Lightfoot Bay is a beautiful coastal wetland located on Huron Bay in northern Baraga County. The property provides exceptional opportunities to explore the natural coast and diverse wetland and dune habitats. Visitors are welcome to hike, snowshoe, ski the trails, swim at the sandy beaches, and fish off the dock or along the sandy shoreline. Overnight lodging is available by reservation in two remote rustic log cabins or in your tent. If lucky, night visitors may see excellent stargazing, aurora viewing, or lightning bug displays. Hunting is allowed except near the cabins. Cell phone reception can be spotty or nonexistent.
Planning your visit
Plan on your cell phone reception to be nonexistent or unreliable.
Day use includes several looped trails open for year-round non-motorized enjoyment. Take the beach trail to the beautiful sand beach on Huron Bay. Parking is available at the trailhead near the cabins or at pull-offs along the Pinery Cemetery Road. There are two outhouses available onsite.
All overnight use must be scheduled in advance through the KLT office for a stay in one of our rustic cabins or your tent. See details on what we offer and how to make reservations below. Use of the rustic cabins is self-serve and visitors should expect to clean to their standards and leave the cabins clean for other users.
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 expanded several times for a current total of 135 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 in partnership with the Michigan DNR, along with several funding partners who helped provide local match, including the original family that sold the core property to KLT at a bargain sale.
The two cabins at Lightfoot Bay were used for generations by the families that once owned this land and are now available for reservation by free-will donation. The main cabin, 1910s vintage, is available in three seasons. The smaller winter cabin, 1950s vintage, is insulated and available throughout the year. Well-behaved dogs are allowed to stay only in the winter cabin.
Maps & documents
Directions: Lightfoot Bay is remote (download documents and check your GPS before you go) and access can be difficult in winter (see Winter driving directions below). Turn off US Hwy 41 into downtown L’Anse. At the four-way stop head north on Main Street, which turns into Skanee Road, travel for about 15 miles to a left turn onto Town Road just past the welcome sign for Skanee. Follow signs to Witz’s Marina and go straight through onto the Pinery Cemetery Road, a sand two track. Watch for KLT signs marking parking and the cabin drive along left side of road. You have gone too far if you have reached the cemetery.
Make a reservation
Contact our office for a reservation agreement form by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org. We will help you to select an available date and then send you a user agreement that you will submit to confirm the reservation. Thank you in advance for your interest in this remote, rustic, unique and special property.
With our limited staff, we do not clean the rustic cabin between uses. Cleaning is the responsibility of each user. Donation for cabin is after use. We will send you information about making your donation. We appreciate comments and suggestions after your stay.