Estivant Pines Nature Sanctuary
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The Estivant tract is believed to be the last stand of virgin white pine in the Upper Peninsula. This nature sanctuary includes 504 acres of virgin northern hardwoods with groves of eastern white pine. Besides the old growth pines, features include 256 plant species with 10 species of orchids, some 85 nesting bird species and large mammals.
The trail is in a Michigan Nature Association Sanctuary and all sanctuary rules apply. Collecting plants, seeds, or animals or any kind is strictly forbidden. Stay on established trails. Only foot traffic is allowed - the use of all motorized vehicles or mountain bikes is prohibited. No hunting, fishing, trapping, camping, campfires, or pets are permitted. Carry out all refuse. Practice Leave No Trace Techniques.
Three trail loop combinations give the hiker a choice of 1 mile, 1.2 mile or 2.5 mile loops over rugged terrain.
Open year round for hiking, cross country skiing (ungroomed) and snowshoeing
From Hancock take US-41 to Copper Harbor. At the Junction of US-41 and M-26 travel 0.2 miles East and turn right (south) towards Lake Manganese. Follow the signs to Estivant pines.

Trail Segments:
Estivant Pines Map
Cathedral Grove Loop (1 mile) - The Cathedral Grove holds some of the biggest and oldest pine, measuring over four feet in diameter, they are 125 feet tall and 500 years old. All sizes of pine are present, from tiny seedlings to giants. Only a fraction of the big pine can be seen from the trails as most are tucked away in hard to reach places.
Memorial Grove Loop (1.2 miles) - The Memorial Grove loop takes you through a large grove of younger, 200 year old pine which was seeded in after a hot fire cleared the competing hardwoods and exposed the thin mineral soil. Along this trail you will pass red oak over 40 inches in diameter. Yellow birch up to 48 inches in diameter are also found in this region.
Cathedral and Memorial Loop (2.5 miles) - Combing the Cathedral and the Memorial Grove Loops gives the hiker a longer loop to enjoy this nature sanctuary
Information courtesy of the Keweenaw Convention & Visitors Bureau and the Keweenaw Traveler
- Trail Reviews -

February 21, 2017 - reviewed by Leonard
Visited back in 2014. Very very scenic hike back in time! A little primeval and spooky. We were waiting for the dinosaurs to appear. Am now trying to find what proper gear is needed to visit the fallen giant. Apparently you have to cross a swamp and a river.
Overall Rating: Trail Markers: Drinking Water: Scenic: Difficulty:
October 12, 2013 - reviewed by Anonymous
Only did the Memorial Grove loop andwant to go back and do the Church Grove loop. Colors are beautiful right now but the leaves are falling fast. Would love to go snowshoeing this winter!
Overall Rating: Trail Markers: Drinking Water: Scenic: Difficulty:
August 5, 2013 - reviewed by Dan Cottam
The directions I found on-line were inaccurate. There is a readily available free brochure called Hiking trails of the Keweenaw peninsula or something like that that shows how to get there. You go south on 2nd St. from Hwy 41. There are hand written signs black on white pointing the way at each intersection but they are small and you need to look for them. Some say E. Pines. Regarding the trail: If you are less than extremely fit, you should go up the Cathedral pines side and come down the Memorial loop side. This is what my wife and I did and we were glad of it when we found out how steep the Memorial loop side was. If you want an extreme workout, go up the memorial loop side. It is a good trail and a very nice place to be. There are interesting lichens there that look kind of like oak leaves which I have been reading about since I got back. They only live in old growth forests in coastal areas and I don't remember seeing them before. The pines are wonderful.
Overall Rating: Trail Markers: Drinking Water: Scenic: Difficulty:
October 8, 2010 - reviewed by Anonymous
This is a well maintained trail, with quite a large number of Virgin White Pine, just be patient because you have to walk in about 1/2 mile before you start to see the big pines. I would recommend walking around the Cathedral Trail and then coming out on the Memorial Grove trail, total distance of around 2 miles. If your looking for a quite hike deep in nature, with few people around (we saw 4 during our hike), that is easy to get to, this is it.
Overall Rating: Trail Markers: Drinking Water: Scenic: Difficulty:
May 31, 2010 - reviewed by k87upkid
Just a couple miles outside of Copper Harbor, this section of virgin timber offers the ultimate in quiet and seclusion. I hiked the entire Cathedral and Memorial loop while out geocaching, thus hiking nearly all the trails. The Memorial Grove Loop goes through mostly hardwoods interspersed with occasional White Pine. The terrain changes a bit in elevation but there are no massive hills or ravines. Trail markers are quite consistent and you the trail was easy to follow. The Cathedral Grove Loop is much more similar to what I was expecting before I began my hike. Numerous massive White Pine can be seen all along the trail. The substory is largely coniferous and in many places the ground is covered in needles, dampening footsteps and lending an air of tranquility. There is greater elevation change on this loop, mainly a decent sized hill at the midpoint that left me breathing hard by the time I got to the top. Again, the trail is adequately marked, it would be difficult to get lost. The trail spur leading to the parking lot is wide easily traversed. In areas where there is water or washouts a boardwalk has been installed. On the south side of the reserve, where the Cathedral and Memorial Trails come together there is a faint, unmarked, trail which is not shown on the map. It crosses a large marsh to the "Fallen Giant." Traversing this trail would require either waders or a willingness to get very wet. If you're in the Copper Harbor area looking for a short hike that does not offer any great views but does give an excellent look back in time check out the Estivant Pines!
Overall Rating: Trail Markers: Drinking Water: Scenic: Difficulty:
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