This land will be open for foot access and activities such as hiking, snowshoeing and bird watching. View All
Located in Luce County in the Upper Peninsula View All
This area was immortalized in Ernest Hemingway’s story “Big Two-Hearted River,” a tale of a man trying to find inner peace in the wilderness after he gets back from World War I. Hemingway himself, spent many summers in northern Michigan and wrote this story based on his own memories of the area.
The 4,084-acre McMahon Lake Preserve, located in Luce County, lies within the watershed of the Two-Hearted River, a state-designated Natural River. This area has largely avoided logging and development due to its remote location and swampy nature. As a result, traveling through the preserve is like traveling back through time. Local residents include the pine marten, moose, otter, pileated woodpecker, sandhill crane, northern harrier, bear, wolf, loon, coyote, ruffed grouse, gray jay, sedge wren and northern Parula warbler. Many of these creatures thrive in vast expanses of unfragmented habitat, such as McMahon Lake and the surrounding environs.
Why the Conservancy Selected This Site
The variety of wildlife at this preserve is truly astounding. Many of these creatures thrive in vast expanses of unfragmented habitat, such as McMahon Lake and the surrounding environs. The Conservancy purchased the first 960-acre southern portion of the preserve in 1989.
What the Conservancy Has Done/Is Doing
In 1993, an anonymous donor contributed the funds for this purchase in memory of former Conservancy board member and
Early May and late July through October are the best times to visit this preserve to take advantage of Upper Michigan’s beauty while avoiding biting insects. Come prepared with head netting and insect repellant, since the black flies and mosquitoes are abundant. We also strongly recommend wearing ankle-high boots because portions of the strangmoor are very wet.
The Nature Conservancy allows hunting for white-tail deer on this preserve to reduce an unnaturally high deer population in the area and reduce threats too many deer pose to our conservation targets. All hunters are required to receive a permit from the Conservancy as well as a Michigan deer hunting license. Additionally, hunters must report any deer taken from the preserve.
Please see "Preserve Visitation Guidelines."
From Newberry, Michigan: