Michigan Audubon maintains a statewide network of bird sanctuaries. The network consists of 18 sanctuary properties that together total more than 3,500 acres. The habitats we protect and steward include: rivers, lakes, marshes, bogs, fens, grasslands, hardwoods and northern conifer forests. Each property plays a critical role in protecting Michigan native plants and animals, including both endangered and threatened species. See a map of our sanctuaries and a full list at the bottom of the page. Have questions about visiting or volunteering at our sanctuaries? Visit our contact page to get in touch.
The Meadow and Marshland Trail, accessible from 15 Mile Road between T Drive North and Q Drive North, was established in the spring of 1996 for hiking, cross country skiing, and nature observation. The trail is a mowed during the summer and is easy to navigate. Throughout the spring and summer, an abundance of wildflowers and the fauna they attract can be found. Deer, turkey, fox, coyote, hawks, frogs, turtles, butterflies, bluebirds and other species frequent the area surrounding the trail.
Habitats at Baker Sanctuary include ponds, streams, cattail marsh, tamarack swamp, oak opening, floodplain forest, wet meadow, and ongoing prairie and wetland restoration projects. Notable birds include Bald Eagle, Osprey, Northern Harrier, migrating waterfowl, and diverse warblers.
Amenities: 1.8 miles of easy, mowed hiking trails. Parking available at Hawk Meadow; walk across the street for kiosk and main trail head. Demonstration native bird garden. Nest box trail.
Kate Palmer Sanctuary Website Maintained by the Kate Palmer Stewardship Committee.
Amenities: Parking. Maintained Trails.
The grounds at Lake Bluff Bird Sanctuary are open to the public year-round, every day from dawn until dusk. No appointment is necessary; just stop by, park your vehicle and begin to explore the natural beauty of this jewel on Lake Michigan’s shore.
Lake Bluff is a great place to stop and visit, hike, bird-watch, go to the beach, have a picnic, or just plain relax. See the list below for other ways you might enjoy the property:
Parking is ample and restrooms are available. Lake Bluff is a smoke-free and pet-free environment.
Amenities: Access by appointment only.
Amenities: Parking. Social Trails. No Restrooms.
Amenities: No Parking. No Trails.
Otis Farm Bird Sanctuary is located at: 3560 Havens Road, Hastings, Michigan. A parking area is accessible from spring until fall, depending on ground conditions. A portable toilet is on site between May and October. Michigan Audubon members may launch kayaks and canoes on Glass Creek using a small launch, and a rustic cabin is available to rent. Please call 517-580-7364 for information about renting the Otis cabin.
Amenities: Parking, Maintained Trails, Seasonal Restrooms (fall only), Handicap Accessible Viewing Area, Information Kiosk.
Haehnle Sanctuary Website Maintained by the Haehnle Stewardship Committee
Amenities: Parking. Maintained Trails. No Restrooms.
Michigan Audubon, with financial support from private, state, and federal agencies, is actively engaged in habitat improvement projects at the Haehnle, Baker, and Otis sanctuaries. To learn more about these ongoing projects to restore grassland and wetland habitats for birds like Henslow’s Sparrow and Sandhill Cranes, please visit our blog and subscribe to our email newsletter.
Michigan Audubon relies upon dedicated volunteer stewards to maintain the sanctuaries. These tasks range depending on stewards’ interests but may include trail maintenance, biological monitoring, invasive plant removal, and fundraising. If there is a sanctuary that you care about and you would like to learn more about becoming a volunteer steward, we would love to hear from you! Please contact the Michigan Audubon office.
Adopted by the Michigan Audubon Board of Directors on December 1, 2018
Many of Michigan Audubon’s bird sanctuaries are restored, managed, and used with the preservation of the land and its ecological features as a top priority.
We welcome and encourage educational and low-impact, recreational use of the sanctuaries and ask our guests to be mindful they are visiting the homes of the plants and animals whose lives depend on the land’s protection and health.
If you would like to lead a group hike on one of our preserves, please contact us to make sure that the date is open and there are no conflicting uses on the site.
These preserves are multi-use areas open to the public on a year-round basis for such activities as hiking, nature study, bird watching, and cross-country skiing.
Please note, parking is only allowed on designated parking areas and within the right of way of a maintained road such that no vegetation is harmed.
Please contact Michigan Audubon at 517-580-7364 if you notice a maintenance need or witness an inappropriate activity taking place on a preserve.
Michigan Audubon has rules and use guidelines specific to certain sanctuaries; please see the map of our sanctuaries at michiganaudubon.org.
Michigan Audubon reserves the right to deny or revoke permissions and make conservation-based decisions regarding hunting at its sole discretion.
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