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Protected by a citizens group and managed by The Grand Traverse Regional Land Conservancy, owned by The State of Michigan.

Skegemog Lake Wildlife Area (SLWA), encompassing much of the southern end of Skegemog Lake, offers a wealth of non-motorized outdoor recreation opportunities within a uniquely diverse property teeming with plant and animal life. Visitors can access this property from four parking areas and walk over five miles of trails that wind through this vast and diverse property. The wildlife area is comprised of approximately 3,300 acres of northern peatland, conifer and hardwood swamp, upland forest and open grassland and includes over seven miles of shoreline on Skegemog Lake and the Torch River.

These landscapes provide important habitat for multiple fish species and several state and federally threatened bird species, including bald eagle, common loon, merlin, and caspian tern. Two reptiles of special concern are found here (the wood turtle and spotted turtle) along with the Eastern Massasauga Rattlesnake, Michigan’s only rattlesnake and a State of Michigan species of Special Concern. Lands with these qualities are increasingly rare and important, making the SLWA an invaluable resource for preserving the natural heritage of Northern Michigan.

The establishment of the Skegemog Lake Wildlife Area (SLWA) was the culmination of a major grassroots campaign launched by local residents in 1972 under the name of the Skegemog Lake Wildlife Area Project, with help from the Michigan chapter of The Nature Conservancy (TNC). TNC established a stewardship endowment fund, which was transferred to Grand Traverse Regional Land Conservancy (GTRLC) along with management responsibilities. Currently, GTRLC works with the Skegemog Lake Wildlife Committee citizen group and the Michigan Department of Natural Resources (MDNR) to manage the property, with final authority for all management activies resting with the MDNR.


Hunting is allowed. For more information and up-to-date rules and regulations, please contact the Michigan Department of Natural Resources Traverse City field office at (231) 922-5280.

Dogs are welcome, but they must be leashed at all times! Click here to find out why.


Rapid City Rd. Trailhead / Parking Area

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Torch River Overlook Trailhead / Parking Area

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M-72 (Barker Creek) Trailhead / Parking Area

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North Shore Pathway Trailhead / Parking Area

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