Places to Visit

Photo by Aaron P. Kortenhoven

We have found that learning about natural communities and being able to identify them is facilitated by visiting benchmark examples across the range of variability of the natural community types throughout their distribution. In this slideshow, we provide photos of some of the best remaining examples of select natural communities. Within the natural community classification, we include a section entitled “Places to Visit” where we provide examples of representative sites for each natural community type. We have tried to include sites that are easily accessible, either on public lands or on lands accessible to the public (e.g., land trust preserves). Users interested in visiting sites highlighted here are advised to contact listed land conservancies about access to their preserves, directions, and maps.

Alvar

Jesse M. Lincoln

Maxton Plains. Sault Sainte Marie State Forest Management Area and The Nature Conservancy (Maxton Plains Preserve). Drummond Island, Chippewa County

Dry Northern Forest

Jesse M. Lincoln

Tahquamenon Falls State Park and Newberry State Forest Management Unit, Luce and Chippewa Counties

Dry Sand Prairie

Michael A. Kost

Indian Lake Southwest, Manistee National Forest, Newaygo County

Dry-Mesic Northern Forest

Joshua G. Cohen

Two-Hearted Lakes, The Nature Conservancy (Two-Hearted River Forest Preserve), Luce County

Floodplain Forest

Aaron P. Kortenhoven

Maple River Floodplain, Maple River State Game Area, Clinton County

Floodplain Forest

Aaron P. Kortenhoven

Muskegon River Floodplain, Muskegon State Game Area, Newaygo County

Floodplain Forest

Jesse M. Lincoln

Big Daily Bayou, Allegan State Game Area, Allegan County

Granite Bedrock Glade

Jesse M. Lincoln

Wetmore Pond and Sugarloaf Outcrops, Gwinn State Forest Management Unit, Marquette County

Granite Cliff

Joshua G. Cohen

Van Riper Cliffs, Van Riper State Park, Marquette County

Great Lakes Marsh

Matthew J. Lewis, Michigan Aerospace Corporation

Munuscong River Mouth, Sault Sainte Marie State Forest Management Unit, Chippewa County

Interdunal Wetland

Aaron P. Kortenhoven

Nordhouse Dunes, Ludington State Park and Manistee National Forest, Mason County

Lakeplain Wet-Mesic Prairie

Joshua G. Cohen

Algonac, Algonac State Park, St. Clair County

Limestone Bedrock Lakeshore

Jesse M. Lincoln

Drummond Island, Sault Sainte Marie State Forest Management Unit, Chippewa County

Limestone Bedrock Lakeshore

Jesse M. Lincoln

Drummond Island, Sault Sainte Marie State Forest Management Unit, Chippewa County

Limestone Lakeshore Cliff

Jesse M. Lincoln

Burnt Bluff (Garden Peninsula), Fayette Historic State Park, Delta County

Mesic Northern Forest

Jesse M. Lincoln

Porcupine Mountains Wilderness State Park, Gogebic and Ontonagon Counties

Mesic Southern Forest

Jesse M. Lincoln

Crane Hills, Crane Pond State Game Area, Cass County

Muskeg

Joshua G. Cohen

Tahquamenon Falls State Park and Newberry State Forest Management Unit, Chippewa and Luce Counties

Northern Bald

Joshua G. Cohen

Bare Bluffs Bald, Michigan Nature Association (Grinnell Memorial Sanctuary at Bare Bluff), Keweenaw County

Northern Fen

Jesse M. Lincoln

Horseshoe Bay, Horseshoe Bay Wilderness Area, Hiawatha National Forest, Mackinac County

Oak-Pine Barrens

Maria Albright

Allegan State Game Area, Allegan County

Open Dunes

Matthew J. Lewis, Michigan Aerospace Corporation

Point Betsie, The Nature Conservancy (Zetterberg Preserve at Point Betsie), Benzie County

Patterned Fen

Jesse M. Lincoln

Black Creek, Newberry State Forest Management Unit, Chippewa County

Pine Barrens

Jesse M. Lincoln

Shupac Lake Barrens, Grayling State Forest Management Unit, Crawford County

Prairie Fen

Joshua G. Cohen

Marsh Brook Fen, Watkins Lake State Park, Jackson County

Rich Conifer Swamp

Joshua G. Cohen

Gogomain Swamp, Sault Sainte Marie State Forest Management Unit, Chippewa County

Sand and Gravel Beach

Aaron P. Kortenhoven

Nordhouse Dunes, Ludington State Park and Manistee National Forest, Mason County

Sandstone Bedrock Lakeshore

Joshua G. Cohen

Point Abbaye, Baraga State Forest Management Unit, Baraga County

Sandstone Lakeshore Cliff

Aaron P. Kortenhoven

Pictured Rocks, Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore, Alger County

Sinkhole

Jesse M. Lincoln

Rockport Karst, Rockport State Recreation Area, Presque Isle County

Volcanic Bedrock Lakeshore

Joshua G. Cohen

Horseshoe Harbor, The Nature Conservancy (Mary Macdonald Preserve at Horseshoe Harbor), Keweenaw County

Volcanic Cliff

Joshua G. Cohen

Escarpment Trail Cliffs, Porcupine Mountains Wilderness State Park, Gogebic Ontonagon Counties

Wet-Mesic Flatwoods

Suzanne Campbell

Belle Isle Flatwoods, Detroit Recreation Department, Wayne County

Wooded Dune and Swale Complex

Aaron P. Kortenhoven

Big Knob Campground, Sault Sainte Marie State Forest Management Unit, Mackinac County

Citation

Cohen, J.G., M.A. Kost, B.S. Slaughter, D.A. Albert, J.M. Lincoln, A.P. Kortenhoven, C.M. Wilton, H.D. Enander, and K.M. Korroch. 2020. Michigan Natural Community Classification [web application]. Michigan Natural Features Inventory, Michigan State University Extension, Lansing, Michigan. Available https://mnfi.anr.msu.edu/communities/classification. (Accessed: November 27, 2020).