Community Conservation Areas are becoming increasingly important assets to our community and to HeadWaters Land Conservancy. They are areas for recreation, exploration, contemplation, and relief from the busy modern world. They provide the space necessary for wildlife and vegetation to thrive. They buffer human impacts across the landscapes. The conservancy not only offers the unique opportunity to protect privately held lands, they also provide direct community services through publicly- accessible areas and educational outreach programs.
Don’t forget to download your very own copy of the SRP Plant ID Guide. This custom field guide helps visitors identify over 70 different types of trees & plants found throughout the Sturgeon River Preserve.
HeadWaters Land Conservancy works hard to balance the public uses offered on our preserves with protection of their natural integrity and scenic beauty for future generations. Recreational, educational, and scientific use of the preserves is encouraged, as long as it does not interfere with our primary goals of preservation and protection. We welcome you to explore and enjoy our beautiful preserves, keeping in mind that you are a temporary visitor to the homes of many plants and animals.
Please enjoy hiking, birdwatching, cross-country skiing, snowshoeing, fishing, and similar low-impact activities. Many of the properties include water frontage and one could easily canoe or kayak these, but please note that none of these properties include boat launch facilities for larger vessels.
Please refrain from camping, fires, dumping or littering, removal of vegetation, off-road vehicles, and snowmobiling.
There is a growing sense of urgency to protect the natural character of northeast Michigan. In 2012, HeadWaters Land Conservancy opened its first public preserve, located on the Sturgeon River north of Gaylord. The character of the property is similarly wild, the old cedar and hardwood swamps, the mossy forest floor, and the huge number of upland maples bearing elk rubs, marks from one of the largest elk herds east of the Mississippi. Bull elk use small trees to remove the velvet from their antlers creating “rubs”. Many of these characteristics remain intact as they were before European settlement.
HeadWaters Land Conservancy has taken the step of permanently protecting this sensitive riparian property and making it accessible to the public. Creating signs and maps, clearing trails and altering ground surfaces, constructing boardwalks, developing interpretive stations, and providing a parking area for guests are the goals set forth by the Sturgeon River Preserve Project.
Please help us keep our preserves in good condition. Contact the HWLC office at 989-731-0573 if you notice any inappropriate activity on a preserve or if trails, parking areas, or signs need attention. Preserves and trails require a good deal of management and maintenance and we greatly appreciate the assistance of the many individuals who help monitor and provide stewardship for them.