Thursday, December 9, 2010

Natural Michigan

Natural Michigan: A Nature Lover's Guide to 228 Attractions
by Tom Powers

This guidebook has over 200 pages describing natural areas throughout the state, with directions & small maps and the occasional black & white photo. It excludes Michigan's State & National Parks since the author covers them in a separate guide. The natural areas in this book range from pocket parks to large game areas.

Natural Areas near Kalamazoo

1. Kalamazoo Nature Center

"Most of the outstanding natural features-- including the Kalamazoo River and more than 200 acres of mature beech/maple forest-- that drew James Fenimore Cooper as a regular visitor to the area more than 100 years ago are even more impressive today." nature trails, DeLano Homestead, interpretive center, arboretum.

directions: From US-131 exit Avenue D (north of Kalamazoo). East on D about 3 miles to Westnedge Avenue. South on Westnedge, 1 mile to entrance.
Kalamazoo Nature Center

2. Kellogg Bird Sanctuary
"This large number of different birds, their closeness to the visitor and the hand feeding of the Canadian Geese make the Kellogg Sanctuary an ideal place for a first exposure to nature study and birding, especially for children."

directions: Take M-89 to 40th Street (between Kalamazoo and Battle Creek). North on 40th 1 mile to C Avenue. West on C to entrance.
Kellogg Bird Sanctuary

3. Allegan State Game Area

"Scenic beauty, easy hiking, two campgrounds, and some of the state's best birdwatching are good reasons to pay a visit to the Allegan State Game Area."

directions: From Allegan, take M-89 to 115th Avenue. West 6 miles on 115th to 44th St. North on 44th to parking lots.
Allegan State Game Area

4. Bernard W Baker Sanctuary
"This 871 acres of swamp and wetlands near Battle Creek probably is the nation's first Sandhill Crane sanctuary and definitely is the first and largest of the Michigan Audubon Society's 10 sanctuaries."

directions: From I-94 take I-69 north to exit 42 (first exit). West on N Drive North to 16 Mile Road. North on 16 Mile about 3.3 miles to sanctuary.
Baker Sanctuary

5. Jenney Woods Preserve

"The wild, untamed 142-acre tract of swamp, old-growth hardwoods and swamp forest has no trails, no interpretive signs, no restrooms, and no parking lot."

directions: From I-94, take I-69 south about 6 miles to F Drive South. West on F to 15 1/2 mile Rd. North of 15 1/2 to C Drive. Left on C, 3miles to the preserve.
Nature Conservancy

6. Whitehouse Nature Center

"Located on the campus of Albion College, the 125-acre center's other varied habitats-- including open fields, farmland, marshy areas, and the edges of the east branch of the Kalamazoo River, and 25 acres of woodland-- support nearly 400 kinds of plants and more than 175 species of birds."

directions: Take I-94 to exit 121 and follow Business-94 to Albion College. On campus, go south on Hannah across the railroad tracks and turn left to nature center parking lot.
Whitehouse Nature Center

Other areas near Kalamazoo covered in this book: Southwest Michigan Natural Areas

This book may be out of print. Amazon and Barnes & Noble may have copies through their affiliates. I found it at my local library.

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