Big Lake Preserve

Otsego County


Big Lake Preservation Associates, LLC acquired the Property in May 2016 with the goal of keeping the property in its natural state. The members of Big Lake Preservation Associates, LLC include Mark Wayde, Thomas Howe, Terrell Thomas, Gregory Gromek, David Craft, and Linda Pickl, all of whom own homes on Big Lake and are members of the Big Lake Association. Big Lake Preservation Associates, LLC contacted HWLC in November 2016 to discuss donating the property to HWLC. The HeadWaters Land Conservancy Board of Directors agreed to accept the Property in December 2016. The Property was officially donated to HeadWaters Land Conservancy to hold as a nature preserve in 2017.


One land type in particular dominates the Big Lake Preserve, this being a pitted out-wash plain with the excessively drained sand. The preserve contains four major community types, a Northern Hardwood Forest, a Transitional Zone, a Lowland Mixed Community, and a Bog.

8. 26 acres in size

523.75’ of shoreline along Big Lake

WILDLIFE: Beaver, Porcupine, White-tailed deer, Chipmunk, Red Squirrel, Raccoon.

BIRDS: Ruffed Grouse, Chickadee, Phoebe, Pileated Woodpecker, Downy Woodpecker

REPTILES & AMPIBIANS: Green Frog, Northern Leopard Frog, Spring Peeper, Eastern American Toad, Red- Backed Salamander, Painted Turtle, Eastern Garter Snake.

Planning a Visit

Please enjoy:

Hiking, snowshoeing, bird watching and other low impact recreational or educational activities and remember to keep an eye out for events! Visit and our Facebook page.

Please refrain from the following activities:

Camping, fires, dumping, littering, removing  vegetation, motorized vehicles, snowmobiling, horseback riding, hunting and biking.


From Gaylord, MI:

  • Travel east on M-32 for 4.3 miles.
  • Head south on Big Lake Rd. for 1 mile.
  • Go east on Oley Lake Rd. for approximately 213ft to turnoff.
  • Preserve is on the north side of Oley Lake Rd.



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