The Port Oneida Rural Historic District is an area within the National Park that is historically significant because it conveys the land use practices, architecture and evolution of agricultural technology common to subsistence farms of the upper Great Lakes region. Many of the turn of the century homes and farms have been preserved by volunteers. A loop including Port Oneida Rd., Baker Rd. and Kelderhouse Rd. traverses open meadows, climbs a small ridge into deep forest and pine plantation, and parallels lowland swamp. The entire loop is 3.5 miles, driving the loop is certainly easy, it’s a mix of paved road and gravel. Walking or biking the road provides a unique birding experience given the diversity of habitat.
In spring and summer look for field-nesting birds; you may find eastern meadowlarks, American kestrels, eastern bluebirds, upland sandpipers and bobolinks. If you are very lucky you might see a sedge wren, Sandhill Crane, or Wilson’s snipe. Raptors often soar above the nearby hills, especially during migration in late April and early May. Sparrows include Vesper, Clay-colored, Fox, and Grasshopper. Alder and Least Flycatchers are found near the intersection of Baker and Kelderhouse.
There is a short spur that veers to the northwest from Port Oneida Rd. It ends at Lake Michigan and there are some newly constructed stairs that will take you down to the beach for water viewing opportunities.
Directions: From Glen Arbor, MI continue north on M-22 for 3.5 miles. Turn left on Port Oneida Rd which is paved. Travel along this road for one mile and turn right on Baker Rd. This gravel road will take you up a wooded ridge, force you to turn right at the top and you will descend down to Kelderhouse Rd. From here, take a right to go through the wetlands and you will end up back at Port Oneida Rd. completing the loop.