Places We Protect

Helmut & Candis Stern Preserve at Mt. Baldy

Michigan

A bald, rocky hilltop with views of forested hills and a lake in the distance.
Summit of Mt. Baldy View from top of the Helmut and Candis Stern Preserve at Mt. Baldy. © Jason Whalen/Big Foot Media

Mt. Baldy is the largest and least disturbed of only a handful of balds remaining in the Keweenaw Peninsula.

Overview

Description

Why Is This Preserve Significant?

Northern bald communities are extremely rare in Michigan and only occur around the Keweenaw from Isle Royale to Gogebic County. Mt. Baldy is unique because it harbors a variety of plant life at its peak, where treeless openings result in rare plant species scattered amongst wind-contorted white cedar and juniper. It also accommodates an amazing array of bird species that pass over the site during their annual migration.

What Can I See Here?

Towering 730 feet above Lake Superior in northern Keweenaw County near Eagle Harbor and Lake Bailey, the mountain offers spectacular panoramic views of Lake Superior and the Keweenaw Peninsula.

With a watchful eye and binoculars, you may spot local inhabitants such the black bear, snowshoe hare, peregrine falcon, ruffed grouse, golden-crowned kinglet, black-throated green warbler and yellow-rumped warbler.

Access

OPEN TO THE PUBLIC

Highlights

Stunning mountaintop views of Lake Superior, rare northern bald communities, and an amazing array of bird species

Explore our work in Michigan

From Calumet, MI follow US-41 north approximately 17 miles and turn left onto the Eagle Harbor Shortcut Road in Mohawk, MI 49950. After 5.2 miles, turn right onto gravel parking lot on Eagle Harbor Township property. Please park in the established parking lot (coordinates: 47.4504444°, -088.1613056). From here, hike 1.6 miles to the preserve boundary. It is another 1.4 miles to the top of Mt. Baldy. The hike up Mt. Baldy is a steady, uphill 3-mile climb. It can take 2 hours to reach the summit, but the views of Lake Superior and the Keweenaw Peninsula are well worth it!  Because of the thin soils, which cause shallow rooting and harsh conditions, vegetation can be extremely slow to recover or reestablish following excessive trampling. Please stay on the trail.

For sightseeing: take Brockway Mountain Drive between Eagle Harbor and Copper Harbor; there is a little turn-off on the side of the road, right next to a preserve sign that offers a spectacular view of Mt. Baldy. To experience a spectacular view of Lake Bailey and the summit of Mt. Baldy, drive on M-26 between Eagle Harbor and Copper Harbor.

Special note: The Nature Conservancy allows hunting for white-tail deer on this preserve to reduce threats too many deer pose to our conservation targets. All hunters are required to receive a permit from TNC as well as a Michigan deer hunting license. Additionally, hunters must report any deer taken from the preserve.

Permitted Activities

  • Foot access for hiking, snowshoeing, bird watching, etc.
  • Educational studies, photography, journaling 
  • Hunting (with TNC-issued permit and Michigan hunting license) 

Prohibited Activities

  • No motorized and non-motorized vehicles, including bicycles
  • No pets
  • No building of new trails
  • No geocaching (see list of TNC-approved geocache sites) 
  • No removal of trees, plants or animals (alive or dead)
  • No removal of rocks, water or other non-organic materials
  • No camping, bonfires, fireworks or other fires
  • No littering
Nature Spotlight: Helmut & Candis Stern Preserve Can't visit the Helmut & Candis Stern Preserve in person? Take a virtual tour with this short video!

In 2006 TNC dedicated the main ridge trail as a memorial to Nicole Bloom. Nicole was a Michigan Tech student who was active in many environmental issues but sadly died in a mountain climbing accident the summer after she graduated.