The Pilgrim Community Forest has a variety of forest and habitat types, with about one mile of the Pilgrim River’s main channel. It is open year round for low-impact public recreation, including fishing and hunting. In addition, a 2.5 mile very hilly recreation trail provides outstanding opportunities for foot traffic use including hiking, snowshoeing, and backcountry skiing. This is a place where a hike can really get your heartrate up!
Planning your visit
There is no official parking area, so parking is limited to the shoulder. Please be aware of passing traffic on this steep, curvy road! We advise you park on the shoulder of Pilgrim Road, which has fewer passing vehicles.The trailhead can be found near the intersection of Pilgrim and Paradise Roads in Houghton County at the end of the guard rail on the south side of Paradise Road. All roads in this area are plowed year-round; however, you must park on Pilgrim Road in winter for your safety. The entrance to the tailhead is prone to seeping and erosion, watch your step on the way to the trail head.
Why this place is special
The forest provides clean air and water, wildlife habitat, scenic beauty, timber and non-timber forest products, education and research, and diverse public recreation opportunities. The river is a notable cold-water trout stream popular with local fishermen, while the forest is enrolled in the Michigan Commercial Forest Program and available for hunting.
Thanks to long-standing partnerships with the Copper Country Chapter of Trout Unlimited and local landowners, grass-roots fundraising, and grant funding through the U.S. Forest Service’s Community Forest Program and the J.A. Woollam Foundation, the Keweenaw Land Trust acquired this property in 2014. It was the first step in a much larger collaborative conservation project in the Pilgrim River Watershed with several other non-profit and Michigan Tech research partners. There are several tracts now protected for public recreation, natural and scenic qualities, and sustainable forestry, including additional Conservation Easements held by the Keweenaw Land Trust.
Maps & documents
The following documents provide additional details about this nature area.