Explore the Keweenaw

Esrey Park

Fair warning: a "quick" pull-over stop could turn into spending all day at this magical coastal green space.

Don't Forget
Water shoes, binoculars, bug spray (if you check out the trail across the road).
Best Time to Go
Spring to fall

Tucked demurely into a bend of M-26, Esrey Park hides some of the Keweenaw’s best views in plain sight.

Part of both the Keweenaw Shores No. 1 Nature Sanctuary and the Keweenaw Underwater Preserve, the park is anchored by a 10-foot stone wall, built in 1933 by the WPA, with a shaggy tamarack tree growing out of the center like a sword in the Arthurian legend.

Indeed, you’ll feel like you’ve stepped into an ancient myth when you climb the steps to the top of the wall and survey the Big Lake crashing against the volcanic reefs below.

Both ends of the park are flanked by shallow coves perfect for wading, fishing, putting in a kayak or paddleboard, or contemplating the endless blue. Nature lovers will be delighted by the number of endangered flora species here, as well as the sight of boreal birds nesting among the lichens, while shore divers will be rewarded with a wealth of agates, float copper and other prizes among the shoals.

Though diminutive in size, the park is comfortably outfitted with picnic tables, grassy areas, a fire pit, and public bathrooms, making it an ideal spot to relax and reflect between adventures.

Fresh Coast Tip

Just across the road from the park, you’ll find a short, winding trail through the boreal forest that crosses Brockway Mountain Drive. Less than a mile long and not heavily traveled, this “secret” trail is perfect for a quick out-and-back adventure.

Photo: Hans Isaacson / @outdoorpixs