Places We Protect

Echo Lake Nature Preserve


View of Echo Lake Preserve in Michigan's Upper Peninsula near Marquette.
Echo Lake Preserve View of Echo Lake Preserve in Michigan's Upper Peninsula near Marquette. © Dick Huey

Echo Lake Preserve is home to dramatic granite cliff-top views, waters teeming with life and a variety of wildlife.



Why Is This Preserve Significant?

Located just a few miles outside of Marquette, the 480-acre Echo Lake Nature Preserve includes high bluffs of exposed granite bedrock, a mixed deciduous and conifer forest, wetlands, creeks, three high rock ponds and Echo Lake itself. Harlow Creek flows from its headwaters at Echo Lake, takes in water from Harlow Lake and empties into Lake Superior.

What Can I See Here?

As you walk along the trails of Echo Lake Preserve, you could encounter dramatic granite cliff-top views, calm waters teeming with life beneath the surface and a variety of wildlife including moose, gray wolf, river otter, spotted and spotted blue salamanders, and neotropical migratory birds. Vistas from the highest areas of exposed bedrock on the south side of Harlow Lake include Hogsback Mountain, Little Presque Isle, and Lake Superior.

Looking to take a day-trip? Stop by nearby Laughing Whitefish Preserve and Wilderness Lakes Preserve.




Hiking, Snowshoeing, Birdwatching, Carry-in Boating, and Catch-and-Release Fishing


480 acres

Explore our work in this region

Echo Lake offers activities year round, from snow-shoeing in the winter to hiking and canoeing in the summer. 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 to guard against mosquitoes, black flies, and other insects during the midsummer months. Hiking boots are recommended for walking the rocks and shoreline of this preserve.

Hunting of white-tailed deer (or any other species) is currently not allowed at Echo Lake Nature Preserve as deer do not appear to be posing a threat to our conservation targets.

Permitted Activities

  • Foot access for hiking, snowshoeing, skiing, etc.
  • Bird-watching
  • Educational studies
  • Catch-and-release fishing is authorized but only with the use of artificial lures or flies; live bait may not be used
  • Kayaks and canoes are permitted on waters of the preserve including Echo Lake. Vessels must be carried from the parking lot.

Prohibited Activities

  • No rock climbing and rappelling
  • No motorized and non-motorized vehicles, including but not limited to automobiles, off-road vehicles (ORVs), all terrain vehicles (ATVs), motorcycles, snowmobiles, amphibious vehicles, and bicycles. All visitors must park at the gate and walk in.
  • No pets
  • No hunting or trapping
  • No motorized watercraft including diesel, gasoline or electric powered watercraft or sailboats and sailing.
  • No removal of trees, plants or animals (alive or dead)
  • No removal of rocks, water or other non-organic materials
  • No geocaching
  • No transportation, handling, dumping, or disposal of liquid, solid, natural or man-made waste, refuse, or debris
  • No camping, bonfires, fireworks or other fires
  • No sound or sounds artificially generated, regardless of decibel level

Plan Your Visit

In accordance with the Department of Justice’s amended regulation implementing Title III of the 1990 Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) regarding "Other Power‐Driven Mobility Devices,” The Nature Conservancy has completed an assessment of our Echo Lake Nature Preserve. While some types of OPDMDs can be accommodated, there are necessary restrictions on their use. Please contact the UP Office at 906-225-0399 or with any questions regarding these policies.

  • Groups or individuals must contact the UP office to arrange entry and escort. Access will be limited to daylight hours and at the availability of Conservancy staff.
  • Access into the preserve will be based on the size of the power driven mobility device.
  • OPDMD’s no larger than a standard passenger car, truck or SUV (and no wider than 80 inches from outer wheel to outer wheel) are allowed access on the gravel two-track road for 0.4 miles to the Conservancy branding sign at the base of hill that leads to Echo Lake and viewpoint.
  • Small OPDMD’s may access the gravel road an additional 200 feet up the small hill to the viewpoint at the discretion of Conservancy staff if the OPDMD is deemed small enough to safely ascend and descend this narrow, rocky steep road section and turn around, avoiding damage to sensitive environments and if the rider requests to do so.

The Nature Conservancy would like to thank the J. A. Woollam Foundation for its generous gift to the residents of Michigan. Now, this undeveloped inland lake area with its sweeping views of Lake Superior, unique woodlands and critical habitat will be protected in perpetuity for both humans and wildlife.

TNC has worked closely with its conservation partners in the area, including the Michigan Nature Association, the Upper Peninsula Land Conservancy and the Michigan Department of Natural Resources (MDNR) to ensure that existing high-quality protected areas in the region such as this are preserved alongside large working landscapes and compatible use areas. The preserve is adjacent forest lands protected by a conservation easement through the Northern Great Lakes Forest Project an innovative working lands approach to conservation.