Protected, owned and managed by the Grand Traverse Regional Land Conservancy.

As one of the highest-ranking parcels identified for protection in GTRLC’s priority land atlas, this property had long been targeted for protection. It encompasses the majority of a shallow-water bay, along with additional frontage on the main body of Arbutus Lake. While accessing the lake is discouraged, the preserve protects more than three-quarters of a mile of undeveloped water frontage, making it critical for water quality.

The shallow water of Turtle Cove provides habitat for scores of fish, reptiles, amphibians and invertebrate species. Along with emergent marsh and bog habitats, the property also contains mesic forest with areas of open field (dominated by bracken fern and little bluestem) and early-successional forest. 

The 1.7-mile trail loop takes visitors through the differing habitats and terrains of the preserve. These include mesic northern forest, dry-mesic northern forest, steep lake bluff, a riparian area along the lake, mature white pine stands, dry sand prairie and leatherleaf bog.