Sylvania Wilderness
soaring mature bald eagle up close

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The Sylvania Wilderness area is home to your standard array of northwoods wildlife. Due to the thick nature of the forest, your best bet for seeing much of the wildlife is traveling via canoe or kayak. You will likely see osprey, bald eagles, deer, otter, beaver and loons. It is considered common courtesy to not approach nesting loons and eagles. One of the reasons they do so well here is due to the wilderness management of the area. Consider yourself lucky if you catch a glimpse of black bears, foxes, or bobcat. Rarely, moose can be spotted in the Sylvania but they are few and far between and not doing so well in the Upper Peninsula in general. The Sylvania Wilderness area is also home to wolves, but your chance of spotting them in the heat of summer is fairly slim. Hearing them however is not at all uncommon. If you're really lucky, you might see the fisher, a large member of the weasel family which haunts the Sylvania. A pair of binoculars or a long lens will aid greatly in your wildlife viewing experience.

There are numerous species of waterfowl in Sylvania, and these are best approached as quietly as possible. A blind could go a long way to getting better photographs. This is a camouflaged device which lets you blend in with the environment. The end result is ultimately having the natural world slowly surround your position, becoming more in range for the lens you are using. There are numerous places along the shore where this would be entirely feasible.

For taking images in the Sylvania Wilderness area, I would recommend an ultra wide angle lens due to the closed in nature of the forest and a telephoto lens for capturing images of native wildlife such as eagles, loons and deer. High shutter speeds and sturdy tripods are a must in the dark old growth forest, and image stabilization is very helpful when capturing images form watercraft like canoes and kayaks. The rare forest also provides some interesting macro photography for flora such as lady's slippers.

To find out more about wildlife in the Sylvania Wilderness area, contact the
Ottawa National Forest which can provide you with recent wildlife sightings.
The Ottawa National Forest visitor center in Watersmeet just a few miles east
of Sylvania on U.S. 2 is a neat place to learn about some of the area wildlife. The kids will definitely like it.

Ottawa National Forest
E6248 US 2
Ironwood, MI 49938
(906) 932-1330 voice
(906) 932-0301 TDD

There is a wide variety of gear that will help you see and obtain images of Sylvania wilderness wildlife. If you are not interested in images, a spotting scope is a great idea. For photography, any gear purchased at our camping phto gear link helps us continue to provide the site specific information for your camping trip planning.



Check out our new camping
DVD! This brand new single
DVD features the drive-in
campgrounds of Voyageurs
National Park, the Boundary
Waters Canoe Area, the
Sylvania Wilderness and
Porcupine Mountains State
Park. Also included is a short
video tour of the Fernberg
Road Entry points to the
BWCAW. See what the
campgrounds are really like
without driving all that way
and being disappointed.
Simply click the Northwoods
DVD to order!