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Michigan dnr > wildlife viewing guide > upper peninsula > moose country

17 Moose Country Upper Peninsula

wildlife viewing  |  directions and facility information

The moose is the largest member of the
deer famil -adult males range in size from
seven feet tall and weighing 3/4 ton,
to seven feet tall, weighing 1300 lbs.
Photo: David Kenyon, MI DNR

Many people do not realize that part of Michigan’s Upper Peninsula is home to a free-ranging moose herd. Although it is difficult to predict where moose might be seen on any given day, there are three areas where visitors would do well to begin their quest. The center of the moose country in the western U.P. is Van Riper State Park. In the eastern Upper Peninsula, Tahquamenon Falls State Park and Seney National Wildlife Refuge offer the best chances of seeing moose. Stop at one of the visitor centers at these public areas, or the DNR office in Marquette, to get a copy of the moose-viewing guide entitled Michigan Moose. This guide is designed to help visitors locate occupied moose habitat and has maps of the three moose viewing areas mentioned above. Some of the routes listed in the guide are on rugged seasonal roads that may become impassible any time of the year.

Wildlife Viewing

Photo: David Kenyon, MI DNR

In 1985 and 1987, the Michigan Department of Natural Resources captured 59 moose in Algonquin Provincial Park in Ontario. All were released in Marquette County just north of Van Riper State Park. This small herd has been growing slowly and has expanded its range in the Upper Peninsula (U.P.). A slow drive along the listed routes, or on public roads through the general area near the parks, may result in a sighting of one of these majestic North Woods creatures. Look for moose in the early morning and evening when summer temperatures are coolest.

Photo: David Kenyon, MI DNR

Moose often are associated with water, so areas around beaver ponds and along the edges of lakes, streams, and swamps are good places to look. Van Riper and Tahquamenon Falls state parks have moose information centers with interpretive materials including a kiosk and a video on Michigan moose recovery efforts. Interpretive staff can provide the latest information on the local herd and recent sightings. In addition to moose, loons, eagles, black bears, deer, foxes, and even wolves may be seen in moose country. Hiking trails ramble throughout the state parks, connecting several scenic overlooks. Craig Lake State Park near Van Riper State Park offers additional hiking trails through wild country. Seney National Wildlife Refuge has a seven-mile marshland wildlife drive open to vehicles during daylight hours, plus a visitor center and gift shop.

Caution must be taken when watching moose. Moose should not be approached. They can be unpredictable and aggressive. Most dangerous are cow moose with young, or bulls during the mating season (September and October).


Directions to Van Riper State Park: From Champion (about 30 miles west of Marquette), drive west on US-41/M-28 about one mile to the park entrance on the left (south) side of the road.

Suggested Auto tours: To Peshekee Grade Road: From Van Riper State Park, drive west on US-41 about one mile to County Road 607 (Huron Bay Grade). Turn right (north) and travel 3.5 miles to Dishno Creek Road. Turn right (east) and continue about 2 miles to a fork in the road. Bear left and proceed about 10 miles northeast toward Dishno Lake. Return along the same route.

To Tracy Creek Road: From Van Riper State park, drive west on US-41 to Tracy Creek Road. Turn left (south) and proceed about 16 miles. Drive ends at US-141, about 7 miles south of Covington. This road may be gated seasonally.

Directions to Tahquamenon Falls State Park: From Paradise, drive west on M-123 about 11 miles to park headquarters and visitor center. There are several interior park roads that offer moose viewing opportunities. These are shown on the Michigan Moose pamplet and also at the visitor center.

Directions to Seney National Wildlife Refuge: From the village of Seney, drive south on M-77 about 4 ½ miles to the entrance road on the right (west) side of M-77.

Ownership: Van Riper and Tahquamenon Falls State Parks, Michigan Department of Natural Resources. Van Riper State Park, (906) 339-4461, Tahquamenon State Park, (906) 492-3415.
Marquette, (906)-228-6561.

Size: Van Riper State Park – 4,000 acres
Peshekee Grade Road – 15 linear miles
Tracy Creek Road – 16 linear miles
Closest Town: Champion

Size: Tahquamenon Falls State Park – 38,000 acres
Closest town: Paradise

Size: Seney National Wildlife Refuge – 94,000 acres
Marshland Drive – seven linear miles
Closest town: Germfask

Weather and Driving Directions for Champion

Weather and Driving Directions for Paradise

Weather and Driving Directions for Germfask

Plan Your Trip with travel.michigan.org!

More information can be found by visiting the DNR's site (link leads to web app allowing users to search for campgrounds, harbors, trails and more), or by conducting a Google search:


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