Misty Acres: The Borwell Preserve

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Preserve Activities

Before You Head Out

Please review the preserve rules and the hunting rules, which vary by preserve. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact us.

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Protected, Owned and Managed by The Grand Traverse Regional Land Conservancy

Misty Acres: The Borwell Preserve is a 600-acre property that straddles the Benzie-Manistee County line. It includes more than 360 acres of hardwood forest, 6200 feet of the Betsie River, and sensitive wetlands. It also includes a farm that is home to a small herd of Belted Galloway cattle. Until the final plan for the farm is complete, the farm area is open by appointment only. This remarkable natural treasure was donated to GTRLC as a bequest from the estate of Naomi Borwell. It was Mrs. Borwell’s ardent wish that the property be protected for all time and that it be enjoyed as a Nature Preserve.

The preserve includes The Misty Acres Trail which meanders through hardwood forests high above a deep ravine cut by the rushing waters of a tributary to the Betsie River. The loop also provides views of the John J. Helstrom Quiet Area, an exceptional 40 acre addition to the 585 acre Misty Acres: The Borwell Preserve. The acquisition and protection of the Quiet Area addition to Misty Acres was made possible by a generous donation from the estate of John J. Helstrom in honor of his life and love for Michigan’s natural lands and waterways.

Please note there is no access to the Betsie River from the preserve but there is an access site just east of the preserve on the south side of N. Manistee County Line Road.

Trail Map.

585 acres. Benzie County, Manistee County.

Maps + Directions

Misty Acres Parking Area

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Mountain Biking is indicated where there are marked trails that are designed for and capable of handling bike traffic.
Birding can be done on all properties so we have added an icon to lands that are either exceptional for birding in uniqueness or diversity or are being specifically managed for bird habitat.
Fishing is indicated where it is a primary feature of the property.
Hiking is indicated where there are marked trails.
Hunting is indicated where it is legal to hunt however each preserve has specific stipulations which are specified for each preserve.
Kayaking/Canoeing is indicated on properties that either have a put-in on the land or have off-property public access proximal to the preserve. Some preserves are only accessible by boat.
Sanctuary properties have ecologically sensitive features and active use is discouraged.
Parking is indicated where there are designated areas for parking. Many lands do not have specific parking so please be safe and respectful of your parking choices when you visit a preserve w/o designated parking.
Skiing / Snowshoeing is indicated where back country (non groomed) skiing and snowshoeing is recommended and the road and/or parking lot is plowed.
Scenic Vistas are indicated where a grand view of the surrounding area is available.
Trail Running is indicated where there are marked trails that are capable of handling the rigors of trail running and are at least one mile in length.
Swimming is indicated where there is specific access to water and is swimming is a primary feature of the property.
Volunteers are needed at this preserve.