Barney’s Lake Nature Preserve
Size: 337 acres
Frontage: 4,900 feet Barney’s Lake frontage (most of lake) and 1,770 feet Lake Michigan
Land Description: Features include open bog, sedge meadow, cedar swamp, old farmstead. Loons nest on this lake.
Trails: Nearly a mile of trail is found to the east of the lake. A second trail and sign are found at the north end of the preserve off of Barney’s Lake Road. From there, hike .7 mile to connect to the Kuebler Trail.
History: Barney’s Lake Preserve is located in the north central part of Beaver Island, about three miles southwest of St. James. The original preserve was donated to the Conservancy in 1988 by the heirs of Bernard and Margaret O’Donnell. Bernard O’Donnell (great-grand nephew) and Theresa Gacek (great-great-grand niece) were instrumental in carrying out the family’s wishes that the land be kept in its natural state and available to the public. In 2007, a 173-acre addition to the preserve was donated by Terry and Beverly Scully. And in 2014, another 40 acres were purchased at a bargain sale from Jon and Sally Fogg with funding from the J.A. Woollam Foundation.
Directions: From Port of St. James, take Kings Hwy. south 1¼ miles to Barney’s Lake Road North and turn right. Continue 2½ miles and the preserve is on both sides of the road. Look for a sign on the left side. Parking is on the left. Boat launch is adjacent to southern parking. Another small parking area is found near the northern edge of the preserve off of Barney’s Lake Road.