Explore the Keweenaw

Estivant Pines

Despite the buzz of ATVs along the adjoining roads, a reverent hush pervades this boreal forest sanctuary.

Visit Duration
You could easily spend 1-2 hours exploring here.
Adventure Details
Easy to moderate, 1 to 5 miles round trip, 167 ft. elevation gain.
Don't Forget
Sturdy shoes, hiking pole, bug spray.

Home to the Keweenaw’s last stand of old-growth evergreens, Estivant Pines was rescued from logging by a determined group of conservationists in 1973.

Today, the sanctuary covers over 570 acres of towering 300-year-old white pine, red oak, sugar maple, and balsam fir, with a forest floor blanketed in wildflowers and maidenhair ferns.

Tread lightly through the magical stillness, and you’ll hear the trilling of over 85 bird species roosting in the ancient trees. Peer into the shadows for a glimpse of rare orchid species twining along the tree limbs, or the endangered pine marten darting shyly out of sight.

With its well-marked and maintained trails and minimal elevation gain, this preserve is a great option for hiking with small children and those with limited mobility.

Stick to the Memorial Grove Loop for a meditative 1-mile trip, or venture onto Cathedral Grove Loop for landmarks like an indigenous copper pit over 4,000 years old, a mining camp from the 79th century, and a photo opportunity with an enormous hollowed-out tree.

Fresh Coast Tip

The trail signs here are not to scale—leave yourself enough time to complete the loop before dark.

A side track off Cathedral Grove leads over the Montreal River to the Fallen Giant, an old-growth pine that fell in a November gale. Along with offering a window into the Keweenaw’s primordial past, this old-growth forest plays an essential role in helping preserve the Keweenaw’s species diversity. It’s truly a cathedral to nature at the top of the world.

Photo: Hans Isaacson / @outdoorpixs