Hikes, Workbees & Other Events
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Check back often! Hikes are posted one month in advance.
Upcoming Hikes & Events
Houdek Dunes Guided Walk + Orchid Pre-hike Sunday, May 28th, 1:45 pm
Orchids…and more orchids! Pink lady slippers (moccasin flowers) hopefully will be in full bloom at Houdek Dunes…perhaps over a thousand protected (by law) orchids. Houdek will have many other wonderful nature surprises this time of year for hike participants to discover while exploring the diversity of wildlife communities that call Houdek home. Join docents Ann McInnis and Beth Chiles who will be delighted to guide folks on an interpretive walk in this magical natural area. Special bonus: The hike officially begins at 2pm but plan to arrive early at 1:45 pm for a short educational opportunity to learn about Leelanau’s orchids from specialist Chuck Dickerson.
Batty Over Bats – Thursday, June 1st at 9am
Folklore and superstition throughout the ages have given bats a bad name. If you enjoy eating a banana or sipping a margarita, thank those bats. Which one is a clown? Goes fishing? Holds a world record? Are they really good guys? Solve some of the mysteries about these amazing masters of the sky with Bobbie Poor, Leelanau Conservancy docent, and Kay Charter, Executive Director of Saving Birds thru Habitat. A short walk through the native plants garden will follow the indoor program. Please register with the Conservancy for this program.
This presentation will be hosted by Saving Birds thru Habitat at the Saving Birds Thru Habitat Discovery Center, Putnam at Tatch Roads in Omena. Call (231) 271-3738 or visit savingbirds.org if you need directions. The program is from 9-10am indoors, followed by a walk in the native plants garden.
Hike to the Rare Thimbleberry Patches at Whaleback — Saturday, June 3rd at 10am
Whaleback Natural Area is interesting in every season and also contains the rare thimbleberry, an unusual plant to the region. The 300-foot bluff is an iconic spot not to be missed; we are fortunate to have this gem preserved for all to enjoy. The pace of this hike will be leisurely due to the rather steep .4 mile climb to the top. Not to worry – the docents will pause periodically to allow everyone to catch their breath while enjoying the scenery. If you have walking poles you may want to bring them. Once on top of Whaleback the terrain is fairly flat and easy to traverse. The climb is well worth it for the gorgeous view from the viewing platform.
Discovery Hike at Clay Cliffs Natural Area — Saturday, June 10th, 10am
What creatures are so important that they essentially rule the world? Could we find some of them and discover what it is they do that gives them such importance? While exploring for such creatures we may find ourselves asking some really cool questions….. which may lead to fascinating discoveries about their important interconnections with everything else. In fact, what is the connection between the amazing diversity of Clay Cliff habitats and the wildlife that choose it as their home? Join Conservancy docents Ann McInnis and Beth Chiles on a discovery hike through this 105 acre natural area which hosts so many biologically diverse wildlife communities.
Post Solstice Hike at Houdek Dunes — Saturday, June 24 at 10:00 AM
Join docents Ann McInnis and Jane Gale to explore the magnificent Houdek Dunes Natural Area during the longest days of the year after the summer solstice. From Ann: “we are indebted to the last set of glaciers that left Leelanau with magnificent dunes, drumlins, moraines, and more, leaving in their place rich soils that support healthy landscapes with many of the original wildlife species that preceded humans here. But we are especially indebted to the amazing people who live and recreate here for their contributions toward saving many of these lands in perpetuity for the future. Instead of a golf course, Houdek now hosts diverse habitats supporting a variety of native wildlife species. Those species are now taking advantage of the extended daylight to ensure their survival and that of their progeny far into the future.’To the attentive eye, each moment of the year has its own beauty, and in the same fields, it beholds, every hour, a picture which was never seen before, and which shall never be seen again’ (Ralph Waldo Emerson).”