The 1,000-Mile Great Lakes Adventures

Sunday, August 30, 2015

Grass River Natural Area

Loreen Niewenhuis is an author, adventurer, and Great Lakes speaker. She has completed a trilogy of 1,000-mile adventures exploring the Great Lakes and has written three books about the Great Lakes [A 1,000-Mile Walk on the Beach *a Heartland Indie Bestseller*A 1,000-Mile Great Lakes Walk *winner of the Great Lakes Great Reads Award*, and A 1,000-Mile Great Lakes Island Adventure]. To learn more about her work, or to book her as a speaker, go to

While up north last week, I toured the 
Grass River Natural Area 
near Bellaire, Michigan.

Grass River connects Clam Lake to Lake Bellaire in the chain of lakes that also includes Torch  and Elk Lakes. 

This conservation area has a nature center with many exhibits about the area:

Display of bird nests

Display of SKULLS!

Microscopes to examine specimens up close

 Grass River Natural Area protects almost 1,500 acres. 80% of that is wetland habitat (mostly cedar swamp). 250 acres are upland forest with pine, maple, elm, spruce and fir.
I hiked the boardwalk and trails there with Haley Breniser, the Executive Director of the center.

Haley Breniser, executive director, on the boardwalk

We walked half of the 7 miles of trails through the preserve.

Wood frog on the boardwalk


A family enjoys the area by racing leaves on the river


 Grass River Natural Area protects a vital part of the Great Lakes watershed. These wetlands are vital to cleansing water as it moves through the chain of lakes. 
The center here offers events, classes, and even summer camp opportunities. 
Learn more HERE.

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