Shalda Creek is a riparian area that lies within the National Park. The rivermouth area is the site of an old gristmill and village which were destroyed by fire in 1871. The area hosts many warblers and flycatchers and is a combination of deep woods, pine transition, and wetlands. Trail access to the beach is good, most of the hiking opportunity lies along Lake Michigan Rd. and the tag alder swamp that comprises much of the lower watershed.
Walking and birding west on graveled Lake Michigan Rd., after about a half mile, you will come to a fork in the road. Stay left and almost immediately turn left onto Elliott Rd, (no sign) which is marked as a seasonal road. This winding two-track will take you back to Shell Lake and a very small parking area. The habitat gradually changes from hemlock, birch and maple to tag alder as you near Shell Lake. Bald Eagles used to nest on the isolated lake and you can even wet a line for some exclellent backwoods fishing if you so choose. The wilderness experience here is very special.
Directions: Driving from Glen Arbor, take M-22 north for approximately six miles until you reach the intersetion with Co. Rd. 669. Turn left and travel north on 669 about 1 mile to Lake Michigan Road. If you turn left (west) onto Lake Michigan Road (gravel), travel 0.7 miles and you will see a sign that says Lake Michigan Shalda Creek Access. There is a small pull-off here and birders can walk a short distance to the shoreline.