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Maple Bay Park & Natural Area

Other Link Grand Traverse Regional Land Conservancy - Maple Bay Natural Area


  1. Beach
  2. Birding
  3. Hunting (Designated Areas Only)
  4. Nature Watching
  5. Parking
  6. Trails

Maple Bay Natural Area

Maple Bay Natural Area is a 450-acre property that straddles both sides of North U.S. 31. This property is known for its beautiful sunflowers planted on both sides of the highway by local farmers on leased land as well as wonderful hiking trails leading to 2,586 feet of pristine shoreline on East Grand Traverse Bay. This park is home to a variety of wildlife and plant species.    

Beach Access

To access the beach visitors will travel past Maple Bay Farm (including a farm house, root cellar, sugar shack and pole barn building) on the west side of North U.S. 31 to a parking area on top of a bluff where forests meet agricultural fields.   

Trail Information

The trail descends the bluff steeply to its foot where many dune zones, including dune swale complexes, can be seen. These areas are sensitive and are home to several endangered plant species. The trail length is approximately 2 miles round trip and can be extended with a walk on the beach.


MDNR hunting rules broadly apply to this property, including safety zone. Safety zones are areas within 150 yards (450 feet) of an occupied building, house, cabin, or any barn or other building used in a farm operation when hunting is not allowed. Maple Bay Park is a multi-use area open to the public year-round for activities such as hiking, nature study, etc. Trails are NOT closed during hunting seasons. Please keep this in mind, and familiarize yourself with the location of trails before hunting at this recreation area.

Deer stands must be tagged with the owner’s name, address, and contact information and must be removed by the end of the hunting season. Grand Traverse County Parks and the Grand Traverse Regional Land Conservancy is not responsible for deer stands or any items left on the property.

See the Maple Bay Hunting Map for information and exclusion zones.