(Virtual) Events

Upcoming events

All events are open to the public, so bring your friends and family! RSVP’s are appreciated, but not necessary unless specified. Be sure to follow us on Facebook and sign up for our email newsletter for updates as the events get closer!

UPLC’s Summer of Virtual Hikes!

First off, I’d like to introduce you to “RAMBLIN’ with ROSIE” virtual hikes with UPLC volunteer Jo and her faithful companion, Rosie! In Episode One, Jo and Rosie introduce us to a local floral favorite: the Pink Lady Slipper Orchid at the Chocolay Bayou Nature Preserve. Check it out!

Friendly reminder that leashed pets are welcome at the Chocolay Bayou, but some nature preserves owned by UPLC (Like the Vielmetti-Peters Reserve) do *not* allow pets in order to protect certain animals who call the preserve home. Please check on the rules of the individual preserve before you bring your pets, and remember to always clean up after them so that the hike is pleasant and poo-free for the next hiker.


Birding 101 with Tom Noren

Join local birding expert Tom Noren on an introductory hike through the Chocolay Bayou Nature Preserve to talk about the colorful, complex, and LOUD migrating warblers who rely on the nature preserve as a place to rest, feed, and breed on their long seasonal journey. The video will be complimented with this birding guide put together by Tom to teach you the basic birds of the Bayou. Keep an eye out for the birding video on our social media and in the (virtual) events page on the website soon!

Have a good subject idea for another virtual “hike with an expert?” Know someone who would be willing to let me follow them around with my phone while they talk about something they love about one of our preserves? Shoot me an email! andrea@uplandconservancy.org

State-Wide BIO BLITZ!

A WHAT? Where? How…?

A bio-blitz! Traditionally, bio-blitzes are 24-hour events where we pull in as many community members as we can to document every instance of every plant, insect, animal, fungus, bird, etc. that can be seen in every corner of a particular preserve. This gives us a “snapshot” idea of what the preserve may look like at any given time…well, the *resilient* 2020-version of the bio blitz will not involve a large group of people sharing field equipment – nope, this one you can do on your own time, at the site of your choosing, using an app, and guided with a month-long series of webinars. Wow!

In partnership with Michigan State University’s UP Extension Offices and the iNaturalist app, several conservation organizations across the state are encouraging people to get outside, explore protected places over the month of July, learn about the natural world around them, and help promote healthy, biodiverse natural places simply by contributing to the knowledge base of what’s where. The preserves we are focusing on are: The Chocolay Bayou, Tory’s Woods, Vielmetti-Peters, and Peshekee Headwaters Nature Preserve.

Registration will be free and is coming soon! MSUE and UPLC will host a series of webinars that include how to use iNaturalist (and how to contribute without the app, too!), how to identify common plants and animal signs, and more!

Past Events


20th Anniversary Celebration
Wednesday, August 21st

Open house at the new office 4-6pm
Brief Presentation 6:30
Dinner and Music 6-8

Celebrate 20 years of protecting land with us! Join us for an open house at the new office to welcome new staff and congratulate retiring staff from 4-6, a look back at the last 20 years and an introduction to new staff and the next 20 years at 6:30. Light dinner and local acoustic music by Dylan Trost to follow.


Indian Lake Exploration Day!

Saturday, August 31 – All day (exact meet-up times TBA)


Hooray, Hooray! It’s everyone’s favorite summer adventure. Join us as we explore the new access route to the Preserve from the brand new acquisition which expands our Indian Lake Preserve by 154 acres and improves public acceess to the Preserve!

Details to follow



Bald Mountain Exploration Day

Saturday, September 28 – All day (exact meet-up times TBA)
RSVP required!


If you’re up for a great big adventure, this is one you should NOT miss! Join UPLC and our storytelling hosts as we trek up a massive granite bald on the edge of the Huron Mountains at peak fall colors. This privately owned property is currently privately owned (not open to the public outside of these hikes!) and we have big plans to see it permanently protected.

Come adventure and learn about the land protection process that you support!



Walk & Wonder:
Dead River Community Forest “Leaf Peepers”

Saturday, October 5 – All day 5-7


Join us for a spectacular view of the fall colors from the “bridges” portion of the proposed Dead River Community Forest and learn how these gorgeous colors are revealed.

This popular leaf-peeping area is under threat of development and we’re working with the community to protect it permanently, and open it up to the public! Come show your support and get a great view of peak fall colors in the Dead River Valley



    Hike at Tory’s Woods

    Saturday, July 27, 2019 1-4 PM

    Tory’s Woods is an incredible sanctuary. Walking the mossy trails through thick hemlocks will immediately put your mind at ease, the surprising open gaps of sunlight are a cathedral. Join us to view new trail improvements (interpretive signs designed by NMU students!) on the South loop, about a three mile trip total. The trail is rocky, so do wear strudy shoes and bring walking sticks if that’s good for you. Bring water, dress in layers (appropriate for the weather!!), and a snack.


