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Since its foundation in 1952, Michigan Nature Association (MNA) has worked to protect rare, threatened and endangered species and natural communities across Michigan. Over six decades, MNA has built a statewide network of more than 170 nature sanctuaries, with sanctuaries in 58 of Michigan’s 83 counties.
The 60th Anniversary Odyssey Tour visits the Upper Peninsula September 23-30 and includes four sanctuaries: Schafer Family Nature Sanctuary at Roach Point in Chippewa County; Twin Waterfalls Memorial Plant Preserve in Alger County; Estivant Pines Nature Sanctuary in Keweenaw County; and Black Creek Nature Sanctuary in Keweenaw County.
Schafer Family Sanctuary is one of the largest sanctuaries, totaling a staggering 800 acres. Twin Waterfalls’s main feature is the two beautiful waterfalls, named Memorial Falls and Olson Falls to honor past MNA members. Estivant Pines is one of the last remaining old-growth white pine forests in Michigan, with pines twisting and stretching hundreds of feet in the air. Black Creek features 1,300 feet of Lake Superior shoreline, a lagoon and sand dunes.
A hike and a picnic takes place at each location. The Odyssey provides an easy opportunity for everyone to learn more about Michigan’s natural areas. There is no charge for the tour stops.
Sunday, September 23: Schafer Family Nature Sanctuary at Roach Point (Chippewa County). Very difficult terrain with no real trails. Plenty of parking on the side of the road and by the old cabins. Long pants, shirts and sturdy hiking boots recommended.
Tuesday, September 25: Twin Waterfalls Plant Preserve (Alger County). Moderate to difficult terrain, clearly marked 2 mile trail. Medium-size parking lot.
Saturday, September 29: Estivant Pines Nature Sanctuary (Keweenaw County). Moderate terrain, clearly marked 2 mile trail. Plenty of parking at the trail head.
Sunday, September 30: Black Creek Nature Sanctuary (Keweenaw County). Easy terrain, two clearly marked 2 mile trails. Plenty of parking in the lot or Cedar Bay Road. A wrap party for the tour is planned.
For more information and/or to RSVP (to get an accurate head count and contact visitors in case there’s a change in plans), please visit www.michigannature.org, email [email protected], or call 866.223.2231.
Image: Black Creek Nature Sanctuary in Keweenaw County