William B. Derby Nature Preserve
Size: 207 acres
Frontage: More than a mile along Lake Huron
Land Description: Located just a short distance from downtown Cedarville, this preserve is the most popular community preserve in the Les Cheneaux region. The land is dominated by cedar trees and the hummocky topography is interspersed with numerous very large, moss-covered boulders. Because they consist largely of limestone/dolomite, the rocks are permeable and many have nurse trees growing from them. It is a magical place for a hike.
Trails: A nearly three-mile trail loop. Public parking is available for the preserve thanks to the Les Cheneaux Club and Les Cheneaux Community Foundation.
History: This preserve was named after the landowner who sold it at a significant bargain sale. The trails loop around and one section follows “The Snows Channel,” an excellent place to bird, and a stopover point for kayakers who want to come ashore and have lunch on the preserve. The Derby Preserve is a designated stop along the North Huron Birding Trail: www.northhuronbirding.com.
Directions: From M-134, head south on Four Mile Road to Club Road. Take a right on Club Road and travel half a mile. Look for signs on right and parking area is a little further up on the left. You will have to hike back to the preserve trail entrance less than 100 yards.