The DeYoung Natural Area is a 145-acre property that is located just minutes from Traverse City and it is managed by the Leelanau Conservancy. It is also located along the 15.5 mile Leelanau TART Trail. This trail has exceptional warbler activity in May and the trail represents the northern terminus of the Sleeping Bear Birding Trail. There is a platform where Cedar Lake can be accessed via a ¼ mile loop through mature cedar forest. DeYoung is home to approximately 144 species of birds.
The woods and lowlands along the paved Leelanau Trail also offer exceptional songbird opportunities. Fulton Park is approximately two miles south of DeYoung and the paved Leelanau Trail provides easy access. Fulton is a small, forested space with a single loop tail that crosses several interior ponds. Look for nesting wood warblers, woodpeckers, foraging green herons at this small gem of a site. Along the way the trail runs along low land dominated by cedar, tamarack, and spruce and crosses a couple of streams. Round trip birding from the DeYoung parking area to Fulton Park and back would take approximately two hours. The trail is paved and bike access is allowed.
Directions: From the intersection of M-72 and M-22 in Traverse City, go north on M-22 1.2 miles, turn left onto Cherry Bend Rd. Go 2.0 miles down Cherry Bend Rd., and look for the big lower hay barn on your right. Pull into the parking area by the barn. From CR 641 and Cherry Bend Rd. intersection, go towards Traverse City on Cherry Bend Rd. about 2.1 miles, look for big lower hay barn on your left. Pull into the parking area next to the barn.