sturgeon bay dunes

NOTE: This property is part of Wilderness State Park. Because of nesting birds, dogs are not allowed for most of the summer season.

Size

750 acres

Frontage

4,100 feet Lake Michigan

Land Description

One of the largest public beaches in northwestern Lower Michigan

Trail Description

Roadside parking is available and provides shoreline access. A township park is at the center of the property's length where a turnaround is found. The North Country Trail runs through the back dunes of the park with parking and trailheads off of Sturgeon Bay Trail and Lakeview/Gill Road.

History

In 1991, Sand Products Corporation sold this one-of-a-kind property to the State of Michigan, adding significant and much desired acreage to Wilderness State Park. The property includes habitat for the endangered Piping Plover and four threatened species of plants (Lake Huron Tansy, Pitcher's Thistle, Pumpell's Bromegrass, and Houghton's Goldenrod). The acquisition was a grassroots effort mobilized in the 1970s largely by Kathy Bricker (LTC's first Executive Director) and Conservancy co-founder John Tanton. Their group proposed expansion of the boundaries of Wilderness State Park to include the land. Others involved in the dune protection included The Nature Conservancy Michigan chapter, Petoskey Regional Audubon Society, Michigan and Petoskey Garden Clubs, Trout Unlimited, Save Our Bay, Ducks Unlimited, and countless individuals.

Directions

From Cross Village, follow M-119/Lakeshore Drive north along the coast approximately 5 miles until it dead ends at Sturgeon Bay Trail. Turn left and you will soon be at public shoreline.

Check out the plants and animals found at this preserve using the iNaturalist guide below. Help us document more with iNaturalist.org and eBird.org.