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Protected Lands

Boston Pond Nature Area

 

Acres: 50
Established: 2008
County: Houghton
Category: Public Nature Area

The Boston Pond Nature Area was originally acquired in 2008, coming on the heels of a successful effort to expand the Keweenaw Land Trust's Paavola Wetlands Nature Area in 2006. Located at a highly visible location along the Copper Country Trail National Byway on the southern shore of Boston Pond, the property joins KLT's Corridor Initiative to maintain greenspace along the US-41 travel corridor. Both Boston Pond and Paavola Wetlands Nature Areas lie along Boston Creek, an important water course that drains much of the Keweenaw's interior in this region. While the wetlands at Paavola have expanded over generations of beaver activity, Boston Pond has been primarily shaped by man.

Mining was central to Boston Pond's creation. Boston Creek was dammed and the water used by stamp mills to process ore pulled from deep underground. After the mines shut down, the pond provided water to potato farms in the immediate area for decades until they too went fallow. The stamp sands remain on Boston Pond's northern shore, though they have been remediated and lie under a public DNR recreation area. Today the pond supports a popular fishery and is an important stopover point for migrating waterfowl.

Seeing an opportunity to enhance the story of the Copper Country Trail National Byway through the interpretation of our region's natural and cultural resources, KLT has been working steadily to clean up the Boston Pond Nature Area and turn the site into a high-quality recreational resource. A universally accessible trail, floating boardwalk onto the pond, public pavilion, and privy were constructed in 2014 with a grant from the National Scenic Byways program and matching funds from the late Marilyn Mason. A short looped hiking trail leads visitors through the emerging forest and along the wetland edges, affording views of the pond and animals that live there. Abundant parking is available via an access drive off of US-41. Altogether, these amenities have helped to make the Boston Pond Nature Area a perfect roadside destination in the heart of the Keweenaw Peninsula.

The Boston Pond Nature Area was expanded in 2016 to a total of 50 acres currently under protection. The expansion protects additional wetlands on the southern side of US-41, artesian springs that feed into Boston Creek, and 1/3 mile of frontage along the Copper Country Trail National Byway. Though KLT has no plans to develop this portion of the nature area, visitors can still visit this dense wetland wonder.

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