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.
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