Places We Protect

Nan Weston Nature Preserve at Sharon Hollow

Michigan

Small purple flowers and a larger, three-petaled white flower at Nan Weston Nature Preserve at Sharon Hollow in southeast Michigan.
Flowers at Nan Weston Nature Preserve Trillium and blue phlox are just two of the flowers on display at Nan Weston Nature Preserve in the spring. © Michael D-L Jordan/dlp

Nan Weston Nature Preserve at Sharon Hollow is a dynamic area, featuring more than 260 species of wildflowers and other native plants.

Overview

Description

This preserve lies in the Upper River Raisin Watershed, an area highly altered by agriculture, logging and development. The Nan Weston Nature Preserve at Sharon Hollow serves to protect many remaining natural communities, stopover habitat for migrating birds and the river itself, which winds approximately 25 miles to TNC’s 700-acre Ives Road Fen preserve before continuing on to Lake Erie.

Access

OPEN TO THE PUBLIC

Highlights

Wildflowers, migrating birds and the River Raisin

Explore our work in this region

Wildflowers at Nan Weston

As you hike the trails through floodplain forest and wooded wetlands, look for a vast array of wildflowers and other native plants. Beginning in mid-spring, woodland plants come to life, including bright blue hepatica, Dutchman’s breeches, spring beauty, southern blue flag iris, squirrel corn, starflower, bloodroot and large-flowered trillium.

Walk Through the Wildflowers
A close up of trillium at Nan Weston Nature Preserve at Sharon Hollow in Michigan.
A purple violet covered in water drops at Nan Weston Nature Preserve at Sharon Hollow in Michigan.
A blue phlox grows in Nan Weston Nature Preserve at Sharon Hollow in Michigan.
The yellow petals of a large-flowered Bellwort growing at Nan Weston Preserve at Sharon Hollow in Michigan.
A hand points out a flower at Nan Weston Nature Preserve at Sharon Hollow in Michigan.

Explore Via Audio Tour

Our guided audio tours include stories, fun facts, historical notes and natural sounds to help deepen your connection to the world. You can access the tour from the comfort of your home, or onsite as you hike.

This walking tour takes you along a mile and a half route. Depending on how many stops you take, it will be about one hour until you reach the River Raisin. As you make your way through floodplain forests and wetlands, you will learn about and may see birds, trees, flowers, salamanders and other wildlife.

Nan Weston Nature Preserve (3:20) In the autumn, Nan Weston Nature Preserve at Sharon Hollow transforms with colorful foliage.

Plan Your Visit

  • When to Visit

    This preserve is open year round. In the spring, watch for wildflowers, vernal pools and amphibians. In the autumn, watch for stunning yellow beech leaves.

  • What to Bring

    In the spring, be prepared for wet, muddy trails by wearing waterproof boots. Pack insect repellent, sunscreen and water.

  • Trail Info

    This walking tour takes you along a mile and a half route. Depending on how many stops you take, it will be about one hour until you reach the River Raisin.

    Trail Map

  • Permitted Activities
  • Prohibited Activities
    • No building of new trails
    • No pets
    • No removal of trees, plants or animals (alive or dead)
    • No removal of rocks, water or other non-organic materials
    • No camping, bonfires, fireworks or other fires
    • No firewood collecting
    • No littering
    • No motorized and non-motorized vehicles, including bicycles
    • No hunting or trapping without a TNC permit
    • No trespassing on adjacent land
  • Hunting

    The Nature Conservancy allows bow hunting for white-tail deer on this preserve to reduce threats too many deer pose to our conservation targets and to ensure that the preserve does not become a “refuge” for deer during the hunting season.

    In order to be eligible to hunt at this preserve, hunters are required to receive a permit from TNC, follow TNC hunting program rules and comply with all local, state and federal laws and ordinances governing hunting activities, including obtaining all required government licenses or permits. For more information, please visit our Deer Hunting in Michigan page.

  • Questions?

    Have questions about the preserve? Contact Shaun Howard, TNC protected lands project manager in Michigan.

A salamander rests alongside someones hand.
Nan Weston Nature Preserve You may catch a glimpse of the red-backed salamander or the eastern newt, most commonly found near vernal pools in cavities of rocks or overturned logs. © Elyse Hossink/TNC

Background

Sharon Hollow is a dynamic preserve, featuring more than 260 species of wildflowers and other native plants. From the symphony of toads and frogs during spring, to the rain of yellow beech leaves in the fall, visitors will find year-round spectacles to enjoy. In the wet spring months, visitors can see vernal pools, which are temporary pools of water that provide habitat for insects, snakes and amphibians.

Also, keep an eye on the treetops and sky. Nan Weston Nature Preserve serves as stopover habitat for migrating birds as they travel through the Great Lakes flyway and provides nesting sites for several warblers and other birds, including the yellow warbler, rose-breasted grosbeak, barred owl and pileated woodpecker.

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Keep Exploring

From shifting sand dunes to granite bald mountains, explore more than 35 preserves and reserves spread across the state of Michigan.

Find More Places We Protect

The Nature Conservancy owns nearly 1,500 preserves covering more than 2.5 million acres across all 50 states. These lands protect wildlife and natural systems, serve as living laboratories for innovative science and connect people to the natural world.

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