Thorne Swift Nature Preserve

NOTE: Dogs and horses are not allowed at this nature preserve.


30 acres


950 feet along Lake Michigan with 300 feet as a public beach.

Land Description

A mix of upland dunes and lowland cedar swamp, a small pond, and Great Lakes shoreline.

Trail + Facilities Description

A large parking lot lies adjacent to the Elizabeth Kennedy Nature Center. A total of 1½ miles of trail, dune observation platform, pond observation platform, pavilion, amphitheater, and seasonal guided programs all make this an excellent family destination.

Thorne Swift is open daily from 10:00AM to sunset from typically April 15 through to November 15.

Nature Center is open Memorial Day through to Labor Day from 10:00AM - 7:00PM. The parking fee is $5 for non-township residents (no charge for Conservancy members), and a season pass is available for $15.


In 1981, Elizabeth Kennedy donated the Thorne Swift property to Little Traverse Conservancy. The Conservancy leases the property to West Traverse Township.


From Harbor Springs, take M-119 northwest 3.8 miles to Lower Shore Drive. Follow Lower Shore Drive for ½ mile. The preserve sign is on the left.

Call (231) 526-6401 for current programs and extended seasonal hours.

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