Since opening in 2020, Upper Manistee Headwaters: The Milock Family Nature Preserve has become tremendously popular with the public. Significant amounts of critical habitat, excellent passive recreational opportunities and substantial water quality benefits make this preserve noteworthy on a
GTRLC is now poised to further protect the headwaters of the North Branch of the Manistee River and substantially augment the conservation values of the existing preserve, particularly water quality protection and wildlife habitat, by adding 342 incredible acres (and another entire lake!) to this property. If incorporated with the preserve, this addition would bring the property’s total size to an expansive 1,700 acres.
The potential addition is directly west of the existing preserve, sharing more than a half-mile of boundary and providing the only practical access to its remote and rugged northwest corner. It includes the entirety of Perch Lake along with several ecologically rich bogs. The property is a mix of mesic northern hardwood forest, early-successional forest, various wetlands and a well-managed, mature pine plantation. There is excellent potential to convert the plantation areas to natural forests over time.
Preventing future development of this parcel will also provide a wider buffer of natural habitat for the hundreds of species of plants and animals that call this remarkable place home.
Though no plans have been finalized, GTRLC’s stewardship team also expects this addition to provide the opportunity for a substantial amount of new high-quality trail.