Spanning 60 acres on the southwest shores of Lime Lake, Pat’s Preserve is as ecologically important as it is lovely. This natural wonder safeguards over 1,000 feet of pristine shoreline. From the preserve’s crescent-shaped edge, a view of Sugar Loaf can be admired across the water. To the northeast, you can see Teichner Preserve.
The wetlands act as a giant sponge, absorbing and cleaning rainwater and melted snow. They also function to hold back runoff from Maple City Highway, which runs parallel to the preserve. This helps protect against erosion, and pollutants entering the lake. The result? Providing pure, crystalline water for Lime Lake.
Pat’s Preserve was protected in 2019 in part with a generous donation, then in 2023 the boardwalk trail opened. The landscape here tells a story of biodiversity, boasting mesic northern forests, boreal woodlands, resplendent conifer swamps, lush tamarack havens, hardwood conifer sanctuaries, and northern wet meadows, all woven into its ecological tapestry.
This sanctuary is a bustling metropolis of wildlife, where bear, bobcat, deer, otter, beaver, coyote, and raccoon dwell in coexistence. A spring-fed, meandering stream plays host to the graceful dance of brook trout and a dazzling array of macroinvertebrate life. Slithering serpents, enchanting toads, graceful waterfowl, and the chorus of ducks all converge in this haven for nourishment, respite, leisure, nurturing, and nesting. Pat’s Preserve, a lush demonstration of nature’s splendor, beckons all who yearn to explore.
What to Look For
• Impressive tree species diversity including some very large white pines, cedars, hemlocks and yellow birch
• Alien-like blob animal called freshwater bryozoans or “moss animal” living in the emergent marsh
• Boreal flora such as naked miterwort and goldthread
• Waterfowl including trumpeter swans
High conservation valued plant species like spicebush, showy lady slippers, bog violet, and water horsetail