Round Island Point Nature Preserve
Virtual brochure and information for Round Island Point Nature Preserve, one of many online travel brochures for tourist information in Harbor Springs, MI. Provided by your source for Mackinaw Information and Mackinac Information.
Little Traverse Conservancy
3264 Powell Road
Harbor Springs, MI 49740
A Chippewa County nature preserve owned and managed by Little Traverse Conservancy
What will you find here?
1,024 acres and 2.5 miles of Lake Superior shoreline
Located 20 minutes west of Sault Ste. Marie and just four miles from Brimley, the Round Island Point Nature Preserve is a large tract of wild land within easy reach of downtown. The extensive woods and wetlands support deer, bear, porcupine, pileated woodpecker, balk eagle, and many species of songbirds. Migratory birds can be seen as they pass through, in spring and fall, from Whitefish Point to the St. Mary’s River migratory corridor.
A 1.6 mile loop trail provides access to the southern portion of the preserve, winding through balsam fir woods, red pine plantation, maple and birch uplands, and alongside extensive beaver meadows. This trail also runs along the top of a steep bluff, offering spectacular views (especially in winter) of the St. Mary’s River valley and the hills of Canada. A viewing deck, boardwalks, stairways, and a floating bog crossing enable visitors to enjoy the trail without damaging sensitive wetlands and slopes.
The Round Island Point Nature Preserve does not have developed facilities such as restrooms, water, playgrounds, or picnic areas. Hunting is allowed by written permission only, and motorized vehicles are not permitted off the paved access road. This rustic nature preserve is ideal for quiet hiking, snowshoeing, berry picking, and birdwatching. We hope you will visit and enjoy this extensive natural area that is so close to town!
From St. Ignace
Head north on I-75 for 40 miles to Exit 386. Take Exit 386 (M-28) west toward Munising/Newberry. Go about 2 miles west on M-28, then turn right on Piche Road. Go north on Piche Road for 3 miles, then left on 6 Mile Road. Go 2 1/4 miles west on 6 Mile Road, then right on E. Birch Point Loop. Go north of E. Birch Point Loop for 1/2 mile then right onto a paved road. Trail begins half a mile down at the end of paved road.
From Sault Ste. Marie
Take I-75 south 3 miles to Exit 392. Travel 1 mile west and turn left on 20th Street (S. Bakerside Road) and then travel 3.2 miles and turn right on 6 Mile Road. Go 5.2 miles and turn right (north) on East Birch Point Loop. Continue for 1/2 mile and turn right onto a paved road. Trail begins half a mile down at the end of paved road.
The Story of Round Island Point
The protection of Round Island Point Nature Preserve began in 1991 with a generous gift of 460 acres from the Finlayson Family to the Michigan chapter of The Nature Conservancy (TNC). In 2001, TNC transferred the property to the Little Traverse Conservancy. Since then, several additions to the property were made possible with funding from the J.A. Woollam Foundation and the North American Wetlands Conservation Act Program. Today, the preserve totals 1,024 acres and protects a total of 2 1/2 miles of Lake Superior shoreline as well as a half mile of Waiska Creek frontage.
At one time, a portion of the property was owned by a developer and a paved road was established to prepare for a subdivision. The Conservancy’s ownership came about after the road’s completion, and the road now provides access through the southwestern portion of the preserve from Birch Point Road.
Special thanks to the many community members for their cooperation in assisting with trail construction, preserve management, and maintenance including: Bay Mills Township, Soo Township, teachers, students, neighbors, preserve monitors, and trail stewards.
The Little Traverse Conservancy is a private, non-profit land trust working to protect the natural and scenic character of northern Michigan and to foster appreciation and understanding of the environment. Since 1972, the organization has partnered with private landowners and local units of government to protect more than 26,700 acres of land along 75 miles of shoreline. The organization’s service area includes Chippewa, Mackinac, Emmet, Cheboygan, and Charlevoix counties.