Craig Lake State Park
pristine, archetypal Michigamme Highlands wilderness
Craig State Lake Park spans across 9,932 acres of what is known to be the most remote state park in Michigan. The diverse habitat ranges from a steep-sloped old-growth hemlock forest with exposed granite bedrock glades, to the island-dotted eutrophic lake ringed by super-canopy white pines. It is home to a healthy moose population, black bears, eagles, loons, and other threatened, rare, and special animals and plants including the carnivorous English Spatulated Sundew plant (drosera anglica). In the spring of 2022, UPLC partnered with the DNR to enhance recreational options and wilderness protection for Craig Lake State Park by gifting 1,300 acres, of the formally known Peshekee Headwaters Nature Preserve, for the expansion of the park.
During the time UPLC managed and protected the three parcels that made up the 1,300 acres, UPLC held educational opportunities, conducted biological surveys, and took the necessary steps to ensure this wilderness was protected in perpetuity. In addition, UPLC established 4.5 miles of trails within the park, including the 1.5 mile long Partnership Trail and trailhead establish in 2019, which connected the parcel with the remaining state park. UPLC Board and Staff are excited to partner with the DNR to expand Craig Lake State Park, ensure the permanent protection of this amazing headwaters lake, and continue providing public recreational access to special areas like this across the Upper Peninsula.
Trail maps, updates, and more on Craig Lake State Park
The land has long been a place of refuge for people of all ages, abilities and backgrounds. This sanctuary from the troubles of the modern world is a testament to the lasting strength and resiliency of nature, despite man’s best attempts to control and shape it. The Indian Lake watershed project was started in 2014 with a donation of 635 acres from the Murphy Family and has since been gifted to the DNR ensuring the permanent protection of this amazing headwaters lake. This marvelously beautiful place is home to a healthy moose population, black bear, eagles, nesting loons and wolves; and during 2017’s Botanical Survey, we recorded the first occurrence of the carnivorous plant English Sundew (Drosera Anglica) in Marquette County on the lake!
Indian Lake is the source of an amazing amount of freshwater that thousands of people depend on for recreation, clean water to drink, healthy fish to eat, and that supports the healthy forest ecosystems which are imperative to our economic and social health. This wild area will continue to perform the task that Mother Nature gave them: The land and wetlands act as a filter to purify the groundwater as it gains momentum and flows on its way to our homes and backyards.
Rainwater, snow melt and ground water drains from the surrounding highlands and pools up in the boggy wetlands to the southwest of Indian Lake where it is naturally filtered before spilling out of the lake into the Peshekee River. The Peshekee flows into Lake Michigamme, into the Michigamme River, becomes part of the Menominee River and then finally empties into Lake Michigan.
Can you imagine being a drop of water flowing all the way from the Preserve into someone’s glass of tap water in Southern Michigan?