering a unique opportunity to walk "in" a typical northern white cedar swamp habitat, (normally full of deadfalls and thick vegetation), and experience its moist and cool microclimate, and see and hear the songbirds that live there. Bald eagles are sometimes seen perching in the tall white pines that face the shore. Waterfowl and great blue herons are common on Horseshoe Bay and on the small ponds adjacent to the hiking trail. The trail provides foot access to the 3,787-acre Horseshoe Bay Wilderness.

Lake Bailey Audubon Wildlife Sanctuary, M-26, Eagle Harbor, MI 49950, Phone: (906) 337-4579.  The Lake Bailey Sanctuary parking area is at the east end of Lake Bailey on M-26 in Keweenaw County. The hiking trail begins at the back of the parking area and goes approximately 1 mile back to the south ridge. The trail is a challenge in places, as it is steep and the shallow soils on this north-facing slope are constantly creating deadfalls to cross.

Marquette State Fish Hatchery - Produces trout.  Interpretive brochure available.  (906) 249-1611

Millie Mine Bat Cave, Park Ave, Iron Mountain, MI 49801, Phone: (906) 774-8530.  From the intersection of US-141 and US-2, drive west on US-2 for 1.8 miles. Turn right (north) and proceed about one mile to the parking area, which is just over the hill on the left (west) side of the street. The entrance to the cave is a short walk up the hill from the parking area.  All bats have a sophisticated sonar system that allows  them to capture flying insects in total darkness.  Bats are very beneficial to humans, consuming thousands  of insects, many of them considered pests, every night. The visible portion of this site is small and inconspicuous - just  the mouth of an abandoned iron ore mine that is covered  with a special steel grate. But what lies beneath  the surface is another story. A steep mine shaft drops  360 feet into the earth, providing a roosting and  hibernation chamber for bats. The mine entrance is  just a short walk from the site parking area. This  abandoned mine is just one of thousands that were  created in the upper peninsula throughout its rich  mining history. Mine shafts opened in search of iron,  gold, copper, and uranium. Many mine shafts have been  closed with rock, earth, even old car bodies, to reduce  their hazard to humans, but unfortunately, also destroying  their value to over-wintering bats. The special grate  on the Millie Mine prevents people from falling into  its vertical shaft, yet allows bats to come and go  as they please. This is one of about 30 sites that  have been protected with similar bat entrance grates  in the Upper Peninsula. It is the first one to be  developed as a bat interpretive site. The Millie Mine is a critical hibernating and breeding  location for up to 50,000 bats -one of the largest  known concentrations of bats in the Midwest. Big brown  and little brown bats from all over the region come  here to hibernate during the cold winter months. They  are believed to migrate in from throughout the Great  Lakes region - Wisconsin, Minnesota, Ontario, perhaps  even Michigan’s Lower Peninsula. Bats start arriving  at the mine in late August and early September. They  remain in the mine shaft throughout the winter and  begin emerging in late April and May. Some use the  mine as their permanent home. Most, however, will  fly back to their forested home areas to spend the  summer where they roost during the day under the bark  of dead trees or in other small crevices. The females  will typically use large hollow trees, abandoned buildings,  or other human structures as maternity roost sites  where they raise their young with other females during  the summer. Males live a separate and more solitary  life during this time.  The best time to view bats is in September and early  October, right at dusk, as the bats begin to emerge  from the mine. They feed throughout the night and  return an hour to half hour before daylight. Local  businesses cooperated with the Department of Natural  Resources and its Nongame Wildlife Fund to erect the  steel cage over the top of this mine and to develop  it as a bat interpretive site. It has become an area  attraction, adding economic benefits to the Iron Mountain  area. The site has been host to a national bat festival  that is held annually throughout the country by Bat  Conservation International. The festival attracted  thousands of participants when held at this wildlife  viewing site.

