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Places We Protect

Bete Grise Wetlands Preserve

Michigan

Trees along a shoreline are reflected in the water's edge.
Bete Grise Shoreline Bete Grise Preserve in Michigan's Upper Peninsula. © Ron Leonetti

Bete Grise is the highest quality dune and swale wetland system remaining in the Upper Great Lakes.

Overview

Description

Located in the beautiful Michigan Keweenaw, Bete Grise boasts nearly one and a half miles of high-quality sand beach along Lake Superior, possibly the longest in the Keweenaw. This entire beach area was slated for a housing development in the early 2000s. But, after many public meetings and negotiation, the property was set aside for conservation, opening the beach to the public.

The 62-acre Bete Grise Wetlands Preserves consists of just over 4,000 feet of sandy shoreline along Lake Superior leading to dune and swale wetlands, and 1,000 feet of frontage on the Mendota Ship Canal.

Access

OPEN TO THE PUBLIC

62-acre biologically rich wetlands with 4,000 feet of shoreline along Lake Superior

Highlights

This land is open for foot access and activities such as hiking, snowshoeing, bird watching and swimming.

Size

62 acres

Explore our work in this region

Photos from Bete Grise Wetlands

Tag your preserve visits on Instagram with #TNCMichigan to have your photos featured here!

A kayaker glides through a quiet lake passed a treelined shore.
View of a quiet lake from a shore covered in sand and green plant growth.
A path winds through a forest of colorful autumn foliage and trees.
The sun sets over the horizon and is reflected in the surface of the lake and small ponds. along the shore.
A sign that says Bete Grise Wetlands Preserve. Established 2004. The sign is surrounded by green plant life.
Blue skies and white clouds are reflected in the water of a wetland area.
A sandy and rocky shore with a small inlet of water making its way to the lake.
Two boulders lie in the water of Lake Superior and the sun sinks below the horizon. Clouds cover the sky.
Large and small rocks are deposited on the sandy shore of a lake.
Towering trees grow along a sandy shoreline. Waves crash on the shore.

Plan Your Visit

  • When to Visit

    The preserve is open year round. However, spring, late summer and early fall are the best times to visit this preserve to fully enjoy the beauty of the Keweenaw Peninsula without the irritation of the biting insects that come out in the early summer. 

  • What to Bring

    Bete Grise is a popular swimming destination. Make sure to bring a hat, sunscreen, bug repellent and water. 

  • Permitted Activities
    • Hiking, skiing and snowshoeing
    • Bird watching, nature study and photography
    • Swimming in Lake Superior
    • Kayaks and canoes are permitted on Lake Superior. Vessels must be carried from the parking area.
    • Research projects and educational studies with approved permit
  • Prohibited Activities
    • No motorized and non-motorized vehicles
    • No building of new trails
    • No pets
    • No hunting or trapping
    • No removal of plants or animals (alive or dead)
    • No removal of rocks, water or other non-organic materials
    • No camping, bonfires, fireworks or other fires
    • No firewood collecting
    • No littering
  • Questions?

    Have questions about the preserve? Contact Shaun Howard, TNC protected lands project manager in Michigan.

Snow covers the beach as waves crash on shore.
Bete Grise The winter Horizon. © Ron Leonetti

Background

Look to the skies (and treetops) to spot the common loon, merlin, and bald eagle. Many species of special plants are found in the wetland areas of the preserve. Enjoy warm sunny beaches in the late summer months, and be on the look-out for vibrant beach glass!

Easiest access to the Bete Grise Wetlands Preserve is through the Houghton/Keweenaw Conservation District’s Bete Grise Preserve. TNC has assisted the HKCD in acquiring land in this area and we intend to transfer more in the future. 

Keep Exploring

From shifting sand dunes to granite bald mountains, explore over 35 preserves and reserves spread across the state of Michigan.

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Find More Places We Protect

The Nature Conservancy owns nearly 1,500 preserves covering more than 2.5 million acres across all 50 states. These lands protect wildlife and natural systems, serve as living laboratories for innovative science and connect people to the natural world.

See the Complete Map

Make a Lasting Impact

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