A mere 30 acres in size, Thorne Swift Nature Preserve is not big and contains only a mile of footpaths. But compacted within this small area is a variety of habitats and—if you’re a child—a lot to do. Thorne Swift protects a special slice of the Lake Michigan shoreline just off M-119, the scenic drive known as the “Tunnel of Trees.” Within the preserve is a cedar swamp and pond followed by a strip of small coastal dunes and finally the lakeshore beach, all linked by three short interpretive trails. You can spend an hour or two here hiking the trails and enjoying the nature center. Or, pack along bathing suits, beach towels, and a swimmer’s mask and snorkel, and you can spend the afternoon searching for Petoskey stones or looking at fish in the shallow waters of Lake Michigan.
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Balsam and Cedar Trails
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