Explore the Keweenaw

Black Creek Sanctuary

Rich in wildlife and local flora, Black Creek Nature Sanctuary is hard to find but worth the trouble.

Visit Duration
Best time to go: Summer to fall.
Adventure Details
Moderate, 5 miles round trip, 242 ft. elevation gain.
Don't Forget
Hiking poles, water, binoculars, bear whistle, bug spray.

Fresh Coast Tip

Check conditions before you go. On windy days, the shore is beaten with waves up to 18 feet high, which can quickly erode the shoreline.

Protected by the Michigan Nature Association, this 242-acre sanctuary is thick with marsh and dune habitats, as well two creeks that crisscross repeatedly before emptying into Lake Superior.

A hike through this sanctuary is like a living slideshow of iconic Upper Michigan flora: blueberries, lichens, and rare wildflowers such as orchids and trailing arbutus shelter under a tree canopy of white birch, cedar, balsam fir, and sugar maple.

Keep a lookout for wildlife like beavers, spruce grouse, bald eagles and moose. (Black bears and wolves also live in this preserve, so use common sense and stick to the trails.)

When the trail splits, choose the right fork for an easier path that leads to a lagoon formed by the convergence of the creeks, or the left fork for a shorter, more challenging trail that ends at the sweeping 1,500-foot stretch of Lake Superior shoreline.

Sculpted with an ever-shifting landscape of dunes and pebble deposits, this beach is kid- and dog-friendly as well as a rock picker’s paradise.

Photo: Amanda Taivalkoski / @amandeliini