The Keweenaw Land Trust has protected more than 7,000 acres across the Michigan’s western Upper Peninsula, and we invite you to visit our many public nature areas. These areas allow for a wide range of recreational activities and are a great way to explore our local landscape. Please use the following guidelines when visiting our public nature areas. If you have a question about what may be allowed, contact us.
Note that several private properties are protected through conservation easements, and these areas are not open to public use. Please respect the private landowners who have protected these lands. Currently four of the 20 conservation easements are open to the public and they are indicated on our interactive map.
Leave No Trace
We encourage you to always practice Leave No Trace ethics when in the outdoors, and when visiting our nature areas. Please be respectful of our special places and actively follow these simple minimal impact techniques to preserve the land for all to enjoy for years to come:
- Plan Ahead and Prepare. Planning ahead is the best way to protect both yourself and our nature areas. Dress for the weather, and bring an extra layer in case the forecast changes. Wear good shoes, pack water and a snack, and consult a map before making a visit. Not all of our protected places have cell phone service, so leave an itinerary with a friend in case you run into trouble.
- Travel on Durable Surfaces. Sticking to the trail leaves room for wildlife and reduces our impact on the natural world. Creating shortcuts causes erosion, as well as impacts the beauty of the landscape. Prepare for whatever the trail throws at you! Boots dry overnight, while plants can take years to recover.
- Dispose of Waste Properly. Pack out your trash! If you see any litter along the trail, we'd appreciate it if you brought it out with you, even if it's not your own. Together, we can keep our landscape attractive and trash-free.
- Leave What You Find. Picking flowers, collecting rare stones, or removing historical artifacts may not seem like a big deal, but collectively these actions over time can have a big negative impact on the special qualities we are working to protect. Remember: Take Only Photos, Leave Only Footprints.
- Respect Wildlife. Our nature areas are home to a variety of wildlife, from rare birds to more common fish and mammal species. Respect wildlife by observing them from a distance and never feed them.
- Protect Private Property. Respect "No Trespassing" signs and consult a map. KLT nature area boundaries are typically not marked, so if you are unclear as to your exact location do not disturb the area. We want our neighbors to be happy with us and work with us. Knowing our visitors respect the property boundaries goes a long way in earning their trust.
- Manage Your Pets. Keeping your dog in control keeps people, other pets, and wildlife safe. Others may not appreciate your dog's company, so please keep your dog close when approaching other visitors. We ask that you clean up after your dog - nobody likes a surprise on their boot!
- Be Considerate of Other Visitors. If another visitor looks lost or tired, lend a hand and point them in the right direction. Make space for families with children, the elderly, and those who may be less physically able. Most of our trails are for foot-traffic only. Motorized vehicles are prohibited on all of our nature areas outside of the parking areas.
By abiding to these simple guidelines, our high-quality natural resources and special places will remain in good condition for others to enjoy. While you visit our public nature areas, consider leaving the land better than when you found it. Please report any disturbances found during your visit to our office. We are always interested to hear about interesting sightings or trouble spots like eroding trails that you think we should be aware of.
Public vs. Private
Most KLT nature areas are bordered by private lands. We do not mark all of our property boundaries, so please be aware of your location to avoid trespassing on private property. Maps of our nature areas are available on each property's webpage, and GPS coordinates are available on request. We want to remain good neighbors, not all lands in the Keweenaw are open to the public. Conservation easements are typically held on properties owned by private landowners, and it is their discretion as to whether the public is allowed to visit.
Hunting and overnight use are allowed on some of our protected lands. Hunters must acquire a hunter permit annually to hunt on our public lands. Contact us to obtain permission before hunting on our lands.
All overnight use must be scheduled in advance through the KLT office.