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Monocle Lake Trail [ Wildlife Viiewing Area] - From Brimley, take Lakeshore Drive north about 6  miles to Monocle Lake Recreation Area on the left side of the  road. Phone: (906) 635-5311.  The forested two mile hiking trail at Monocle Lake Campground passes over a nice wetland boardwalk, runs along scenic Monocle Lake, and gives access to a high bluff overlook of Lake Superior and the Canadian shoreline several miles across the St. Marys River. The first 1,100 feet of the trail (which includes the wetland boardwalk) is fully accessible. The trail to the bluff overlook is steep and challenging.  The wetland boardwalk portion of the trail runs right along a beaver dam. These industrious animals actually used the boardwalk as part of their dam structure during its construction. Water levels in the wetland may fluctuate from year to year as the beaver colony comes and goes. Look for a beaver lodge in the wetland. The underwater entrances to these large stick and mud houses allow beavers to enter and leave with little exposure to predators. Waterfowl and great blue herons also may be seen using this wetland area in years when the beaver have helped keep the water levels up. Osprey frequently nest in the Monocle Lake area. Watch for ospreys (also called fish hawks) catching fish in the open water areas. The Iroquis Point Lighthouse is nearby on the Lake Superior shore. It is maintained by the Hiawatha National Forest (open May 15 to October 15) and has modern barrier free restrooms. Iroquis Point offers public access to the shoreline for wildlife viewing – a place to look for migrating birds that are following the coastline.

Munuscong Wildlife Management Area. From Sault St. Marie, drive south on M-129 to 22-Mile  Road (Riverside). Turn left (east) and continue 2.5 miles to  the grassland viewing area on the left or continue another 1/2  mile and turn left (north) onto Riverside Drive. Proceed 1 mile  and turn right (east) onto 21-Mile Road and drive 1.5 miles  to the coastal marsh viewing area.  Phone: (906) 635-6161. There are three primary viewing sites on this large, state-owned wildlife area. A flat, grassland area is adjacent to the Munuscong River. This area was once farmed and has many shallow, man-made ponds scattered throughout the open grassland. The main viewing site is the coastal marsh area on Munuscong Lake. The lake is actually part of the St. Mary’s River, which connects Lake Superior and Lake Huron. Both of these sites are undeveloped, but some amenities are available at a nearby state forest campground along the Munuscong River north of the coastal marsh viewing area. The third viewing area is along the dike at the east end of the campground. You can walk on the dike but motorized vehicles are not allowed.  A walk through the open grassland habitat and viewing site provides a good opportunity to see meadowlarks, bobolinks, field sparrows, sharptail grouse and many species of waterfowl and shorebirds. Northern harriers and other hawks are often seen hunting this open field habitat and may be seen perched in nearby trees. Rough-legged hawks and snowy owls, raptors that breed in the far north, use this habitat for their wintering grounds and hunt the small rodents common in the grassland habitat. Great gray owls and hawk owls, though rare winter visitors, have also been sighted in this and other areas of the eastern Upper Peninsula. There are no designated trails through this grassland/wetland complex, but visitors are free to hike or ski wherever they choose. This site is soggy during rainy periods, so come prepared with trusty boots. The coastal marsh-viewing site attracts numerous waterfowl and shorebirds and wading birds. Tundra swans and other migratory waterfowl, including diving ducks such as canvasbacks and redheads, concentrate in this area spring and fall. Bald eagles, ospreys, muskrats, and many wetland-related songbirds are also attractions. The parking area is a good place to view this wildlife, and a pair of binoculars, or better yet a spotting scope, will improve your wildlife viewing experience. Another viewing site is found east of the state forest campground. Dikes once used to create a separate wetland management pool are found at the end of the road east of the campground. Park at the gate and walk east along the dike, which provides unique foot access into the emergent wetland habitat on the edge of the lake, out beyond the natural shoreline.

Oswald's Bear Ranch, 13814 County Road 407, R.R.# 1, Box 153, Newberry, MI 49868, Phone: (906) 293-3147. Bears roam freely within three well maintained natural habitats which you can walk about each perimeter. While strolling the grounds, Oswald will point to each of his 23 grown North American Black Bears and list their different personalities, names and even their weight. Open daily from Memorial Day weekend through September.

