Originally named the Grass Lake Nature Sanctuary, this sanctuary was dedicated to Julius C. and Marie Moran Peter on June 3, 1979. The Peters were financial advisors, boosters and enthusiastic volunteers of the Macomb Nature Association, which later became MNA. Julius and Marie spread the word about the Association to their friends and their community and were instrumental in gaining contributions resulting in the purchases of hundreds of acres of land that became sanctuaries.
The Peter Memorial Nature Sanctuary is wild and remote. Those who walk on the old path to Grass Lake encounter many interesting plants, such as purple flowering raspberry, buffalo berry, columbine, and spurred gentians. In early June, the dwarf lake iris grows four to six inches tall, while the bird’s eye primrose flowers bloom beautifully. Both prefer this sanctuary’s alkaline soil.
The Grass Lake edge fluctuates from year to year and is home to sedges, pitcher plant, false asphodel, arrow grass, and sweet gale. The open sections are ideal for bird watching, as the lakeshore is home to ducks, shorebirds, hawks and warblers.
Hamilton Road, the first Michigan Natural Beauty Road, travels below the southern border of Peter Memorial. A bumpy ride, Hamilton crosses exposed dolomite near the sanctuary entrance. By searching carefully along the roadside, sheets of dolomite containing fossils can sometimes be found.
How To Get There:
The sanctuary is located in Alpena County, off Hamilton Road near Alpena. Take US-23 to Bloom Road. Turn right onto Bloom Road, turn right onto North Point Road, and then turn right onto Hamilton Road. Drive 0.5 miles on Hamilton Road to reach the access easement.
For additional information, contact the MNA office at (866) 223-2231.
View the Sanctuary Fact Sheet
Peter Memorial Nature Sanctuary Fact Sheet.pdf