5 awesome spots to enjoy beauty of spring

What better way to admire the onset of spring than to get out on the trails in St. Clair County? There are numerous paths that wind through habitats, campgrounds, state parks, preserves, and sanctuaries, offering abundance of beautiful wildflowers and other sights unique to St. Clair County. Make sure to visit the trails below to catch an eyeful of plants, trees, and flowers that are starting to bloom right now.


 

 

Algonac State Park

 

Home to 1,500 acres of lakeplain prairie and oak savannas, the Algonac State Park has several trails and is home to a plethora of plants, birds, and butterflies. There are 19 species in the park on the state list of endangered, threatened and special concern list. They are currently recruiting volunteers to help remove invasive garlic mustard along the trails on April 29. Visit http://www.michigan.gov/dnr/0,4570,7-153-10365_48474_48507---,00.html for more information.

 

Along with camping, archery, and viewing freighters of the world from its half-mile perch on the St. Clair River, guests have several options for hiking and walking:

 

Trails

 
  • Lakeplain Prairie Trail--Half a mile long loop.

 
  • Bridge to Bay Trail--One mile of this county-wide paved trail linking Port Huron to New Baltimore winds through Algonac State Park, and is great for biking and hiking.

 
  • Algonac-Blazing Star--Another half mile loop trail across the prairie

 
  • Algonac-Oak Savanna Trail--This trail loops 2.5 miles around the archery range and trap range, and is ideal for hiking and cross-country skiing.

 

There are a ton of nature preserves and sanctuaries in St. Clair County, so deciding on which ones to visit could be a tough challenge! We picked a few to show you just a sampling of the diverse options outdoor enthusiasts have around the county:

 

Alice Brennan Memorial Sanctuary

This two mile-long trail along the Pine River near Emmett winds through a high canopy of evergreen stands, and boasts a diverse display of flora and fauna in habitats like floodplains, slopes, high banks, and the Pine River.

 

Alice W. Moore Woods Sanctuary

This sanctuary is right inside the city limits of St. Clair, and offers a 1.5-mile trail and peaceful ponds. Some of the shrubs and trees include:

 

Red, white and bur oak trees

Black ash, shagbark hickory and silver maples trees

Highbrush cranberry, prickly ash, and purple-flowering raspberry

 

Stephen M. Polovich Memorial Plant Preserve

This sanctuary was the second one established by the Michigan Nature Association in 1963, originally named after the Pine River, which flows through the land. In 1978, it became the Stephen M. Polovich Memorial Plant Preserve, named after the son of wildlife photographer for the MNA Ralph Polovich. Stephen was only 19 when he passed, but spent many hours volunteering at the Preserve. It is located off Cribbins Road

 

There a huge variety of trees in this preserve, including birch, maple, hickory, aspen, and many more.

 

There is also a mottled landscape of hills, gullies, and streams, floodplains, and the river, which is often blanketed with wildflowers such as Dutchman Breeches, squirrel corn and fringed polygala.

 

Pine River Nature Center

Over three miles of marked hiking trails along the woods and wetlands of St. Clair county make this a must-see area for wildflower viewing. A three-acre restored tall grass prairie and the first publicly owned, universally accessible tree-house are unique characteristics of the Center. There are also tons of educational programs at the Center to promote "awareness, understanding and stewardship of the Blue Water Area's natural heritage."

 

http://www.sccresa.org/countyeducation/pine-river-nature-center/

 

For more information on trails, parks, preserves, and other outdoor activities, visit the links below:

 

https://www.michigannature.org/.

 

http://www.michigan.org/property/algonac-state-park.


http://www.stclaircounty.org/offices/parks/.
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