The Nature Conservancy in Michigan to Open Clark Mine Trail Gates Nov. 1 to All Vehicles

Clark Mine Trail, and other seasonal trails, will remain open throughout deer hunting and snowmobile seasons

Aerial image of Keweenaw forest in the autumn. Trees are covered in bright oranges, yellows and reds.
Keweenaw Heartlands The remote Keweenaw Peninsula features ancient volcanic rocks, cascading streams, scenic Lake Superior coastlines and lush forests. © Photography by Mark R. Upton

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The Nature Conservancy in Michigan (TNC) today announced the Clark Mine Trail gates will open Nov. 1 to all vehicles and remain open throughout deer hunting and snowmobile seasons. Clark Mine Trail gates, and other seasonal trail gates, will all be opened by the end of the day on Nov. 1.

The trail has been closed to full size vehicles, campers, and heavy trucks during peak visitor season to increase user safety and control traffic volumes. According to data collected by TNC, as many as 200 vehicles per day are accessing nearby Manganese Road in peak season.

“Since we purchased the Keweenaw Heartlands last year, we have consistently heard from community members about increasing numbers of vehicles on roads and trails. This not only creates worry about impact on road and trail infrastructure, but also presents a safety concern for ORV/ATV users where vehicle access types conflict,” said Julia Petersen, Keweenaw Peninsula project manager for The Nature Conservancy in Michigan. “By closing gates to Clark Mine Trail during busier months and opening them during the winter, we believe we have struck the right balance to both maintain trail condition and protect ATV/ORV users, while ensuring hunters still have access.”

The decision to open the Clark Mine Trail gates follows feedback from local community members who wanted to ensure access to the trail for hunting season.

“The Keweenaw Heartlands project is very much community driven, and I want to thank everyone—especially those who live in the Keweenaw community—for their feedback,” Petersen said. “The community will have a chance to provide further input at our next public meeting after Thanksgiving.”

TNC asks residents who use Clark Mine Trail throughout the winter to follow “Leave No Trace” principles, which includes taking out whatever you bring in. Camping is not allowed in the Heartlands, and neither are fires. Hunters are also prohibited from setting up permanent deer blinds. 

The Nature Conservancy is a global conservation organization dedicated to conserving the lands and waters on which all life depends. Guided by science, we create innovative, on-the-ground solutions to our world’s toughest challenges so that nature and people can thrive together. We are tackling climate change, conserving lands, waters and oceans at an unprecedented scale, providing food and water sustainably and helping make cities more sustainable. Working in more than 70 countries and territories, we use a collaborative approach that engages local communities, governments, the private sector, and other partners. To learn more, visit or follow @nature_press on Twitter.