10 Interesting Facts About Hiawatha National Forest

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Hiawatha National Forest
By US department of Agriculture from Flickr, 2022 copyright

The Hiawatha National Forest is also known as the Great Lakes National Forest. Located near three Great Lakes of the five great lakes: Lake Michigan, Lake Superior, and Lake Huron, the Hiawatha national forest became great lakes national forest.

The Great Lakes National Forest is located in Michigan’s wild and magnificent Upper Peninsula. Song of Hiawatha, a famous poem by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, gave the forest its name.

The environment is unusual because it’s surrounded by three great lakes creating a unique ecosystem. That provides matchless and priceless habitats for wildlife, plant species, and gorgeous greenery.

The Hiawatha National Forest’s stunning shorelines lay nestled up to Lakes Superior, Huron, and Michigan, the three of the five great lakes in Michigan’s wild and scenic Upper Peninsula.

It is a day’s drive of both urban and rural areas of Michigan, Wisconsin, other nearby states, and international locations, where you can enjoy the lakeshores, lighthouses, islands. Also, abundant snow creates a haven of respite and pleasure.

Here are some interesting facts about Hiawatha National Forest and the forest service.

Hiawatha National forest
By Tony Webster from Flickr, 2022 copyright

Some Interesting Facts About Hiawatha National Forest And Forest Service Available!

Hiawatha national forest
By Iburiedpaul from Flickr, 2022 copyright

1. Boating:

Motorized boats are permitted on many of the forest’s lakes and rivers. Some of the locations have boat ramps and/or launching piers. Several lakes and rivers also enable canoeing and non-motorized watercraft. Many of the scattered campsites can be reached by boat.

2. Camping:

Cabin rentals developed and group camping are available on the Hiawatha National Forest’s campgrounds. The campgrounds are open from April or May until September or October. Cabins and dispersed camping are accessible all year.

3. Fishing:

The national forest offers fishing on more than 75 lakes and 600 miles of streams for a wide variety of warm water and cold water species. Bass, pike, walleye, panfish, and trout can all be caught in inland lakes.

Fishing for brook trout in small, spring-fed streams to salmon and steelhead in big Great Lakes tributaries are all options on streams. The Michigan Department of Natural Resources regulates fishing (MDNR).

4. Historic Sites

At the mouth of the St. Mary’s River, the Point Iroquois Light station towers high above the waters of Lake Superior. It acted as a navigational aid for passing sailors by indicating the tight channel.

The original lighthouse and lightkeeper’s residence was constructed in 1855—the point Iroquois, named after Iroquois warriors, massacred there by the Ojibway in 1662. The light was first shown on September 20, 1857.

5. Hiking And Mountain Biking In Hiawatha National Forest

Hiking and mountain biking paths are great for day outings and provide access to some of the Island’s most beautiful landscapes via unpaved trails. The island’s roads and trails are currently in poor condition, with washouts, fallen trees, and other hazards.

When planning your time on the island, keep in mind the ferry schedule when traveling to and from the island. Note that the bridge over North Light Creek at the island’s extreme north end has been washed out and is blocked due to dangerous conditions.

On the island, there is no drinking water. Water is not available on the Island. Please be advised that parts of the island roads must be shared with motor traffic when hiking or bicycling.

6. Recreational Trails In Hiawatha National Forest

Hiawatha national forest
By Forest Services from Flickr, 2022 copyright

Trails in the Hiawatha National Forest are popular with a wide range of users. The 40-mile Bay de Noc-Grand Island Trail is ideal for horseback riding, hiking, and cross-country skiing. The Valley Spur and Rapid River Cross-Country Ski Trails are popular during the winter, providing a challenge to skiers of all levels.

The Hiawatha National Forest is home to the North Country National Scenic Trail.

7. The Hiawatha National Forest Habitat

Whitetail deer, grey wolf, and lynx are among the Northwoods species that call the forest home. The endangered Kirtland’s warbler relies on young jackpine stands for its nesting sites, while piping plover lays its eggs on the pebbly Great Lakes shores. Coldwater streams are home to trout, and our inland lakes support healthy, diversified fisheries.

8. Lighthouses

Hiawatha national forest
By Forest Service from Flickr, 2022 copyright

On Hiawatha’s Great Lakes shorelines, there are six historic lighthouses. Of which five, owned wholly or partially by the Forest Service.

Some of the popular destinations for “lighthouse lookers are Pt. Iroquois, Peninsula Point, Round Island, East Channel (Grand Island), and the Christmas Rear Range Light

The Pt. Iroquois Lighthouse and Museum exhibit the area’s unique maritime heritage. As well as the personal experiences of people who ran the lighthouses.

In the mid-nineteenth century, automated navigation aids replaced most of these facilities, freeing up these unique elements of their cultural legacy for other purposes. Hiawatha national forest services ensure increased access and taking care of these treasures.

9. Ecosystem

The northern hardwood and mixed forest types are abundant on the Hiawatha National Forest. The tree species include sugar maple, American Beech, white pine, red pine, northern white cedar, eastern larch/tamarack, and balsam fir. In other regions, jackpine savannahs are also common. Because much of the Hiawatha is covered in wetlands, there are a lot of wetlands plants.

May and June are the months when spring wildflowers blossom.

10. Park Panthers

Each spring and fall, a diverse collection of people gathers to learn more about the Hiawatha National Forest’s newest activities. The semi-annual gathering typically includes updates on Forest occurrences.

In the late 1980s, a group of petitioners to the 1986 Forest Land and Resource Management Plan formed an informal association known as “the Friends.”

Since then, the club has grown to include a diverse variety of passionate people about the Hiawatha. Participants may be representing groups or clubs, local, state, and national government. But they all have a thing for the Hiawatha.

11. Grand Island National Recreation Area

Check out Grand Island National Recreation Area with your family, friends, or by yourself!

Grand Island is located in Lake Superior, about a half-mile from Munising, Michigan, on the mainland. Marquette is roughly 43 miles away, and Manistique is 55 miles away.

Grand Island is a fantastic area to spend a day or even a few hours bicycling, exploring, and admiring nature. Please be advised that, per agency interim direction, e-Bikes are not permitted on non-motorized routes (e.g., all bike trails). The island is a thrilling and isolated getaway that provides:

  • Awe-inspiring vistas
  • Beaches with pristine sand
  • Sites of cultural interest
  • Hardwoods of great depth
  • Lakes in the interior

Final Note

About camping and other recreational activities inside Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore. Also, about road and trail conditions, weather, and safety. Visitors are advised to stop by or call one of the park’s two visitor centers for information on Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore.


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