One of MNA’s most popular sanctuaries, Estivant Pines Nature Sanctuary was originally part of a 2,400-acre tract of land owned by Edward Estivant of Paris, who sold it to Calumet and Hecla Mining Company in 1947. The tract was sold to Universal Oil in 1968, and the area was threatened when Universal Oil cut down 300 acres of forest nearby and began plans for future logging. MNA led a three-year statewide fundraising campaign to purchase 200 acres of Estivant Pines from Universal Oil in 1973. Concerned citizens from the “Save The Pines” committee helped in the fundraising that led to this initial acquisition. Three additional acquisitions occurring between 1989 and 2019 have expanded the 570.5 acre sanctuary, which protects one of the last old-growth white pine stands in Michigan.
Two loop trails bring visitors through the towering pines and forest. The 1 mile Cathedral Grove loop passes some of the largest and oldest giant white pines, growing more than 125 feet tall and dating back 300 years. Named after MNA’s founder, the 1.2 mile Bertha Daubendiek trail winds through groves of large pine, maple, and oak. One pine on this loop was determined to have germinated around 1695 after a wildfire swept the ridge. The two trails intersect and can be completed as a 2.5 mile hike.
More than 85 bird species inhabit the old-growth forest, including woodpeckers, hawks, and red crossbills. Despite thin soil and boreal climate, several wildflowers grow, such as asters, clintonia, baneberry, and violets. A wide variety of ferns, like maidenhair, spleenwort, and holly fern, blanket the forest floor.
Thanks to the dedication and perseverance of Michigan’s residents, Estivant Pines will be protected and enjoyed forever.
How To Get There:
The sanctuary is located in Keweenaw County near Copper Harbor. Follow Manganese Rd to Burma Rd.
For additional information, contact the MNA office at (866) 223-2231.
View the Sanctuary Fact Sheet
Estivant Pines Nature Sanctuary Fact Sheet.pdf