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Visiting Protected Lands

As of May 2014, the Keweenaw Land Trust has protected 4,500 acres of land across the Western U.P. We currently own 9 nature areas that are open for public recreation, all located within our core service area of Houghton, Keweenaw and Baraga Counties. Of our 15 conservation easement projects, 4 are available for public enjoyment. Other conservation easements offer visual benefits to the public but do not allow for direct public recreation. All of our projects provide public benefit in terms of ecological services such as clean air and water, not to mention habitat for plants and wildlife that reside here.

Leave No Trace

We encourage you to always practice Leave No Trace ethics when in the outdoors, especially when visiting our nature areas. Please be respectful of our Special Places and actively follow these simple minimum-impact techniques to preserve the fun 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 comfortable 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 on the trail.

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 - get ready to get muddy! 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 our actions over time can have a 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. Regardless of their threatened status, please respect wildlife by observing them from a distance and never feed them.

Protect Private Property. Respect "No Trespassing" signs. KLT nature area boundaries are typically not marked, so if you are unclear as to your exact location, consult a map and do not disturb the area. Treat another's property as you would your own.

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 if it poops on the trail - nobody likes a surprise on their boot on an otherwise beautiful forest hike!

Be Considerate of Other Visitors. Simple gestures of kindness can go a long way. 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. Help pick up trash and report any disturbances found during your visit. We are always interested to hear about interesting wildlife sightings or flowering plants, and you can give us tips on trouble spots like eroding trails or other concerns you would like to bring to our attention.

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 the Protected Lands pages, and GPS coordinates are available on request. We want to remain good neighbors, but to do that we require your help and understanding that 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. All overnight use must be scheduled in advance through the KLT office. Hunters must acquire a KLT-signed hunter permit annually to hunt on our public lands. Contact the KLT office at (906) 482-0820 for more information on how to obtain permission before hunting on KLT properties.


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101 Quincy Street  - Suite 303 - Hancock, MI 49930     Phone: 906-482-0820