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 sustainably managed Belted Galloway cattle. Until a public access plan for the farm is complete (the process is ongoing as of 2021), 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 and educational farm.
The preserve (access is on the north side of County Line Road a bit east of the farm, which is on the south side) includes a trail that 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 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 that there is no watercraft 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.