Hess Nature Preserve

Presque Isle County


HWLC has had a conservation easement on this property since September of 2008. The property owner, Dr. George Hess, has expressed interest in donating this land to HWLC for some time and the Board ultimately approved this land for status as a preserve in July of 2015. Hess officially became a nature preserve in 2017. In 2023 HWLC added a short boardwalk from the road to the dunes along the shoreline.


The Property consists of 12 acres located 8 miles north and west of the town of Rogers City, Ml. The Property consists of 600 feet of frontage on Lake Huron, including habitat for the State-Threatened Houghton's Goldenrod, Lake Huron Tansy, and a bird, the Merlin. The Property has four unique natural features that include a limestone cobble shore, a coastal fen, a wooded dune and swale complex, and an interdunal wetland.

Rank S2 - Imperiled in the state because of rarity due to very restricted range, very few occurrences(often 20 or fewer), steep declines, or other factors making it very vulnerable to extirpation. Rank S3 - Vulnerable in the state due to the restricted range, relatively few occurrences(often 80 or fewer), recent and widespread declines, or other factors making it vulnerable to extirpation.
Coastal Fen - Rush and sedge dominated wetland occurs on soils rich in magnesium and calcium carbonates along the flat, saturated shorelines of northern Lake Huron and Lake Michigan. Limestone Cobble Shore - Sparsely vegetated covered with cobbles, occurs on the shorelines of northern Lake Huron and Lake Michigan.
Interdunal Wetland - Rush, sedge, and shrub dominated wetland that occurs in depressions within open dunes or between beach ridges along the Great Lakes. Wooded Dune and Swale Complex - Large complex of parallel wetland swales and upland beach ridges formed by receding water level 12,000 years ago.


This unique ecosystem is home to rare plants such as Lake Huron Tansy, Butterwort and English Sundew. The property has a documented population of the federally and state threatened Houghton's Goldenrod, and there is a potential for endangered Hines Emerald Dragonfly, state special concern Eastern Massasauga Rattlesnake, and others to be present as well.

Planning a Visit

The Hess Preserve is located on Evergreen Highway, and is open daily to the public for low-impact recreation such as hiking or bird watching, although it is very wet during spring thaw and heavy rains. The boardwalk to the coast is at the northeast end of the preserve, walk down the shoulder and you will see it on your right.

Please enjoy:

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

Please refrain from the following activities:

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


From Rogers City, Michigan:

  • Take US-23 N north and west approximately 8 miles to Evergreen Highway.
  • Turn north on Evergreen Highway and travel approximately. 75 miles.
  • The Property boundary is on both sides of the road at this point.