George & Althea Petritz Nature Preserve

Size: 27 acres

Frontage: 500 feet on Lake Michigan

Land Description: Natural habitat for deer, wild turkey, and other animals as well as the state threatened Pitcher’s Thistle and Lake Huron Tansy. From the beach, you will have views of Garden, Hog, and Squaw islands. The preserve provides significant waterfowl and migratory bird habitat.

Trails: Located at the northeast end of Beaver Island, this preserve is walking distance from St. James Bay and town. A trail from the road takes you to the beach.

History: In 2005, John Woollam started a vision of land protection for this beautiful corner of Beaver Island. Over the next several years, he made a series of six purchases to form the Petritz Preserve and then named it in honor of the family from whom he purchased the original 13 acres. In his personal description of the preserve, he wrote “People, animals, plants, and trees allowed. All other human-made structures or objects prohibited. I would like it to remain a place to quietly appreciate nature.”

Directions: From Port of St. James, take Main Street .7 miles north out of town. Turn left onto Lake Drive and travel .2 miles to the preserve sign on your left. Park on the side of the road.

Check out the plants and animals found at this preserve using the iNaturalist guide below. Help us document more with iNaturalist.org and eBird.org!