Protected, owned and managed by the Grand Traverse Regional Land Conservancy.
The Carter Strong property is home to ecologically sensitive features and is considered a “sanctuary” by the Conservancy. The property encompasses a bog, lake shoreline on Ruth Lake, shrub swamp, and forest. These diverse habitats and natural communities are home to many plant, insect, bird and animal species. The property hosts the unique Pitcher Plant, Rose Pogonia orchid, Round-leaved sundew and, although none have been documented, Carter Strong also provides excellent potential habitat for Massasauga rattlesnake and the ebony boghaunter dragonfly, which are both listed as species of concern on the Michigan Natural Features Inventory.
Although the Carter Strong Bird Sanctuary is open to the public, its sensitive features are not suited to disturbance. In fact, each time a human traverses the bog, damage to plants is immediately evident. Sphagnum mats on the bog do not support much weight and can be hazardous. For these reasons there is no parking area or trails and active recreation is discouraged. The preserve can be observed from kayak, but accessing land could be hazardous and is not recommended.
No hunting is allowed due to the property’s small size, sensitivity and proximity to residences.