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Birding Baraga County: Hotspots near Baraga & Covington

 

(A) Sturgeon River Sloughs WA ★★

Divided into several different units, Sturgeon River Sloughs Wildlife Area provides access to untouched marshland and field habitat. The south unit offers a nature trail which follows the Sturgeon River for 1.75 miles. The preserve is one of the best places in the Upper Peninsula to find American Bitterns. Other birds that usually breed in the marsh include Sora, Great-blue Herons, Green Herons, and Pied-billed Grebes.

The best place to find birds in the preserve is the DeVriendt Nature Trail, which features a boardwalk and observation tower. Visitors should come dressed to avoid ticks, which are plentiful in the wetlands.

Website: goo.gl/uP0ICr | Map: Click here
Directions: Click here

Pied-billed GrebePied-billed Grebe

 

(B) Ojibwa RA & Campground ★★

Positioned on Sand Point, Ojibwa Recreation Area & Campground provides guests with excellent views of Keweenaw Bay. Featuring a swimming beach, scenic lighthouse, and affordable rates, the pine-covered campground is an excellent place for birders to stop and relax for a couple of days. The inside of the lighthouse is not open to the public.

Sand Point is an excellent place to search for migrating waterfowl and sandpipers. Rare species spotted from the point in recent years include Pacific Loon, Baird's Sandpiper, and Cackling Goose.

Website: ojibwacampground.com
Directions: Click here

 

(C) Baraga Marina ★

Located on a small peninsula jutting eastward into L’Anse Bay, Baraga Marina is a good place to scan for gulls and diving ducks.

Directions: Click here

 

(D) Baraga State Park ★★

Overlooking the beautiful Keweenaw Bay, Baraga State Park provides visitors with an area of diverse habitats where many kinds of birds can be seen, including Red Crossbills and Spruce Grouse. Jack Pines and other boreal trees help to create an excellent north woods birding experience. Many lakes and ponds dot the landscape. The state park has 116 grassy campsites, giving birders a place to stay overnight.

Located directly south of Baraga State Park, the Baraga Plains area features thousands of acres of grassland habitat. Upland Sandpipers and Sandhill Cranes can be seen searching for bugs during the summertime. The area’s roads are confusing to navigate and poorly marked, so visitors should bring a detailed map.

Website: michigan.gov/baraga | Map: Click here
Phone: (906) 353-6558
Fees: Recreation Passport required ($11 resident, $31.10 non-resident)
Directions: Click here

(E) Baraga Sewage Ponds ★

Surrounded by fences, the Baraga Sewage Ponds are difficult to access. Fortunately, there is a small hill close by from where the ponds can be viewed. Many species of ducks and sandpipers can be seen on the lagoons during migration. In May, all five species of swallows—Bank, Barn, Tree, Northern Rough-winged, and Cliff—can be found flying over the water in search of bugs. Many years ago, birders saw a Little Gull and a Cattle Egret at Baraga Sewage Ponds.

Directions: Click here

Cliff SwallowCliff Swallow

 

(F) Keweenaw Bay Lookout ★

Keweenaw Bay Lookout provides birders with a good place to stop and search the bay for ducks. During spring migration, Red-breasted Mergansers and White-winged Scoters can be seen swimming in the harbor.

Directions: Click here

 

(G) Big Lake Campground ★

Positioned on the shores of a shallow 127-acre lake, heavily wooded terrain surrounds Big Lake Campground. Birds sighted by visitors include Red-breasted Nuthatches, Pine Grosbeaks, and Ruffed Grouse. The campground, which operates on a first-come, first-serve basis, has vault toilets and a hand-pump well available for visitors to use. The twelve campsites are only big enough for small trailers and tents.

Website: goo.gl/o06qBO
Hours: The campground opens in May and closes in October.
Fees: Recreation Passport required ($11 resident, $31.10 non-resident)
Directions: Click here

 

(H) May Lake ★

Encompassed by wetlands and forest, 131-acre May Lake resides in a secluded area with no nearby settlements. Because of its privacy, May Lake is an excellent spot to find several species of nesting ducks, including Hooded Mergansers, Wood Ducks, and Blue-winged Teals.

Directions: Click here

Blue-winged TealBlue-winged Teal

 

(I) Craig Lake State Park ★★

Labeled the most remote state park in Michigan, Craig Lake State Park is difficult to access, regardless of the season. Visitors should plan on arriving in four-wheel drive vehicles with high ground clearance. There are six lakes inside of the park, including Clair, Teddy, and Craig Lake—named after the children of the family who donated the land.

The park is a great place to see beaver, bear, moose, and other wildlife which tend to shy away from human activity. The park’s forests are not completely boreal so many deciduous forest birds can be seen within its boundaries, including Pileated Woodpeckers, Cooper’s Hawks, and White-breasted Nuthatches.

Website: michigan.gov/craiglake | Map: Click here
Phone: (906) 339-4461
Fees: Recreation Passport required ($11 resident, $31.10 non-resident)
Directions: Click here