Estivant Pines Nature Sanctuary

Estivant Pines Nature Sanctuary

Estivant Pines Nature Sanctuary
4.5
Nature & Wildlife Areas
Read more
Write a review
About
A 508-acre sanctuary of rare old-growth white pines. 2.5 miles of hiking trails (no wheeled vehicles). A moderate hike; accessible for families and couples. Steep hills, whisper quiet, and beautiful..
Suggest edits to improve what we show.
Improve this listing
Detailed Reviews: Reviews order informed by descriptiveness of user-identified themes such as cleanliness, atmosphere, general tips and location information.
Popular mentions

4.5
147 reviews
Excellent
94
Very good
32
Average
18
Poor
3
Terrible
0

Lorie M
1 contribution
Sep 2020 • Couples
We visited last week of September and hiked part of the Memorial Grove Trail. Many list this as an easy hilly hike and others point out the roots and rocks. I plead the latter. We’re 60 and 61, moderate shape and I do some weight lifting. The challenging part is you have to watch every step you take. Hills, and many many roots, rocks, pine needles and slippery mud parts. It is beautiful and we encountered zero bugs, which surprised me. My husband had his walking stick and I wished I’d had mine. I’d recommend this but be prepared with good tread shoes or hiking boots. There’s no cell service so if you fall, or twist an ankle, you’re gonna be there a while. The entrance part is mostly level and nice wooden bridges in places, but definitely NOT handicap accessible. Hope this helps. The forest itself is truly lovely! I managed one photo showing the roots and elevation but then my husband took my phone so I’d concentrate and not trip! 🤣
Written September 27, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

BlondeCricket
Buffalo, NY44 contributions
Aug 2021 • Couples
The Estivant Nature Sanctuary provided a delightful walk through the woods. Many majestic white pines, along with other trees and foliage, and numerous birds, provided a nice place to hike. The trail was not flat, some moderate climbing was necessary.
Written August 25, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Brian C
Saint Johns, MI53 contributions
Jul 2021 • Couples
It’s off the beaten trail and make sure you have directions. The trees being 300-500 years old are awesome pillars standing in the forest. It’s a 1.2 mile walk to make the entire loop. If you like it’s not necessary to make the entire loop to see the trees.
Written July 10, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

akate22
Minneapolis, MN29 contributions
Aug 2020
Even thought I really appreciated the tall old growth pines I felt underwhelmed here after a week of hiking in the upper peninsula and maybe also since I've seen the redwoods. The trail was in decent shape. I'd say stop in if you're wanting to stretch your legs and in the area or if you have not seen large trees before.
Written August 28, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Tirebiter8
Denver, CO1,054 contributions
Jul 2022
I loved visiting one of the few last groves of virgin native White Pines in Michigan. The trails are short with two loops. One of the loops (Memorial Grove) involved crossing a deep stream, so I skipped that one. The trees are impressive. The trail is well marked and quite busy the day that I visited. There is no fee.
Written August 3, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

ImmerWandern
Palos Heights, IL7,238 contributions
Oct 2020 • Couples
This small nature preserve was established in 1973 as a 200 acre purchase from a mining company by the Michigan Nature Association. Two additional land purchases have brought to its current 508 acres. The name is a nod to Edouard Estivant, a Parisian who was the original landowner.

The preserve contains one of the last old-growth white pine stands in Michigan. The preserve is out of the way, access being via Burma Road, off to the right from US-41 when heading north to Copper Harbor, just south of the Keweenaw Mountain Lodge. We overshot the exit on our first attempt to make it to Estivant. Burma road is unpaved, rutted and was muddy on our drive thanks to heavy rainfall the night before. An SUV would be ideal, but a sedan can make it through if driven carefully.

Michigan’s forest were almost completely clear-cut in the 19th Century and early 20th Century. The few stands of old-growth Eastern White Pine were those missed by the lumberjacks and are 300+ years old. As mentioned by reviewers Akate22 and Andrea1018, potential visitors need to temper their expectations as to what to find when it came to the trees. This is certainly not something akin to the redwood groves in California and the Pacific Northwest. The harsh climate and thin rock soil of the Upper Peninsula are not conducive to rapid growth. The old growth white pines of the UP are cited as being a tall as 100 feet (versus 300 feet for a coastal redwood) with a trunk diameter up to 5 feet (versus 30 feet). We found several of these white pines and while we could not confirm their height they seem tall enough. The trunks did not seem to be quite 5 feet in diameter. Relative to the other trees, maples and birch, the pine certainly stood out.

