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Ottawa National Forest



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The almost one million acres of the Ottawa National Forest are located in the western Upper Peninsula of Michigan. The forest extends from the south shore of Lake Superior to the Wisconsin border. The area is rich in wildlife viewing opportunities; breathtaking views of rolling hills dotted with lakes, rivers and waterfalls; and spectacular fall colors. But you have to see it to believe it--come visit the Ottawa!

The Ottawa National Forest is a national forest that covers 993,010 acres (401,860 ha) in the Upper Peninsula of theU.S. state of Michigan. It includes much of Gogebic and Ontonagon counties, as well as slices of Iron, Houghton, Baraga, and Marquette counties. The forest is under the jurisdiction of the U.S. Forest Service.

The headquarters are in Ironwood, Michigan, on the Wisconsin border, and the principal visitor center is located inWatersmeet, Michigan, in the southern section of the Forest. These and other towns within and adjacent to the Forest are served by U.S. Highway 2, one of the principal highways of the Western Upper Peninsula. There are local ranger district offices in Bessemer, Iron River, Kenton, Ontonagon, and Watersmeet.


With its flowing water, Ottawa National Forest is used for fishing, canoeing, and lake kayaking. In winter, the Forest welcomes cross-country skiers and snowmobilers.

The Ottawa National Forest contains three designated U.S. wilderness areas, managed as such by the Forest Service. They are McCormick Wilderness and the Sturgeon River Gorge Wilderness near Kenton, Michigan, and the Sylvania Wilderness near Watersmeet, Michigan.

As of 2006, the Ottawa National Forest operates under a Resource Management Plan promulgated in 1986.


Information from the USDA

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