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,
Ottawa National Forest which can provide you with recent wildlife
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.