Susan Creek Nature Preserve
Size: 314 acres
Frontage: Nearly a mile of frontage on Susan Creek and nearly a mile of frontage on US-31.
Land Description: Outstanding wildlife habitat provided by a mix of habitat types including wet meadows, black ash swamp, cedar thickets, ponds, and hardwoods. An old railroad grade goes along southeast portion. The preserve lies adjacent to the 55-acre preserve owned and managed by the Little Traverse Bay Bands of Odawa Indians.
Trails: A small parking area and 2.37 miles of trails with adjacent natural area. A winter-only ski loop adds a mile.
History: This preserve was a significant success story in the Conservancy’s protection of the US-31 scenic road corridor between Petoskey and Charlevoix. Several acquisitions have been added over the years. Funding came from a Michigan Department of Transportation grant, a grant from the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality, and private funds from the Frey Foundation, the Herbert H. and Grace A. Dow Foundation, the Offield Foundation, and the Americana Foundation. Funding for the trail and parking area came from the James Buchanan Family, Charlevoix County Community Foundation, Bay Harbor Foundation, Chemical Bank, and Matt Lester.
Directions: Four miles east of Charlevoix city limits and 11 miles west of Petoskey’s intersection of US-31and US-131, the entrance to Susan Creek is .6 miles southwest of Big Rock Road (the entrance to the Big Rock Restoration Site). The preserve runs across from the Little Traverse Wheelway. A new parking area was constructed in Spring, 2016.