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Michigan dnr > wildlife viewing guide > upper peninsula > rainey

28 Rainey Wildlife Area Upper Peninsula

wildlife viewing  |  directions and facility information

boardwalk trail through woods
Photo: © Dave Case

A hiking trail that passes through maple, yellow birch, and mixed conifer habitat takes hikers over boardwalks and through wet areas, leading to an elevated observation platform that provides a feeling of remoteness with outstanding opportunities for viewing wildlife. The observation platform has a barrier-free ramp that reaches to a mid-level, and offers a long scenic vista to sedge meadow and open water habitat. The trail crosses Smith Creek, which flows through a patterned fen to Indian Lake. It overlooks the sedge meadow and open water habitat of Smith’s Slough and Indian Lake. This site has no modern facilities, so come prepared. It is named after and has a memorial site dedicated to a fallen Vietnam veteran.

Wildlife Viewing

birdwatching platform
Photo: © Dave Case

Songbirds are plentiful in the diverse habitats along the trail and boardwalk sections adjacent to the parking area. Spring and fall warbler migrations are especially good, due to the rich insect life present in the wetland habitats. Walk slowly and quietly along the trail for best results. Sometimes you can call warblers into view by standing very still and making a soft "pssh pssh pssh" sound. There is a moderate to high probability of viewing bald eagles from the observation platform. An active eagle nest near Indian Lake improves viewing during spring and early summer. The platform is also a great place to view and photograph fall colors.

Portions of this area are open to public hunting. Contact the Michigan Department of Natural Resources for affected seasons and locations.


From US-2 in Manistique, drive north through town on M-94 about 5 miles to Dawson Road. Turn left (west) and proceed 1.5 miles to an access road that goes north to the site parking lot.

Ownership: Michigan Department of Natural Resources, Newberry office, (906) 293-5131

Size: 100 acres

Closest Town: Manistique

Weather and Driving Directions for Manistique

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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