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The Wilderness

There are 377,900 acres of forest land in Iron County – 79.8% of the land. The Northern Highland – American Legion State Forest is in the southern part of the county. In addition to our own forest lands, the Hurley area is flanked by the Chequamegon National Forest and Apostle Island National Lake Shore to the west and the Ottawa National Forest and the Porcupine Mountain State Wilderness to the east, in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula.

Surrounded by more than a million acres of private, county, state and national forests makes Hurley your perfect headquarters when planning a wilderness adventure.


Once again you can hear the wilderness howl of timber wolves in Iron County. Abundant deer and beaver populations along with vast, roadless forest lands have proven favorable to reestablishing wolf packs here.

Other big critters that can be spotted in Iron County include black bears, moose and elk.

Fisher are now firmly established here and pine martens are occasionally reported.

The merlin, a small falcon, nest in pine and fir trees along our lakes and we have breeding trumpeter swans, too. Sandhill cranes nest in our wooded swamps and eagles, osprey and loons are familiar inhabitants in the area. There are more than 30 pair each of osprey and bald eagles nesting in Iron County and more than 50 pair of loons.




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