Places We Protect

Grass Bay Preserve


Looking out along the shoreline of Grass Bay Preserve, Michigan.
Grass Bay Preserve Looking out along the shoreline of Grass Bay Preserve, Michigan. © Jason Whalen/Big Foot Media

Grass Bay Preserve is a paradise for wildflowers found only along the Great Lakes.



A paradise for a multitude of wildflowers and neotropical migrating birds, Grass Bay Preserve extends along two miles of stunning Lake Huron shoreline.

This site boasts over 300 plant species. Three species of wildflowers are found nowhere on Earth but along the Great Lakes and they all thrive at Grass Bay—the diminutive dwarf lake iris (blooming in purple or white), Pitcher’s thistle and Houghton’s goldenrod. The songs of such neotropical migrants as the black-throated blue warbler and the prairie warbler can be heard throughout the diverse landscape of shoreline, open dunes, interdunal wetlands, coniferous swamps and forests, home to 12 of Michigan’s 13 coniferous species.


In order to protect the site from inadvertent ecological damage due to overuse, access is limited to TNC field trips and research opportunities. If you are interested in learning more, please contact the Michigan field office at or 517-316-0300.

Visitors must watch for poison ivy and be aware of potentially hazardous lake currents. Swimming at this site is particularly dangerous and therefore not allowed.

Why TNC Selected This Site

The Nature Conservancy first became aware of Grass Bay’s amazingly lush and diverse flora in 1978. When the original 80-acre parcel went on the market in 1979, TNC secured an option to purchase it. Because the Federated Garden Clubs of Michigan treasured this site and also wanted to see it protected, they launched a very successful multi-year campaign to raise money to assist TNC in purchasing the original parcel, plus approximately 100 more acres soon after.


Limited Access


834 acres

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