There is no cellphone signal in this part of the UP and Keweenaw Peninsula but the trails were straightforward and fairly well-marked. There were very few other hikers out with us and the calm and relative quiet (quite a few bird calls) was therapeutic. The trails themselves had the potential to be treacherous especially after the recent rain had made rocks and exposed roots slippery. I would recommend sturdy shoes with grippy soles and to also consider using hiking poles. The slope and vertical change are gentle but the trail underfoot requires care.

While we heard lots of bird call we did not spot any wildlife. There were a lot of mushrooms in the undergrowth.

We visited in late September, luckily with fall foliage near-peak. I would definitely suggest visiting during the fall.
Written January 30, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Beth M
Oakland Township, MI312 contributions
Jun 2016 • Couples
We tried to visit Estivant Pines in late April/early May but the roads were impassable...so NOTE, seasonal road, and pretty harrowing if it's just rained in early spring. On a beautiful, June day, however, practically perfect! There's a trail in, then you reach a sign with a figure 8 lying on it's side to choose which path to hike. We hiked both the left and right trails eventually, but NOTE, if you take the trail on the LEFT, it's pretty steep climbing through roots and rocks. There is also an unmaintained trail which branches off the right trail, and we'll tackle that next trip - you need to have waders/good boots/water gear, etc. and a good hiking stick. It's a really breath-taking place - beautiful, peaceful, quiet, and really unique. We'll go again soon. The best way to find out how the road up to the sanctuary is, just call the Keweenaw County Road Commission at 906.337.1610
Written June 13, 2016
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Jennifer s
Calumet, MI37 contributions
Jul 2014
Much of the Northern Great Lakes region used to be pine forest, but there isn't much old growth pine left. Most of the old growth Eastern White pines were cut in the early 1900s, and they don't just grow back all that easily. If you want to see what the mature Northern Hardwood Forest looked like, with Eastern White Pines within it, a walk through the Estivant Pines offers that experience. We visit the trees every once in a while: Red Maple, Sugar Maple, Northern White Cedar, Yellow Birch, White Birch, White Spruce, Balsam Fir, Red Oak, Black Spruce, and some stunning Eastern White Pines. The trails are beautiful, but good hiking shoes help. The old wooden map is not drawn to scale, which can create some confusion. If it is wet, some of the trails can be slick and a bit dangerous. But mostly it is a pleasant walk - ups, downs, magnificent trees, rocks, and the sound of wind through needles and leaves along with birdsong. This is a rejuvenating place. Please don't expect a pure Pinery or compare with California redwoods. This is Northern Hardwood Forest, beautiful and regal in its own right. Appreciate that before irresponsible logging (that still goes on) this was what much of the Northern Great Lakes region looked and felt like.
Written August 3, 2014
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Bill P
Wauconda, IL8 contributions
Dec 2013 • Couples
The beautiful Virgin White Pine Forest that was saved from loggers by the Michigan Nature Association. Words nor images can capture its beauty and magnitude. The Leaning Giant fell in a gail storm early October of 1989 if my memory serves me right. The Fallen Giant lays alone on the forest floor with about a 10 foot diameter trunk.
Written December 31, 2013
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Jeanne W
Midland, MI93 contributions
May 2013 • Solo
I can't even begin to imagine what it takes to build a trail like this and then keep it up. Boardwalks, signage are all in place and really add to the experience. It's a special "gotta see" place and well worth the drive from Copper Harbor.
Written September 25, 2013
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Showing results 1-10 of 147
Anything missing or inaccurate?
Suggest edits to improve what we show.
Improve this listing

Estivant Pines Nature Sanctuary (Copper Harbor) - All You Need to Know BEFORE You Go

Frequently Asked Questions about Estivant Pines Nature Sanctuary