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Birding Delta-Menominee County: Hotspots near Escanaba & Menominee


(A) John Henes Park ★★

John Henes Park is a 50-acre park located on a point which juts out into Green Bay. One interesting fact about the park is that all the trails are all named after old world historical figures, such as Shakespeare, Longfellow, and Goethe. The names originated from the Germans who immigrated to Menominee in the late 1800s. Some of the birds which nest at John Henes Park are Red-bellied Woodpeckers, Purple Martins, and Sedge Wrens.

Directions: Click here

Purple MartinPurple Martin


(B) Elmwood Wildlife Observation Area ★★

Elmwood Wildlife Observation Area is an artificially-created wetland that provides habitat for upland-prairie plant species. The Chapee Rapids Audubon Society manages the restoration project. One recent development involved the installation of dozens of birdhouses for Wood Ducks and Eastern Bluebirds.

The Audubon team also monitors for invasive plant species, and is currently working on a plan to control the buckthorn. The wetlands lie next to the 1400-acre Menominee Landfill, where birders need to register at the office before visiting.

Directions: Click here


(C) Shakey Lakes Park ★★

Shakey Lakes Park showcases a beautiful oak savanna forest and a prairie restoration area. The park is an especially good place to find grassland species of birds. Eastern Bluebirds, Eastern Towhees, Clay-colored Sparrows, and Grasshopper Sparrows can all be found in the spring.

The park provides visitors with a modern campground, picnic tables, and swimming area. There is a two-mile long nature trail that offers hikers gorgeous views of the Shakey Lakes.

Website: | May: Click here
Directions: Click here

Eastern TowheeEastern Towhee


(D) J. W. Wells State Park ★★

Stretching along more than three miles of beautiful Green Bay’s shoreline, J. W. Wells State Park is a scenic birding destination. The park’s best hotspot is the Cedar River Trail, which can be teeming with migrant warblers during the spring. Great numbers of ducks and sandpipers also migrate through the park, adding to the park’s incredible avian diversity. There are many amenities available for visitors, including a modern campground and rustic cabins.

Website: | Map: Click here
Phone: (906) 863-9747
Fees: Recreation Passport required ($11 resident, $31.10 non-resident)
Directions: Click here


(E) Portage Point ★★

Jutting out into Lake Michigan, Portage Point’s peninsula provides great views along with many acres of marsh habitat for birds to enjoy during migration. Unfortunately, accessing the wetlands can be difficult, and waterproof boots may be needed. During the summer, Merlins, Black-crowned Night-Herons, and Nashville Warblers nest in the swamp. Yellow-headed Blackbirds have visited Portage Point in the past.

One of the birding highlights of Portage Point is Portage Marsh, a 590-acre coastal wetland. Some of the habitat types featured by the marsh include cattail marsh, shrub thickets, open water, interdunal pools, and a creek. The marsh is a good place to find shorebirds, gulls, terns, ducks, and rails. Bald Eagles are also common visitors to the marsh.

Directions: Click here


(F) MSU Biomass Innovation Center ★★

Built for conservational purposes, MSU Forest Biomass Innovation Center focuses on maintaining sustainable use of the forest in the expanding bioeconomy of Michigan. There are many types of habitat to explore in the park-like preserve, including vernal ponds, fields, tree farms, and woodlands. Many kinds of birds can be seen at the sanctuary throughout the year. American Woodcocks, Red-headed Woodpeckers, and Winter Wrens are common residents during the warmer months.

The center is open only during daylight hours. After visitors arrive, they will need to register before exploring the property.

Phone: (906) 786-1575
Directions: Click here


(G) Pioneer Trail Park ★★

Pioneer Trail Park is a 74-acre city park located on the banks of the Escanaba River. Composed of riparian woodlands, the habitat surrounding the river is a good place to look for Ospreys, Canada Geese, and other waterbirds.

There are 95 campsites available, many of which have modern facilities. One curiosity close by that may interest birders is an old cemetery near the Pioneer Trail that holds the graves of early settlers to the area.

Map: Click here
Directions: Click here



(H) Saunders Point ★

Saunders Point juts out into Green Bay, providing birders with a good spot to search the open water for loons and diving ducks.

Directions: Click here


(I) Kipling Put-in ★

Kipling Put-in provides birders with a convenient way to access Green Bay, where many kinds of diving ducks can be found. Close by Kipling Put-in, there are several islands in the bay, forming a sheltered harbor.

Directions: Click here


(J) Rapid River Boat Launch ★

Rapid River Boat Launch provides access to Little Bay de Noc. Many kinds of ducks can be seen from the boat launch during migration.

Directions: Click here



(K) Peninsula Point ★

Located about six miles southeast of Escanaba, Peninsula Point hosts high numbers of warblers during spring migration. In May and August, the park’s beaches are a good place to look for sandpipers. During the fall, hundreds of Monarch Butterflies congregate near the lighthouse before flying across the lake. Hawks can also be seen migrating past. Visitors can climb the lighthouse tower to get a better view of the raptors.

Directions: Click here


(L) Ogontz Bay Access ★

Ogontz Bay Access provides access to a small harbor situated next to Big Bay De Noc. In addition to waterfowl, the access point is an excellent place to search for migrating songbirds. Visitors have reported seeing over 120 species of birds at Ogontz Bay Access.

Directions: Click here


(M) Indian Point ★

Indian Point is a small land formation jutting south into Lake Michigan. Located within Hiawatha National Forest, the point is a good place to scan for diving ducks during the early months of spring. In late May, many kinds of warblers arrive at the point.

Directions: Click here


(N) Nahma Marsh Trail ★★

Nahma Marsh Trail guides visitors through a large, remote swamp featuring exceptional birding during the spring and fall. A dense cedar forest once surrounded the trail, but a large windstorm in 1997 knocked down most of the trees (which have begun to grow back by now). The trail ends at a two-tiered viewing platform from which many kinds of wetland birds and wildlife can be seen.

Directions: Click here



(O) Haunted Forest Preserve ★★

Named after an ancient grove of white cedars, Haunted Forest Preserve covers 574 acres of the beautiful Garden Peninsula. Owned by the Nature Conservancy, the preserve’s terrain introduces guests to the Niagara Escarpment, featuring limestone cliffs towering above Lake Michigan.

The preserve also protects interdunal wetlands, coastal marshes, and six miles of sandy beaches, creating an important staging area for migrating songbirds and raptors preparing to fly over Lake Michigan.

Directions: Click here

Northern GoshawkNorthern Goshawk


(P) Fayette Historic State Park ★★

Fayette Historic State Park commemorates what used to be an iron-smelting village in the 1870s. The best place to look for birds in the park is in the vicinity of the cedar-forested cliffs, where Blackburnian and Black-throated Green Warblers build their nests.

Several trails provide visitors with access to the wooded areas on Big Bay de Noc’s shoreline. During the springtime, birders may be fortunate enough to see Red-necked Grebes diving offshore.

Website: | Map: Click here
Phone: (906) 644-2603
Fees: Recreation Passport required ($11 resident, $31.10 non-resident)
Directions: Click here