Peninsula Point [Wildlife Viewing Area] - U.S. Forest Service, Hiawatha National  Forest, Rapid River Ranger District office, Phone: (906) 474-6442.. From Rapid River, drive east on US-2 for about 3  miles to County Road 513. Turn right (south) and continue about  18 miles to Peninsula Point. The final mile of road is a single  lane with intermittent turnouts, not recommended for RVs or  vehicles with trailers. This site is at the very tip of a long peninsula that sticks out into Lake Michigan. A National Historic Lighthouse sits on the point, and its 40-foot tower makes an ideal vantage point for viewing wildlife and the spectacular scenery along the rocky limestone shoreline. A one-mile hiking trail through the wooded shoreline offers more “down to earth” wildlife viewing. The woodlands along the shoreline are a unique mixture of white cedar, white birch, and large cottonwood trees. During low water periods, up to a quarter of a mile of limestone beach is exposed and becomes vegetated with sedges, grasses, and wildflowers, enhancing habitat for migrating butterflies and other wildlife. The historic lighthouse on this site makes a great viewing platform. Take a camera and a pair of binoculars up the circular iron staircase to get a bird’s-eye view of ducks, geese, gulls, shorebirds, and songbirds. During fall and spring, this site serves as a natural “launch pad” and “landing strip” for migrating birds that need to rest and feed before or after their long, non-stop flight across Green Bay. Spring warbler viewing is particularly good. Many birders come to the Point to watch migrating eagles, hawks, and owls in spring and fall. Monarch butterflies migrate as well. Thousands of these globe-trotting insects congregate at the Point in the fall before continuing their migration to Mexico. A special Monarch butterfly research project is coordinated by the US Forest Service in cooperation with volunteers. The project monitors larvae and tags adults. (Four tagged Monarchs have been found in winter habitat in Mexico). Several-to-many great blue herons are usually seen along the shoreline from spring through fall. Heron chicks in a nearby nesting area, or “rookery,” need a constant food supply to survive and grow. The adults often stalk frogs and small fish in the waters off the Point.

Porcupine Mountains Wilderness State Park [Wildlife Viewing Area] - Michigan Department  of Natural Resources, "Porkies" Park Headquarters,  Phone: (906) 885-5275. From Silver City, drive west on M-107 about 3.5  miles to the Visitor Center. Porcupine Mountains Wilderness State Park is located  at the western edge of Michigan's Upper Peninsula  along the south shore of Lake Superior. It encompasses  nearly 94 square miles of Ontonagon and Gogebic counties'  most rugged terrain. At the core of the park is a  48,808-acre dedicated Wilderness Area. One of  the park's most striking geologic features is an extended  basalt escarpment overlooking Lake of the Clouds and  the Big Carp River valley. Topographic relief in the Porcupine Mountains varies  from 601 feet at the surface of Lake Superior to almost  1958 feet at Summit Peak, the highest point in the  range. This area has short, cool summers, no dry season,  and long winters. Precipitation averages 32 to 36  inches annually and is quite evenly distributed throughout  the year. The area is noted for its snowfall, averaging  over 15 feet annually. Lake effect snow is common  and accounts for a significant portion of this accumulation.  The mountains were named by native Ojibwa people  for their distinctive "porcupine" profile  when viewed from the east. The Ojibwa occupied seasonal  villages within the mountains. Burial sites are recorded  for locations within park boundaries. Limited copper  mining and logging occurred within the mountains beginning  in 1845 and continued for about a century until the  area was purchased by the State of Michigan. Numerous  historical sites associated with these activities  are found within the park. The state park was established in 1945 to protect  the last extensive tract of uncut hardwood forest  remaining in the Midwest. In the words of the Michigan  Conservation Commission, "The primary objective  of the proposal [to set aside the Porcupine Mountains]  was not only to make available for public use the  highest range of hills between the Alleghenies and  the Black Hills, but to preserve forever, as a forest  museum, the last large stand of mixed hardwoods and  of hemlock still existing in Michigan." "The Porkies" is Michigan's largest state  park, and it is one of the Midwest's largest wilderness  areas. Noted for its hiking trails, scenic vistas,  wildlife, and striking geological formations, the  outstanding feature of the park remains the majestic  old-growth forests it was dedicated to preserve. Almost  35,000 acres of ancient forest sits more or less in  the center of the park. The Michigan Natural Features  Inventory considers this forested tract to be the  "biggest and best tract of virgin northern hardwoods  in North America."The principal forest type throughout the park is  a closed-canopy northern forest dominated by sugar  maple and eastern hemlock, with lesser amounts of  yellow birch, red maple, basswood, green ash, and  northern red oak. Bearberry, blueberry, juniper, and  dwarfed pine occur along cliffs and rock outcrops  in several areas of the park. Forests of white cedar,  tamarack, and black ash occupy the flood plains of  the Big and Little Carp rivers. The park offers a wide diversity of habitats in which  to view wildlife, including mature hemlock and hardwood  forests, open cliff tops, Lake Superior shoreline,  successional forests of aspen and birch, and a variety  of wetland types. Park naturalists believe that the  excellent birding and wildlife viewing in the Porkies  is a bit under-rated. Some of the better viewing opportunities occur for the following species: Birds (in season)  - bald eagle, merlin, barred owl, common raven, pileated  woodpecker, black-throated green warbler, northern  parula, blackburnian warbler, black-throated blue  warbler, Swainson's thrush, veery, hermit thrush,  broad-winged hawk, whip-poor-will, common nighthawk,  northern saw-whet owl, common merganser, wood duck,  great blue heron, and American bittern. Mammals - black bear, fisher, red squirrel, varying  hare, red fox, gray wolf, coyote, bobcat, porcupine,  striped skunk, and on occasion, moose. In the early  1990s, black bears were a significant problem for  park staff and visitors. In recent years, good progress  has been made in keeping the black bear population  wild. A combination of educational efforts, bear-proof  trash receptacles at trailheads, placement of "bear-poles"  at backcountry campsites, and other techniques have  been successful. Bears are still active and seen regularly  in the park. Visitors will need to continue to follow  regulations and guidelines regarding handling of food  and trash. But there are now fewer nuisance bear problems  and more truly wild bears. The advice of DO NOT FEED THE BEARS still applies, of course! Other wildlife - The size, quality, and diversity of the park's forests makes them excellent places to see a wide variety of the smaller forms of wildlife, including yellow spotted salamanders, wood frogs, wood turtles, northern ring-necked snakes, red-bellied snakes, and a diversity of unusual insects like horn-tails, giant ichnueman wasps, dragonflies, stoneflies, and beetles. Flora - the park is an excellent spot to see and  study upper Michigan's native flora. The spring ephemeral  wildflower display in May is breathtaking. As summer  progresses, a wide variety of woodland wildflowers  can be seen, including coral-root orchids, rattlesnake  plantain orchids, and a host of other flowering plants.  Many species of ferns, clubmosses, lichens, and mosses  (including some rare species) are also abundant. The park is so vast and the opportunities so diverse  that your first stop should be the Visitors Center  to pick up maps, brochures, and other information  that will let you get the most out of your visit here.

