Lightfoot Bay is a beautiful coastal wetland located in northern Baraga County along Huron and Keweenaw Bay. The property provides an exceptional opportunity to explore the natural coast and habitat for migrating waterfowl and breeding birds. At night, this property is one of the best for stargazing and aura viewing. Visitors are welcomed to hike, snowshoe, and ski the trails, swim at the sandy beaches, and fish the coast free of charge year-round. Visitors may also reserve to tent camp or stay at the two cabins located on the property. Please note, tents are not available for rental and visitors must take all waste with them when leaving. Please pick up all dog waste, even when staying overnight. Lightfoot Bay is for non-motorized recreation only. An access road and parking lot is located at the trailhead near the cabins.
Planning your visit
Please be mindful of others when visiting Lightfoot Bay. Cabin and tent reservations are available, but the trails are open to the public year-round, regardless of reservations. Please be respectful of the nature area and other guests. Please remove all waste upon departure, including all dog waste. Non-motorized recreation only. There are two outhouses onsite available for public use.
Why this place is special
The multi-partner Lightfoot Bay Nature Area project was developed to protect unique Great Lakes coastal wetland and shoreline habitats that contribute to the overall health of Huron Bay and its diverse fishery. The nature area permanently protects much of this rare and unique coastal wetland complex, including over 6,500' of shoreline within Lightfoot Bay and 2,500' of Lake Superior barrier beach shoreline on Huron Bay. Over 70% of the project area is in nationally declining wetland habitat types, making it an important area for long-term conservation.
The Lightfoot Bay wetland, near-shore, and upland plant communities play a critical role in maintaining the ecological integrity of greater Huron Bay, providing habitat for migrating waterfowl, breeding birds, native plants, threatened and endangered species, rare fish species and other aquatic and terrestrial wildlife.
In addition to the high quality fishery values, Lightfoot Bay also contains a number of other important habitats for biodiversity. Extensive cranberry bogs, fens, beaver ponds, and alder thickets make up a large part of the nature area, attracting migratory birds and waterfowl from across the region with bald eagles a common site. With little to no development in the surrounding area, Lightfoot Bay's night skies are among the darkest in the region and make it a perfect location for stargazing and aurora viewing.
The nature area was created in 2007, and further expanded in 2010 and 2016 for a current total of 131 acres under protection. Funding for this project was obtained from multiple sources, including the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service's National Coastal Wetlands Conservation program and several partners who helped provide local match, including the original family that sold the core property to KLT at bargain sale.
Visitors can enjoy the beautiful sandy beaches and wonderful trails found at Lightfoot Bay free of charge year-round. An access drive leads off of Pinery Cemetery Road down to the parking area. Hiking, snowshoeing, and cross-country skiing are encouraged on the trails that traverse the landscape. However, motorized use of the nature area is prohibited.
There are two cabins at Lightfoot Bay that were used for generations by the family that once owned this land. They have been refurbished and are available to groups or individuals for reservation by free-will donation. The main cabin is available in summertime and the smaller cabin is insulated and available throughout the year.
Maps & documents
Directions: Lightfoot Bay is remote, and access can be seasonally difficult. When approaching from L’Anse, head North on North Main Street, which turns into Skanee Road for 14.8miles. Turn left onto Town Road, following signs for Witz’s Marina for 1 mile. Turn left onto Witz’s Road immediately after the sharp right-hand turn. Continue straight past Witz’s Marina and onto the dirt road (Pinery Cemetery Road). Look for the KLT sign 0.5 miles past the marina. You have gone too far if you have reached the cemetery.