    Walk & Wonder: Biomimicry!
    Thursday, August 8th 6-7

    Join Adina (UPLC Office Manager and Biomimicry Educator) for a guided walk full of natural inspiration! We’ll meet at the UPLC’s new office and walk and talk about Biomimicry (nature-inspired design and problem solving) and explore some of the awesome wild abilities and lessons learned from the plants and animals found around the commons. Bring yourself, comfortable shoes, and curiosity!


Dead River Community Forest Exploration
Saturday, June 29th from 10-3

Meet at the Vielmetti-Peters Reserve Trailhead.

Kick off summer adventures with a close-up tour of our big project: The Dead River Community Forest. We are working to raise about $200,000 in the next three years to purchase all of the land between our Vielmetti-Peters Reserve and the Dead River–once you hike with us, you’ll understand why! Come wander our proposed trails for about 5-6 miles–still definitely an off-trail hike for now, so wear sturdy shoes and bring walking sticks if that’s for you! We’ll start at the VPR trailhead (approximately 600 Brickyard Road) and then head North off trail and follow some beautiful creeks along ridges, past dramatic rock outcroppings, along floodplains, and up close with our community’s history and future at the Trestle Falls.

Over the River and Through the Woods 5K Trail Race – May 18

Registration is now open for our third annual Over the River and Through the Woods trail race! This race will take place at Vielmetti-Peters Reserve on the outskirts of Marquette (600 Brickyard Road). See race page for details.

Hope to see you out on the trail!

Spring Birding Hike at Chocolay Bayou Preserve – April 27

At 8:00 AM we’ll be hosting a guided hike to observe migrating birds at the Chocolay Bayou, our newest Preserve property. Local birders will be present to identify species and answer questions. The hike will be less than 1 mile long, with some small elevation changes and a slow pace. Bring binoculars!

Vielmetti-Peters Snowshoe Hike – March 23rd

Join us at the Vielmetti-Peters Conservation Reserve, a 123-acre parcel on the edge of town with over 3 miles of rolling trails through diverse forest habitat. We’ll take in the signs of seasonal change and share our plans for the expansion of this protected area. We can’t guarantee ground conditions – we may find snow or mud! – so come prepared for anything. We’ll meet at the county road turn-around at the end of Brickyard Road at 1:00 PM, and will aim to be back to our cars by 3:00 PM.

Note: this is in place of our hike at Tory’s Woods which was changed due to accessibility and limited parking with snow.

UP 200 Takeoff Party – February 15, 2019

The UP 200 starts on Feb 15th, 2019 at 7:00 P.M. in downtown Marquette, but we like to watch the mushers swoosh by in the quiet of the woods. Teams usually pass the trailhead at the Chocolay Bayou Nature Preserve from 7:30-9:30 P.M. or so (the midnight run starts at 8:30). The sled teams pass directly by the Preserve, so we get a great view and interaction with the mushers away from the bustle and lights of downtown. We will have a serene ice-lamp-lit trail leading from the Main Street parking lot of the Bayou Preserve out to the North trailhead (where it connects to the Iron Ore Heritage Trail). We will have a bonfire, hot cocoa and snacks, and merriment waiting! This is a very kid-friendly event and participants are welcome to come and go as they please. Dress warmly, bring your own snowshoes (though the trail will be packed in advance if needed, they’re still a good idea), a friend, and a headlamp just in case!


Guided Snowshoe Hike at the Vielmetti-Peters Conservation Reserve – January 19, 2019

Come play in the snow with us! Join UPLC Executive Director Andrea Denham on one of her favorite winter excursions, to hear all about our plans for the future of this Reserve. We’ll be snowshoeing the waterfall trail at the VPR together, and it’ll be a grand time. Meet at the end of Brickyard Road (approx 800 Brickyard) and we’ll put on our ‘shoes and hike together starting at 1:00 PM. It’ll be just a couple miles out-and-back on a pre-packed route, so we’ll have you back to your cars by 3:30 PM. Bring water, dress in layers (appropriate for the weather!!), and a snack. If you don’t have your own snowshoes, you can rent some from Northern Michigan University’s Outdoor Recreation Center for $10/day.

UPLC’s Annual Meeting – January 17, 2019

Join us on Thursday, January 17th from 5:30-8 PM at the Women’s Federated Clubhouse (104 W Ridge St, Marquette, MI 49855). This is an excellent time to come and be introduced to UPLC as we give a rundown of our accomplishments in 2018 and look ahead to our big goals for 2019. Come meet folks just like you who are passionate about saving land in the UP for the sake of the community and learn how we are ensuring a green, healthy future for the region. We will be focusing this year’s annual meeting presentations on a look into UPLC’s (and the Marquette’s!) future as we discuss the future Dead River Community Forest–this will include showing a film we created this summer (parts of which were shown at Fresh Coast Film Festival in 2018!) that captures the essence of the project.

This event schedule includes a social mixer (with snacks and beverages) starting at 5:30. Our annual meeting will begin at 6, with a presentation at 6:30 and a closing social time between 7:30-8.