The Seney Swamp is a sandy, wet, flat area in the central UP.  This area was once under the waters of Glacial Lake Algonquin, and hence is very flat and wet. 

In some areas, small sand dunes (see below) have formed on the lake floor.  The sand became mobile at times in the geologic past (probably a few thousand years ago) when it was a bit drier. 

The images below show what this area looks like.

Unusual or extreme habitats in Michigan include the "big prairie" area in Newaygo County, a region of loose, sandy soils and more xeric vegetation; the Seney Wildlife Refuge, an unusually large bog expanse in the Upper Peninsula; and the exposed mountain tops in portions of the Keweenaw Peninsula and Huron Mountains. In one way or another, these habitats are examples of the way local environmental factors may cause a vegetation assemblage that is considerably different from the regional pattern.

Where IS the Seney Swamp?  It is located west of Seney!  In fact, the long, straight, flat, extremely monotonous stretch of M-28 west of Seney, which crosses the swamp, is called by many the infamous "Seney Stretch".  It is about 30 miles of woods, water, swamp, and not much else.

Seney map.jpeg (43973 bytes)

Thanks to Scott Harding for the pictures of the Seney Swamp shown above.

This material has been compiled for educational use only, and may not be reproduced without permission.  One copy may be printed for personal use.  Please contact Randall Schaetzl ( for more information or permissions.