Join our staff for a guided hike at our largest natural area before celebrating our 30th anniversary at the nearby Dechow Farm. Learn about our latest projects at the four-season recreation destination and working forest laboratory. Sign up for one of our two featured hikes:
Explore the North End of Palmer Woods – Forests and Ferns!
Join Leelanau Conservancy staff for a moderate, on and off-trail hike around the northern end of Palmer Woods. We’ll meet at the Darwin Road entrance and hike down the Price Valley Trail learning about the forest and some of the steps we’re taking to enrich the health of the forest ecosystem. We’ll then explore off-trail in an area of Palmer Woods we call the “Fern Garden.” See the beginning stages of this special, quiet place in Palmer Woods and learn about the ferns that currently inhabit the space and our plans to create a unique visitor experience. We will then make our way back up the Price Valley Trail to Darwin Road. Total mileage is around 2 – 2.5 miles.
Meet at the Darwin Road Entrance: From M-22 turn south onto Wheeler Road, at about 1.5 miles turn west onto Darwin Road. Go another 4/5 of a mile to the parking area for the N. end of Palmer Woods. Signs will be posted at Wheeler/Darwin Road and part way up Darwin Road.
From Trumbull Road turn north onto Wheeler Road, go about 3 miles to Darwin Road and head west. Go another 4/5 of a mile to the parking area for the N. end of Palmer Woods. Signs will be posted at Wheeler/Darwin Road and part way up Darwin Road.
Palmer Woods Tour with Executive Director Tom Nelson
Learn about what it takes to protect and steward the 721-acre Palmer Woods Forest Reserve. We will discuss managing high-value ecological communities, developing recreational trails and infrastructure, timber harvests, scientific research, and monitoring for forest health. Take a tour of a deer exclosure and learn about the long term monitoring plots established to understand more about the effects of deer herbivory on forest health and regeneration. Meet at the main Palmer Woods parking lot off of Wheeler Road. This will be an easy, .5 mile hike.