Year Conserved:2003
Category:Public Easement


This conservation easement of 360 acres includes about 40 acres of Lake Superior coastal dunes and protects ancient bedrock, two small lakes, forested ridges, numerous ponds, swales, and marshes, and Owl Creek, which empties into Lake Superior. Ten acres are designated as "critical dunes" under the Michigan Sand Dunes Protection and Management Program that established protective standards for the most sensitive dunes in the state. The Preserve hosts pine-drops (Pterospora andromedea), a plant that grows in association with white pine and a root-symbiotic fungus and is listed as a threatened species in Michigan.

Planning your visit

The George Hite Dunes and Marshes Preserve is open to the public for non-motorized recreational use.  Parking is available at a pull-off on Highway M-26 at the Michigan Nature Association's neighboring Redwyn Dunes Sanctuary.  See below for driving directions.  There is an unmarked access to the Dunes and Marshes from the marked trail on Redwyn Dunes.  Once you are on the George Hite Preserve there are no marked trails.  Instead, there is a loose network of woodland paths through an open red pine forest.  When visiting the Dunes and Marshes, having a working GPS and cell phone is strongly advised but keep in mind they may not always be reliable in the area.

Why this place is special

Located about 2.5 miles southwest of Eagle Harbor near Great Sand Bay, the Preserve is named for George Hite, a resident of Eagle Harbor who provided matching funds to help purchase the property from a private landowner. The Preserve is an outstanding example of how citizens, local and state governments, and conservation organizations can work together to achieve common goals. Eagle Harbor Township began a land protection program years ago and was able to acquire this site with funding from the Michigan Coastal Management Program and the generosity of Mr. Hite. The KLT holds a conservation easement as an added layer of permanent protection, to help not only protect the land, but the public investment for conservation. The Preserve is adjacent to other land protected by Eagle Harbor Township and the Redwyn Dunes Nature Sanctuary owned by the Michigan Nature Association.

Maps & documents

The following documents provide additional details about this nature area.