The Coolbough Natural Areas is a 400-acre preserve owned by Brooks Township and managed jointly with The Nature Conservancy.
Newaygo County, near the city of Newaygo
Open year-round, dawn to dusk
Brooks Township and The Nature Conservancy allow hunting for white-tail deer on this preserve to reduce an unnaturally high deer population in the area and reduce threats too many deer pose to our conservation targets.
The preserve features an extensive trail system with horseback riding permitted on designated trails. Bring your binoculars for spectacular views of wildlife. Take the self-guided tour.
The Coolbough Natural Areas is a 400-acre preserve owned by Brooks Township and jointly managed by the township and The Nature Conservancy. The preserve represents the oak-savanna habitat that existed throughout Michigan.
Dry sand prairies are now considered globally rare, and the plant and animal species that exist solely on prairies are threatened as well. Because of their ecological importance and their role as examples of Newaygo’s natural heritage, efforts to protect and restore this uncommon ecosystem are underway.
Sources of information include Natural Newaygo, a publication of Brooks Township through a generous grant from The Fremont Area Community Foundation.
Why You Should Visit
Prairies and barrens (or savannas) are diverse and unique ecosystems, dominated by grasses and wildflowers rather than trees and shrubs. However, trees like white oak and white pine are commonly scattered through barrens, which serve as an important transition zone between prairies and forests. Together, prairies and barrens form an interconnected ecosystem that provide habitat for a diversity of plant and animal species.
The preserve also includes a ten-acre pond/wetland complex as well as white pine and white oak forest systems.
What to See: Plants
Please see "Preserve Visitation Guidelines" In addition, please note that this preserve does allow horseback riding on designated trails, cross country skiing and snowshoeing.
From M-37 in Newaygo: