Protected, owned and managed by the Grand Traverse Regional Land Conservancy
This sanctuary features 1,400 feet of frontage on Finch Creek and 1,100 feet of frontage on Crow Creek, along with significant amounts of riparian wetlands and multiple groundwater springs that serve as the headwaters of Crow Creek. It also contains high-quality mesic northern forest and rich conifer swamp habitats, which are critical to a wide variety of flora and fauna species and are listed as vulnerable by the state of Michigan.
Protection of these two forest types and unique headwater features benefit beloved interior forest bird species on the property. Scarlet Tanager, Ovenbird and Red-eyed Vireo, and dozens of other bird species use this wildlife corridor as a passageway to adjacent or nearby natural lands within this ecological hotspot of Antrim County. More than 15 species of ferns, mature cedars, and many other plants and animals also are present.
The Finch Creek Nature Sanctuary builds on permanent protection achieved by the Crow Creek Conservation Easement, which sits on its eastern border. That 130-acre privately owned property features 2,500 feet of undeveloped frontage on Crow Creek.
This sanctuary’s protection also helps safeguard water quality within the beloved Grass River Natural Area, a 1,492-acre natural area that sits just over a mile downstream. Finch Creek flows from the sanctuary to the natural area, so protecting its upper reaches helps safeguard GRNA and the larger Chain of Lakes watershed.
GTRLC designates properties as sanctuaries if exceptionally rare plants or animals or those particularly vulnerable to human disturbance reside there. Unlike a nature preserve or natural area, the Finch Creek Nature Sanctuary does not have trails or parking lots and contains limited signage, and the two-track road leading to the property can only be accessed using a four-wheel drive vehicle. While passive recreation is allowed, it is not encouraged.