Birdwatching, camping (nearby), swimming (nearby),
hunting, hiking, geologic exploration, nature study, photography
The Little Presque Isle tract is often called the crown jewel of
Lake Superior, with its beautiful sand beaches, rugged shoreline
cliffs, heavily timbered forests, and unmatched public views.
The proposed natural area occurs north
and south of Little Presque Point, around the mouth of Harlow Creek.
The area is a combination of a wooded dune and swale community and
bedrock lakeshore and cliff. The wooded dunes and swales formed as
post-glacial lake levels receded, depositing a series of low sandy
beach ridges. Since then, the ridges have become forested with
hemlock, red pine, white pine, cedar, and balsam fir, while the wet
swales that developed between them are now either forested or open
The rock comprising the area represents
some of the oldest exposed formations of its kind. More than a mile
of bedrock lakeshore and cliffs adorns Little Presque Isle,
including sandstone cliffs that reach nearly 60 feet high toward the
base of Sugar Loaf Mountain. One kind of bedrock, granitic, that
occurs here is the least common bedrock type along the Great Lakes
shoreline, with less than eight miles occurring in total. This is
one of three areas where the public can see these 2.3 billion year
old formations in Michigan.
The proposed wilderness area is a local
landmark, which has significant historical value. The island was
reportedly connected to the mainland sometime prior to the 1930s and
was a landing place for early explorers and native inhabitants.
Roughly 100 yards off the mainland, the island is accessible by
wading hip deep water and offers and opportunity for solitude in a
unique and scenic setting.
This land has retained its natural
character, and its location next to Lake Superior and its variable
terrain and timber types provide a rare and unique setting in our
state. With over four miles of captivating Lake Superior shoreline
and opportunities for quiet and scenic recreation, the area is dear
to the heart of local residents.