Pickford Grassland Area: Goetzville Fields
From the town of Detour head west on M-134. Turn right (north) onto M-48. Continue on M-48 for 5 miles. Once you reach this point the fields on both sides of the road begin to come alive with grassland birds. Park at a safe location and walk alongside the road, or bird from your car looking over the grasslands found from here to the small village of Goetzville. From Goetzville to Stalwart (along M-48) the fields are less productive for birding then other areas, but still warrant keeping one’s eyes open for a raptor or grouse.
NOTE: The fields in this area are all private property so please do not trespass into the fields. Bird from a safe pull off location in your car or along the roadside only.
The fields of the area known as the Pickford/Rudyard Clay plains begins just south of the village of Goetzville. This is one of the few locations in the Upper Peninsula known to host breeding Grasshopper Sparrows. The birds can be seen and heard in the fields directly south of town. Mixed in with the Grasshopper Sparrows are numerous Savannah Sparrows and a few Clay-colored Sparrows. Northern Harriers and Sandhill Cranes are other common species found here.
Other Exciting Features
Blink and you just might miss Goetzville, but that would be a shame as you would miss an iconic Yooper Bar and Grille known as “The Yooperman”. Stop on in for one of their excellent made from scratch menu items or for some of their classic UP apparel and gifts. If you happen to be traveling through on Labor Day weekend, then stop by Stalwart, another small village just a bit further down M-48, for "Michigan’s Biggest Little Fair." The Stalwart Fair has been taking place since 1905 and while it may be small, there are plenty of fun events for all from horse pulls to a chili cook off.
Hen Northern Harrier
Photo by: Dan Pancamo