Vegetation Inventory and Map for Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore

miners beach
Stream at Miners Beach

NPS Photo


Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore abounds with rich and healthy plant communities, including upland forests, swampy lowlands, bogs and fens, vegetated dunes, successional fields, inland lakes, and riparian groves. Over 600 plant species have been identified. The park's proximity to the moderating effect of Lake Superior results in many micro-habitats that shield plants normally ranging further south and north. Rare arctic disjuncts such as dwarf raspberry and arctic crowberry, which normally live far to the north in Canada, find a home in cooler, sheltered pockets of Upper Peninsula forests like those at Pictured Rocks. The lakeshore's upland forests are dominated by sugar and red maple, beech, yellow birch, and hemlock. Wetland soils that have developed since the most recent glacial recession give rise to spruce, tamarack, alder, and white cedar communities. Streams and lakes are ringed with balsam and striped maple. The Grand Sable Dunes contain a rare collection of habitats with jack pine pockets, willow, the federally threatened Pitcher’s thistle, Lake Huron tansy and several state threatened species of fern.

The Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore Vegetation Inventory Project delivers many geospatial and vegetation data products, including an in-depth project report discussing methods and results, which include descriptions to vegetation associations, field keys to vegetation associations, map classification, and map-class descriptions. The suite of products also includes a database of vegetation plots, and accuracy assessment (AA) sites; digital images of field sites; digital aerial imagery; digital maps; a contingency table listing AA results; and a geodatabase of vegetation, field sites (vegetation plots, and AA sites), aerial imagery, project boundary, and metadata.


The products of vegetation mapping projects are stored and managed in the National Park Service's Data Store, a repository for documents and publications relating to park resources. From the highlighted items below, click on the type of information you are looking for.

Last updated: October 19, 2018