Houghton Keweenaw Conservation District Preserves are open to the public for day use year round for compatible recreation, education and research activities. Please enjoy and be a good steward of these special natural areas.
Bete Grise Preserve
The Bete Grise Preserve includes approximately 5,000 acres and 5.5 miles of Lake Superior shoreline. It is open to the public year round and permanently protects a mosaic of native coastal wetland ecosystems and is a refuge for migratory species and many native animals and plants. Special places including Bete Grise South, Pt. Isabelle, Oliver Bay, the Mouth of the Little Gratiot River and Deer Lake, are now forever protected for you, your children, grandchildren and future generations to enjoy.
Back in the early 2000’s, protecting this Lake Superior coastal wetland system known as Bete Grise was a dream. The Nature Conservancy (TNC), Houghton Keweenaw Conservation District (HKCD) and Keweenaw Land Trust, worked together with many foresighted individuals and conservation organizations to obtain federal grants and raise matching funds for these grants. In 2004, the dream became a reality when 1104 acres and 1.7 miles of Lake Superior shoreline were acquired at Bete Grise South, giving the Bete Grise Preserve its start.
For the next 12 years, federal grants, private foundations and conservation organizations including TNC and Keweenaw Community Forest Company ( helped the Houghton Keweenaw Conservation District acquire the areas that now comprise the Bete Grise Preserve.
The Bete Grise Preserve is open to the public year round for non-motorized day use including berry picking for personal use, hiking, bird watching, fishing, nature study, canoeing, kayaking swimming and picnics. Removing or cutting trees and vegetation, fires and overnight use are prohibited. Except for public roads and designated ATV and snowmobile trails, the Bete Grise Preserve is non-motorized. Hunting and trapping are prohibited. Please be a good stewardsof this public conservation area. For more information contact 906.370.7248.
Joseph and Mary Lizzadro Lakeshore Preserve
Established 2003, the preserve is 34 acres and 643 feet of Lake Superior shoreline owned by HKCD. Keweenaw Land Trust (KLT) and HKCD work together to create the original 24 acre preserve and KLT holds a conservation easement on this segment. The Giannini family (pictured below) helped the HKCD add 10 additional acres through a bargain sale in 2012.
SENECA # 3 BAT CONSERVATION AREA
Established 2008, this 45 acre preserve was gifted to the Houghton Keweenaw Conservation District by the Louisiana Pacific Corporation. The Seneca #3 shaft on this property is a known bat hibernarium. The NRCS and Bat Conservation International (BCI) installed the conservation gate on the top of the shaft to enable the bats to freely enter and exit and to restrict human and predator interference. Keweenaw Community Forest Company built the visitor turnaround and the Michigan Department of Natural Resources provided the bat education signs.
BARE BLUFF SHORELINE WILDERNESS
Established in 2015, the Bare Bluff Shoreline Wilderness is comprised of 287 acres and a mile of Lake Superior shoreline. This wilderness area is owned by HKCD and has a conservation easement in favor of Keweenaw Community Forest Company. The outstanding geology of Bare Bluff Shoreline includes sea stacks and is a great place to visit by canoe and kayak.