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Chocolay Bayou nature preserve

deep historical significance

This 13-acre area carries deep historical significance to the area, having once been the site of the first steam-powered sawmill and furnace in the area. The Chocolay River also signifies the treaty boundary from the 1842 “Copper Treaty” of La Pointe – the human-powered movement of the river channel opens many yet-unanswered questions.

The Chocolay Bayou Nature Preserve protects 13 acres of wetland that acts as a stopover for migrating birds. It lies directly between two bustling, expanding communities.

This riverside paradise houses mink, muskrat, black bear, deer, rare herons, eagles, foxes and a startlingly diverse range of plant life.

The Bayou is accessible by water via Lake Superior as well as the popular Chocolay River, and by two of the most popular trails in the Upper Peninsula—the Iron Ore Heritage Trail, and the North Country National Scenic Trail.


The Upper Peninsula Land Conservancy and more than 150 local organizations, businesses, and foundations worked together to raise $165,000 in less than four months to purchase the property! There are now three trails, a bird observation hut, signage designed by NMU students and local experts, and benches supported by the local trail organizations.

If you are interested in learning more, helping out in any way, or in donating to the perpetual care of the preserve, please contact us at (906) 225-8069 or email

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