Portage Marsh [Nature Preserves, Wildlife Viewing Area], Portage Point Lane, Escanaba, MI 49829, Phone: (906) 786-2351

Presque Isle Flowage [Wildlife Viewing Area] - U.S. Forest Service Phone: (906) 667-0261.  From Marenisco, drive south on M-64 about 2.5 miles  to the site entrance on the right (west) side of the road. Located in the bottomlands of the Presque  Isle River, this site is an excellent example of the  high productivity of wetland habitats. The flowage is  actually a large impoundment. Stretching nearly 6 miles  and ranging from one half to three quarters of a mile  wide, this man-mad lake features some 15 miles of shoreline  with many unique and picturesque inlets and bays. All  this shoreline provides abundant shallow habitat for  many plants and animals. Wildlife viewing at this site  is probably best done from a canoe or small boat, although  limited opportunities do exist from the shore as well.  The dam washed out in the summer of 2002 due to heavy  rains. It was rebuilt in the fall of 2003. Habitat conditions  and wildlife use are expected to return to the original  conditions following restoration of water levels and  plant growth. Eagles have nested here in the past  but abandoned the nest when the dam washed out in 2002.  When re-flooded, the productivity of this aquatic system  is expected to attract eagles and ospreys back to nest.  This site also offers good viewing of waterfowl and  wading birds like great blue herons and shorebirds from  May through October. A silent, stealthy canoeist may  even see the secretive American bitterns and black terns  that call this site home. The best months to see these  birds are June through August.

Rainey Wildlife Area [Wildlife Viewing Area], Dawson Road, Manistique, MI 49854, Phone: (906) 293-5131

Redwyn Dunes Nature Sanctuary, M-26, Eagle Harbor, MI 49950, Phone: (906) 337-4579.  Redwyn Dunes is a 20 acre nature sanctuary with a 1/3 mile long trail that runs through sand dunes, past dune ponds and along a pebble and sand beach of Lake Superior. "All Michigan Nature Association Sanctuary rules apply."

Seney National Wildlife Refuge, 1674 Rufuge Entrance Rd., Seney, MI 49883, Phone: (906) 586-9851. The 95,212 acre of diverse wetland and upland habitats that support a wide variety of wildlife. and about 65% of the refuge is wetland for over 200 species of birds and mammals, white-tailed deer, wolves and black bears, beavers and otters also are included in the wildlife here. Programs and tours help you learn about the wildlife here or you can take a self-guided tour. The visitor center is open May 15 to Oct 15, seven days a week for information or maps.

Sturgeon River Sloughs Wildlife Area [Nature Preserves], US-41, Chassell, MI 49916, Phone: (906) 337-4579. The Sturgeon River sloughs wildlife area has a 1 3/4 mile nature trail through the managed waterfowl/wildlife area on the Sturgeon River. The trail takes the visitor through marshes, fields and forest with a chance to spot some of the area's abundant wildlife ranging from waterfowl to deer to raccoons.

