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Wildlife Viewing Guide
  Wildlife Viewing | Using this Guide | Getting the Most from Your Trip | Doing It Right | Map Information

Watching wildlife through scopeWildlife Viewing in
the Great Lake States

Michigan has been blessed with a great abundance of wildlife and natural resources and has long been known throughout the country as a destination for outdoor activities such as hunting, fishing, hiking, camping, skiing, and boating. In recent years, wildlife viewing has become a very popular outdoor activity, and again Michigan ranks as one of the premier destinations in the country for pursuing this exciting pastime.

When French fur traders first arrived in Michigan, towering forests, vast wetlands, and pristine rivers stretched all the way from the shores of Lake Erie to the western Upper Peninsula. Since that time, these resources have spawned and sustained industries that provided jobs and the raw materials used to build America. Although human activities have changed the complexion of the land, Michigan is still a state of natural superlatives, such as:

  • Shorelines on 4 of the 5 Great Lakes

  • Productive wetlands and protected shallows on Great Lakes bays and inlets

  • More freshwater shoreline than any other state

  • Miles of cold, clear streams and rivers

  • Vast tracts of hardwood and conifer forest

  • More than 100 waterfalls in the Upper Peninsula alone

  • One of the largest designated wilderness areas east of the Mississippi River

These diverse habitats provide homes for more than 750 kinds of fish, amphibians, reptiles, mammals, and birds—enough to provide a lifetime of viewing opportunities.

This on-line guide features some of the best places in Michigan to view wildlife. Certainly there are many more waiting to be explored, but these are great places to start. Some sites in this guide are barrier-free; others are rugged and undeveloped. No matter where you are in the state, there are wonderful wildlife viewing opportunities only minutes away.

This Web site is not intended to be a guide to state hunting and fishing areas, but these activities are permitted on many of the sites included here. Hunting and fishing symbols appear on the write-up for each site where these activities are permitted. Many people are not aware that money from hunting and fishing licenses and tax money from the sale of hunting and fishing equipment is used to pay for the purchase and management of fish and wildlife habitat in Michigan and throughout America. In Michigan, hunters are responsible for the purchase of nearly one million acres of public land, including many of the sites that appear in this guide.


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