Thorne Swift Nature Preserve
NOTE: Dogs and horses are not allowed at this nature preserve.
Size: 30 acres
Frontage: 950 feet along Lake Michigan with 300 feet as a public beach
Land Description: A mix of upland dunes and lowland cedar swamp, small pond, and Great Lakes shoreline.
Trails & Facilities: 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, gazebo, amphitheatre, and seasonal guided programs all make this an excellent family destination.
Thorne Swift is open daily 10 am to sunset from typically April 15-November 15. Nature Center is open Memorial-Labor Day from 10am-7pm. Parking fee is $5 for non-township residents (no charge for Conservancy members) and a season pass is available for $15. Call 231.526.6401 for current programs and extended seasonal hours. Update May 4, 2020: Thorne Swift is now open! Nature center remains closed, but trails will take you on nice walks to the beach. Privies are found near the beach.
History: In 1981, Elizabeth Kennedy donated the Thorne Swift property to Little Traverse Conservancy. The Conservancy leases the property to West Traverse Township.
Directions: 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.