Thompson’s State Fish Hatchery, 944 South State Highway M-149, Manistique, MI 49854-8922, Phone: (906) 341-5587. Enjoy the interpretative programs that provide information on the importance of small tributaries to the Great Lakes, how watersheds work and how a hatchery operates. With both indoor and outdoor rearing facilities the fish hatchery produces a wide range of fish species for both inland and Great Lakes waters. Coldwater species produced for Great Lakes waters include Atlantic salmon (the only state hatchery to produce these fish), brown trout, steelhead, and chinook salmon. Brown trout and rainbow trout for inland waters are also produced at this hatchery. Coolwater species produced at this facility include walleye and northern muskellunge that are used for both inland and Great Lakes waters. Open to the public at no charge 7:30 am to 3:30 pm seven days a week.

Whitefish Point Bird Observatory, 16914 North Whitefish Point Road, Paradise, MI 49768, Phone: (906) 492-3596. Whitefish Point is a phenomenal concentration point for migrating birds. During spring and fall it is one of the best birding sites in Michigan and the Great Lakes region. Spring migration begins in mid-March and peaks in mid-May. During this time, up to 25,000 raptors pass by the Point–as many as 3,000 in a single day! Sharp-shinned, broad-winged, and red-tailed hawks are most common. Whitefish Point is also one of the best sites in the country for springtime owl viewing. Watch for boreal, great gray, great-horned, short-eared, and long-eared owls. The warmer days of May bring huge concentrations of small birds such as warblers, blue jays, grosbeaks, plus many species of shorebirds and waterfowl. Red-throated and common loons, scoters, and whimbrels are commonly seen. After about six weeks of little activity in June and July, the fall migration begins in early August. For sheer numbers of birds, the fall is unrivaled as huge flights of waterfowl, shorebirds, and songbirds push southward ahead of the freezing weather. The fall migration generally brings 50,000 to 100,000 water birds, with single day counts often reaching several thousand loons, grebes, geese, and ducks. In 1991, there were 10,000 red-necked grebes alone! A few other interesting species seen here are the boreal chickadee, spruce grouse, and bald and golden eagles. If the weather holds, viewing often remains good until mid-November. Birds are much less abundant in the winter, but the chances of finding northern species are relatively good. Regular winter visitors include the Bohemian waxwing, pine grosbeak, white-winged crossbill, and redpolls. Gyrfalcon, great gray owl, northern hawk owl, snowy owl, and gray jay are also found here although they are more often found in the Sault Sainte Marie area. This site has a boardwalk and series of steps crossing and climbing the dunes up to a hawk-viewing platform. There is also a large, upper beach-level observation deck adjacent to the Great Lakes Shipwreck Museum and lighthouse, which offers access to the beach. This deck is handicap accessible and another good spot for watching birds. No camping is available on site, but two state forest campgrounds, Shelldrake and Andrus, are located six miles south. In addition, Tahquamenon Falls State Park’s East Entrance Campground is located 14 miles south. Whitefish Point, being a small piece of land protruding into a huge body of water, can have much different weather than the rest of the eastern Upper Peninsula. Temperatures are usually at least 10 degrees colder, and fog conditions are much more common here than just a few miles inland. Check the weather forecast before you come. It is best to come prepared for adverse weather, pack multiple layers of clothing, and bring along rain gear. Bug spray will be helpful in warmer months. It is helpful to check the daily bird lists posted on the Whitefish Point Bird Observatory (WPBO) Web site and at the outside bulletin board at the Interpretive Center before going out each day. WPBO is a non-profit, membership-supported organization, and an affiliate of the Michigan Audubon Society. Its focus is research to document and study migratory bird populations and habitats in the Great Lakes region. WPBO has a nature-oriented gift shop at their research lab. The gift shop is open mid-April to mid-October, seven days a week from late June through September. The gift shop sells a few items through their on-line store found on their Web site. Research staff is on hand spring and fall. During these seasons and primarily on weekends, staff offers many free bird tours, bird banding demonstrations, and owl flight presentations. Whitefish Point Bird Observatory’s biggest birding event is their "Spring Fling," usually the last weekend in April. Check out their Web site for dates and details on special programs. There are many places to bird in the vicinity of the Point and staff at the gift shop have maps for, and enjoy directing birders to, these areas. Two favorites include "The Owl Road" 1 mile south of the parking lot, and the Whitefish Point Harbor of Refuge (good for gulls) 0.7 miles south of the Point.

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