A couple of my nature photographer friends hit these spots three times a week in the spring in search of wildflowers and other new life on the old forest floor-- talk about a diversity of plant life! The River Raisin is a part of both spots, and one may see wildflowers and streams off the path, box turtles, snakes (cold and slow in the morning; I have seen them model because they were mostly paralyzed!), an occasional Sandhill Crane, and plenty of trees in the forest and by the river.
Wear boots, and when it is warmer I use bug spray to ward off ticks, mosquitoes, etc. (and I have a cheap bug net). Be prepared to walk 2+ miles at Sharon Hollow (round trip) and a mile or so in the woods at Leonard preserve. Hike and shoot, trying not to scare off the wildlife-- should be fun :)
Please read and answer the "Questions" for this event. I'll be organizing car pools for myself and others who can get to the Ann Arbor Starbuck's on Washtenaw by 7AM. Let's arrive at the Hollow by 8. Not much parking by the side of the road at Sharon Hollow (the Leonard Preserve has a larger lot), so let's cap this at 3 or 4 cars.
Stop #1: Nan Weston Nature Preserve at Sharon Hollow
"The variety of wetland plant communities at Nan Weston Nature Preserve at Sharon Hollow reflects the amazing underlying geological diversity–from streams lined with silver maple, red ash and swamp white oak to swampy areas filled with black ash, American elm and yellow birch. Sandhill crane, chestnut-sided warbler, barred owl and dickcissel are a sampling of the birds you might see."
At the junction of I-94 and M-52 take M-52 south for 7.4 miles to Pleasant Lake Road. There is a flashing yellow light at the intersection.
Turn right (west) on Pleasant Lake Road, follow it for 3.2 miles to Sharon Hollow Road.
Turn right (north) on Sharon Hollow Road, and follow it to its end at Easudes Road.
Turn left (west) and travel 0.9 miles on Easudes Road. You will see the preserve sign on the left (south) side of the road.
Park on the south side of Easudes Road, between the preserve sign and Jacob Road. The trail into the preserve begins at the sign. Please be sure not to block any of the preserve neighbors’ driveways.
Stop #2: We'll move on to the Leonard Preserve, just 18 min. away from the Hollow:
(GPS: Leonard Preserve@[masked],[masked])
We'll walk through a field and see a great bend in the River Raisin (classic spot for fall shots too). Sometimes Sandhill Cranes taunt photographers from the river and fields nearby... on rare occasion you may get a shot off before they hide or fly off.
Wear boots or trail runners. Message me is you have multiple questions, or post a question if you need more info. These are nice spots-- I plan on going back, so if you can't make it this time, there will be other opportunities. I do not want to take twenty people, dogs, or other things that will distract from our interaction with nature in these woods.