Nara Nature Park is a 100 acre nature park donated to the City of Houghton by Bob and Ruth Nara. The park is located two miles east of the Michigan Tech University campus at the east end of the Houghton Waterfront Trail. The Nara Nature Park is linked to the Michigan Tech University trails with a combination of over 50 miles of trails for hiking, running, biking, skiing, and snowshoeing. Kayak/canoe launch and river access is located on the Pilgrim River.
The park’s trail system connects to the Michigan Tech system and provides miles of wooded trails. See map below.
Nara Park Boardwalks Update: Spring 2020
A historic thunderstorm dropped over 7 inches of rain on the area in just a few hours in the early morning of June 17, 2018. The flooding that followed wiped out the wetland boardwalk system throughout Nara Park. The City of Houghton worked with FEMA to fund the cleanup of the debris and repairs the boardwalk. A project to clean up and rebuild the boardwalks has been designed and is expected to be constructed in the summer of 2020.
Until repairs can begin, the damaged sections have been left in place where the waters left them throughout the wetland. Cleanup and repair must be done such that the work does as little harm to the ecosystem as possible.
Only the upland portions of the boardwalk on the west side of the Pilgrim River are still in place. Until they are rebuilt, please tread lightly on the remaining boardwalk on the west side and be advised that they end abruptly. There is no access to the mouth of the river on either side.
The Peepsock Trail, just to the west, is open and provides a path to the shores of the Portage through a wetland area.
Nara Nature Trail Boardwalk
The Nara Nature Trail Boardwalk is a 6 foot wide, 4,500 foot long elevated boardwalk running along both banks of the Pilgrim River. This boardwalk has fishing sites, benches, and access for launching kayaks and canoes.
The Peepsock Trail is a 3/4 mile long pathway that follows Peepsock Creek to the Portage Lake shore. The trail entrance is just west of the parking area on the north side of US-41 near the bridge.
Sledding Hill & Chalet
The Nara Nature Park also has a sledding hill and a chalet. The chalet houses an interpretive display featuring the different plant species and wildlife within the park. The building also has a fireplace, restrooms with showers, and a concession area. The chalet is open year-round to the public from 8 am to 8 pm every day. We do not reserve the chalet for private gatherings, though it may be used for gatherings under the conditions that it is a public building and thus open to the public; and that all users clean up before they leave.