Bete Grise Preserve in Michigan's Upper Peninsula.
Bete Grise Shoreline Bete Grise Preserve in Michigan's Upper Peninsula. © Ron Leonetti

Places We Protect

Bete Grise Wetlands Preserve

Michigan

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

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.

Why TNC Selected This Site

The larger area of Bete Grise contains an excellent quality Great Lakes Marsh and nearly one and a half miles of high quality sand beach along Lake Superior, possibly the longest in the Keweenaw. Common Loon, Merlin, and Bald Eagle nest at the site and four species of special plants are found in the wetland areas of the site. This entire beach area was slated for a housing development in the early 2000’s. After many public meetings and negotiation, the property was set aside for conservation, opening the beach to the public.

What TNC Has Done/Is Doing

Most of TNC’s work at Bete Grise has been focused on supporting the Houghton/Keweenaw Conservation District and other partners. To date, we have assisted HKCD in acquiring more than 2,500 acres for their Bete Grise Preserve.

Easiest access to the Bete Grise Wetlands Preserve is thru the Houghton/Keweenaw Conservation District’s Bete Grise Preserve. The green represents our preserve. The purple is land we have assisted the HKCD in acquiring. The orange is property we intend to transfer to the conservation district.

Bete Grise is a popular swimming destination. Bring sunscreen. 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. If you want to visit during the early summer months, bring insect repellant.

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