Michigan Tech Forests

Our forests are your living lab—and playground. Undergraduate students in forestry, wildlife, ecology, and soils perform a minimum of 714 hours of outdoor coursework to fulfill degree requirements. Whether you're participating in our Forestry and Environmental Resource Management (FERM) enterprise program, or hiking, skiing, or mountain biking, you can get there fast. They’re right in our backyard.

"Our students are always doing something fun. Any time people are enjoying our land, you're seeing the results of our students."Jim Schmierer, School Forester

Live and Breathe What You’re Learning

The University owns 5,264 acres of forestland. There are satellite research properties throughout Michigan's Upper Peninsula. These forests are on or close to campus:

Ford Forest

Acres: 3,700

Location: 42 miles south of Michigan Tech’s main campus on US Highway 41  (see map)

Forest types: Upland northern hardwood and outwash plain jack pine forests with minor components of lowland conifer, natural red pine, and pure aspen forest

Uses: Integrated Field Practicum, field trips, SURF, research, conferences and retreats, and outreach, like Sugarbush maple-syrup making classes and tours of the Alberta sawmill and complex property created by auto magnate Henry Ford


Tech Trails

Acres: 615 with 40 miles of trails

Location: On campus, south side (see map)

Forest types: Mixed hardwoods, conifers, and aspen

Uses: Undergraduate courses (FW2051 Field Techniques, FW2010 Vegetation of North America), walking, running, biking, snowshoeing, and skiing, including collegiate and national Nordic racing


Otter River Property

Acres: 20 with frontage on Otter River near mouth of Bear Creek, adjacent to Michigan Department of Natural Resources (DNR) land

Location: 23 miles south of Michigan Tech’s main campus on Fish Hatchery Road (contact Jim Schmierer for property map)

Forest types: Mixed hardwoods and conifers

Uses: SAF/Forestry Club activities, student retreats, hiking, and fishing


More Research Forests Near Campus

Trail cams. Deer enclosures. Oak genetic studies. Aspen decomposition. These Michigan Tech properties are home to demonstration projects, FERM initiatives, and ongoing studies. They're open for recreation, too. Get directions, and get outside. 

Prickett Dam Tract—120 acres
Hemlock, aspen, and hardwoods

Wilkinson Tract—240 acres, Lateral Creek frontage
Wetlands, hardwoods, mixed conifers, and lowland conifers

Dow Property—300 acres, Montreal River frontage
Lowland, mixed conifers, and hardwoods

Mass Woodlot—40 acres
Mixed hardwoods, hardwood-hemlock, and mixed conifers

Rugg Property35 acres
Lowland hardwoods and mixed conifers

Smith Forty—40 acres, near Elm River
Northern hardwoods

Goodman Property—15 acres
Northern hardwoods and Scots pine