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The Vielmetti-Peters Conservation Reserve

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As part of the Dead River Community Forest project, UPLC is working to improve the access into the Vielmetti-Peters Reserve and its recreational trail network which will connect with the DRCF Bayous parcel and new trails to come. Thanks to the support of a grant from the Upper Peninsula Environmental Coalition (UPEC), The Hirvonen Foundation, and individual donors, we were able to make great progress on the road improvements in fall of 2023. In summer of 2024, we hope to complete Phase One of our access improvement project and open the road and new parking area for public use! During the winter months and wetter spring months, parking for the reserve will be along Brickyard Rd.

Follow our posts for updates on the project and when the improvements are complete! We appreciate your patience as this marks one of our initial steps toward the DRCF trails, and we're thrilled to share our progress with you. Stay tuned!


acre working forest

The Vielmetti-Peters Conservation Reserve (VPR) is a 123-acre working forest with nearly four miles of trails for you to explore, just on the edge of  Marquette. The Reserve boasts an incredibly diverse ecosystem in a small area, featuring small waterfalls at the confluence of Midway and Spring Creeks on their way to the nearby Dead River. There are three loops of the trail system that will take you “Over the River and Through the Woods” in a variety of terrain and trail types.

The land was generously donated in 2016 to the UPLC by the Vielmetti-Peters family, and has been a become a hub for UPLC's educational programs and hikes. 


VPR is adjacent to the newly protect Dead River Community Forest. As we work on developing the management plan and trails for the new reserve, please be considerate of any signage directing limited use. We are working to establish sustainable infrastructure and safe trails that promote respectful visitation to both areas. We appreciate your understanding and patience! 

Forests for the future

The Vielmetti-Peters Reserve is part of our sustainable forestry program–working with the land means more than just cutting down all of the trees for the highest profit margin, though. To us, forestry is a way of rehabilitating forests; a way to improve biodiversity, promote resiliency, and plan for climate change. The Vielmetti-Peters Reserve is one of 25 Conservation Reserves in our “Forests for the Future” Restoration Forestry Program. These forests help restore ecological systems across the Upper Peninsula as well as supporting UPLC’s mission to protect Land Today for Life Tomorrow. In the future, they will be used as educational sites for local landowners to learn hands-on how to integrate climate change mitigation into their forest management practices.

UPLC has been working with Kathy Peters for years as we have been working out the best way to honor her wishes for the property. She generously allowed us to host the three inaugural “Over the River and Through the Woods” 5k trail and snowshoe races at the Reserve while we were still working on an agreement and management plan and we continue to host hikes in all seasons and ecological literacy events throughout the year. Take a look at our events page and follow us on Facebook @uplandconservancy and sign up for our e-newsletter to make sure you’re getting the most up-to-date announcements on events at the Reserve!

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The Reserve is open for passive recreation (no motors, please!) during daylight hours. Please exercise your pets elsewhere in respect of the many animals who call this place home and stay on marked trails. Do not harvest or remove any features of the Reserve, whether natural or manmade artifacts. Hunting is not allowed on this property due to the increased visitation on these lands. If you’d like to bring a group out for a hike, we would love to hear about it, and would be happy to provide guidance or information prior to your trip.

To get to the Vielmetti-Peters Reserve from Marquette, take US-41 N towards Negaunee and take the first right out of the Brickyard Road round-about, towards Meijer. Instead of heading straight into the Meijer parking lot, take an immediate left to continue on Brickyard Road and travel approximately 1/4 mile to the end of Brickyard Road. You’ll see a sign and a county plow turn-around there. Park on the pavement and continue on the two-track 1/2 mile across private property to access the Reserve.

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