Why Is This Preserve Significant?
The Ross Preserve features many different habitat types, including coastal plain marshes, wet meadows, sand dunes, wooded inland dunes, wetlands, small lakes and northern hardwood forests.
Coastal plain marshes are rare in the Great Lakes region; they are typically found only along the Atlantic and Gulf coasts. Out of all 42 coastal plain marshes in Michigan, this preserve boasts three of the highest quality.
Much of this preserve once served as a vacation spot for the Ross family. You can still see vestiges of their time spent here, including the foundation of their vacation house, overlooking one of many small lakes on the preserve.
What Can I See Here?
As you explore more than five miles of trails, you are likely to encounter reptiles and amphibians around the coastal plain marshes and small ponds on the preserve. Keep an eye out for mammals such as red fox and coyote.
While hiking through this preserve, you may see one of the 100 bird species known to nest in the shrubs and trees here throughout the year, with spring and fall migrations bringing songbirds, warblers and waterfowl to the preserve.
Take a moment to see how many tree species you can identify on the preserve. This preserve features eastern hemlock, sugar maple, sassafras and black cherry to name a few.