Open to the Public
This land is open for foot access and activities such as hiking, snowshoeing, bird watching, and bow hunting for whitetail deer by permit. View All
Located in Washtenaw County in the Lower Peninsula View All
Take an audio tour while you explore Sharon Hollow with the new TravelStorys app!
Click here for more information.
Why is this preserve significant?
This preserve lies in the Upper River Raisin Watershed, an area highly altered by agriculture, logging and development. The Nan Weston Nature Preserve serves to protect many remaining natural communities, stopover habitat for migrating birds and the river itself which winds approximately 25 miles to the Conservancy’s 700-acre Ives Road Fen preserve before continuing on to Lake Erie.
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.
What can I see here?
As you hike the trails through ﬂoodplain forest and wooded wetlands towards the bank of the River Raisin, 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 covering the forest ﬂoor. You may also 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.
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.
Can't get to the preserve in person? Enjoy a virtual hike!
Fall for the colorful foliage found at our popular preserve near Chelsea!
NEW: Enhance your next hike by taking the TravelStorys audio tour as you explore!
In the spring, be prepared for wet, muddy trails by wearing waterproof boots. Be advised that hazard trees may be present along the trail due to destruction of ash trees caused by emerald ash borer.
The Nature Conservancy allows bow 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. All hunters are required to receive a permit from the Conservancy as well as a Michigan deer hunting license. Additionally, hunters must report any deer taken from the preserve.
|Permitted Activities||Prohibited Activities|
Please see Preserve Visitation Guidelines.
GPS coordinates: 42.1862083°, -084.1106417°
Preserve parking is available east of where Jacob Road ends at Easudes Road northwest of Sharon Hollow.
From Chelsea, MI:
- At the junction of I-94 and M-52 in Chelsea, MI, take M-52 south for 7.4 miles to Pleasant Lake Road.
- Turn west on Pleasant Lake Road and follow it for 3.2 miles to Sharon Hollow Road.
- Turn west, then north on Sharon Hollow Road, and follow it to Easudes Road.
- Turn west and travel 0.9 miles on Easudes Road. You will see the preserve sign on the south side of the road. A small parking lot is available at the trailhead.