St. Clair Lake/Six Mile Lake Natural Area

Size: 261 acres

Frontage: 2.3 miles frontage along St. Clair Lake and Sinclair River

Land Description: The protected land includes marshes, cedar wetlands, fields, and uplands, and forests. This natural area provides one of the longest stretches of undeveloped shoreline within the Elk River Watershed. It is located in the upper portion of an interconnecting chain of lakes and rivers which crosses the Charlevoix-Antrim county border. The Sinclair River connects the two lakes, making it a beautiful place for silent water sports. Mink, otter, great blue heron, belted kingfishers, and an occasional bald eagle are among the region’s inhabitants.

Trails: A small parking area is found off Ellsworth Road on the South Arm Township portion of the natural area. A short, woodchipped trail and boardwalk leads to an overlook. A canoe/kayak put-in is found at the end of the parking area.

History: The protection of the natural area was made possible by the efforts of a local grassroots group which initiated the project, raised funds, and prompted the first joint project between the Little Traverse Conservancy, Grand Traverse Regional Land Conservancy, and local residents. Funds were also provided by the Malpass Family and South Arm Township.

Directions: From Ellsworth, take C-48 east approximately two miles to South Arm Township Park and a small parking area on the right (south) side of the road. There is a rustic boat launch on the river.

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