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McMahon Lake Strangmoor

Recognition: The Nature Conservancy Natural Areas Registry

Size: 1770 acres

Location: North-central Luce County, 15 miles north of Newberry

Management: Lake Superior State Forest

Activities: Hiking, hunting, photography, nature study

Importance: The patterned peatland found here is called strangmoor, or string bog, a landscape form unique to far northern latitudes where climate favors peat formation and flowing water abounds. This kind of peatland is known from Scandinavia, North Eurasia, Alaska, North Manitoba, south of St. James Bay (Ontario), and in the upper Great Lakes region. Only 11 strangmoors are known from Michigan; this is the third largest (the largest is outside of Seney National Wildlife Refuge) and displays the longest strings known (strings are elevated ridges which alternate with troughs—together they give strangmoor its characteristic patterning).