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Mary Macdonald Preserve - TravelStorys

Mary Macdonald Preserve

Location Trip Time Travel Type
Michigan 30 minutes

Explore a unique coastal landscape of bedrock ridges, red rock beaches and boreal forests

Tour Excerpts

About this Tour

Welcome to the audio tour of the Mary Macdonald Preserve at Horseshoe Harbor! This Michigan preserve is owned and managed by The Nature Conservancy. Located at the northernmost edge of Michigan’s Keweenaw Peninsula, this 1,147-acre preserve features a dramatic rocky coastline and boreal forests that are home to a thriving diversity of plants and animals. It was established in 1982 thanks to the generosity of Mary Macdonald, a Nature Conservancy member who donated the first piece of this preserve. Later, she also helped The Nature Conservancy expand the preserve.

The Mary Macdonald Preserve at Horseshoe Harbor captures the beauty—and ruggedness—of the Keweenaw Peninsula’s northern shoreline. Here, ancient geological forces and the power of wind and water have shaped a unique coastal landscape of bedrock ridges, red rock beaches and boreal forests, that draws many migratory birds—and human visitors—to its shores. From lichen to lava deposits, this special place is well worth a visit. Spring, late summer and early fall are usually the best times to enjoy this preserve’s natural beauty!

Join me on this tour to learn about the unique history that has shaped this preserve, and the wild inhabitants that make it so special! If you are on location, you can begin your tour at the trailhead across the two-track dirt road from the parking lot, heading toward the lake. From here, it’s a five- to ten-minute walk to the shoreline.

Tour Sponsors


This Michigan preserve is owned and managed by The Nature Conservancy. It was first protected in 1982 thanks to the generosity of Mary Macdonald.

Find More Tours Near You


If you are interested in more guided walking tours in the region, check out The Nature Conservancy.

Echo Lake Preserve
Carl A. Gerstacker Preserve
Ross Coastal Plain Marsh Preserve
Nan Weston Preserve
Helmut & Candis Stern Preserve
McMahon Lake Preserve

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