While this property was protected by GTRLC, it is owned by Benzie County and managed by GTRLC and Benzie County.
Upon completing a third addition in 2012, the Conservancy helped expand the Railroad Point Natural Area to more than 200 acres, making a wildlife corridor spanning Crystal Lake to the Betsie River. A fourth addition in 2023 added about 10 more critical acres and removed an inholding that could have allowed development in the middle of this special place.
The property includes a 1.5-mile out-and-back trail with stunning views of Crystal Lake from a bluff high above. This trail, named the Mary Margaret Johnson Trail, was completed in 2011 thanks to a generous gift to this project in Mary Margaret’s honor from her husband, Walt Johnson. The trail is sustainable and designed to showcase the full beauty of the natural area by following its contours. As of 2018, it connects to the Betsie Valley Trail below by the Charlie Kehr Memorial Trail Connector, a stairway named in honor of former Benzie County Parks Commissioner and GTRLC board member Charlie Kehr.
Be sure to read the Railroad Point chapter from our 25th-anniversary publication Love the Land: Pass it On.
To learn about the new stairway, read the Charlie Kehr Memorial Trail Connector chapter from our Campaign for Generations publication.
For up-to-date rules and regulations, please contact Benzie County at (231) 882-9671 or visit their website here.