Chippewa Run Natural Area is a 110 acre preserve managed by the Leelanau Conservancy. The 1.25 mile loop is highlighted by a stream corridor highlighted by native dogwood, black cherry, ash, maple, and poplar. The wildflowers found here are among some of nature’s most dramatic: blue flag iris, cardinal flower and water lilies.
The ecology of this area has changed over time. Ten years ago, the land around the stream and pond was submerged and hosted an active beaver community. Meanwhile, enjoy the waterfowl in the cattail marsh and you may even spot a cruising coyote.
The variety of habitats provides for great birding opportunities. Grasshopper Sparrow and Eastern Meadowlark in the meadows and Northern Waterthrush and Wilson’s Warbler in the thickets are just a few of the species seen in this area.
Directions: From the intersection on M-72 and M-22 in Empire, head north on M-22 about 0.7 miles. The parking area is located on the left, or northwest side of the street just south of the creek. In winter, if the parking lot on M-22 is not plowed, turn onto LaCore Street as if heading toward the Empire Museum. Then turn right on Fisher Street and follow signs to recycling bins and park in recycling area.