A mix of open fields (providing scenic views) and northern Michigan hardwoods.
From the parking area, you will find the trailhead to a 1½ mile trail system. The terrain is quite steep and hilly.
Commanding one of the most spectacular views in northern Michigan, the Charles A. Ransom Nature Preserve is well worth visiting. The 280-acre property was donated in 1976 by Woodbury and Christiana Ransom in memory of their son. From its highest elevation of 320 feet above Lake Michigan, viewers can see much of western Charlevoix County, a broad expanse of Lake Michigan, four islands, and the distant Leelanau Peninsula on a clear day.
From Petoskey, take US-31 south approximately 9 miles to Burgess Road and turn left. Go 3½ miles to Quarterline Road and turn left. Then go 1 mile to Maple Grove Road and turn left. The Charles A. Ransom Nature Preserve parking area is ¾ mile down Maple Grove Road.