A1 - Saganing Nature Preserve
The Saganing Nature Preserve is home to a dense woodland area and the delta wetland of the Saganing River, which can be accessed on foot from the parking area. The southern half of this Preserve is thick, wetland habitat with no established trails. Primarily held to help increase water quality by filtering stormwater runoff before it enters the Saginaw Bay, the wetland habitat is an important sanctuary for migratory birds, plants and animals. The Preserve has a trail from the parking area out along the River.
A2 - Standish Nature Preserve
The Standish Nature Preserve is one of the oldest Preserves owned by the SBLC. It is a beautiful, mature hardwood forest with a series of wetlands and a pond that make it home to many varieties of birds and wildlife.
A3 - Wigwam Bay State Wildlife Area
More than 900 acres of wetlands occur on this 3,023-acre state wildlife area. An extensive network of gravel-topped dikes in the wetlands is open to foot traffic all year. The remainder of the site is primarily undeveloped hardwood forest and small forest openings. Wigwam Bay is an outstanding site for viewing shorebirds, wading birds, waterfowl, and gulls. Unique or rare wetland bird species such as Black Terns, Forster’s Terns, Caspian Terns, Yellow-headed Blackbirds, American and Least Bitterns, Sandhill Cranes, Common Moorhens, and Northern Harriers are also found here. Bald Eagles nest here, and are often seen soaring or sitting in perches along the dikes. Come in the spring for an excellent opportunity to see nesting snapping turtles.
A4 - Au Gres Delta Nature Preserve
The Au Gres Delta Nature Preserve is located in the city of Au Gres, Michigan. It is composed of 97.5% National Wetlands Inventory designated wetlands bordering the west shore of the Saginaw Bay of Lake Huron and adjacent to the Au Gres River. This site is rustic, and is in the process of being restored to a Lakeplain Prairie. Explore the site on foot and enjoy the vast, wide open space available there.
A5 - Au Gres River DNR Boat Launch
The Au Gres River DNR Boat Launch offers views of the Au Gres River mouth, Lake Huron, and a plethora of waterfowl, raptors, gulls, and shorebirds. Recent sightings have tallied nearly 90 species with highlights including: Tundra Swan, Ruddy Duck, Horned Grebe, Broad-winged Hawk, Rough-legged Hawk, Bonaparte’s Gull, Great Black-backed Gull, and White-winged Crossbill.
A6 - Pressprich Nature Preserve
Pressprich Nature Preserve is a 48.2-acre property composed mainly of wetlands, which improve water quality by filtering pollutants. It serves as a ground water recharge area and provides a special habitat for a variety of species. Pressprich serves as an excellent landfall spot for migrating songbirds in the month of May and as an excellent stopover habitat for the huge influx of warblers that cruise up the Lake Huron shoreline.
A7 - Singing Bridge DNR Public Access Site
This Public Access site features a large parking area just off of M-23 and provides views of the East Branch of the Au Gres River mouth and Lake Huron coastline. A perfect spot to find waterfowl, migrating shorebirds, and gulls!
I1 - Gateway Park
Gateway Park located on M-23, just south of Tawas, is 13 acres and is bordered by the mouth of the Tawas River and Lake Huron. The park provides access to the Lake Huron coastal system and offers views of a variety of waterfowl, gulls, terns, and swallows. Over 100 species have been recorded here including Horned Grebe, Red-necked Phalarope, Bonaparte’s Gull, Little Gull, Caspian and Common Terns, and Purple Martin.
I2 - Shoreline Park
Along M-23, just south of Tawas, Shoreline Park is an 8.2 acre park featuring picnic pavilions, a food concession stand, a boardwalk along the beach, and a 450-foot long pier for fishing and wildlife observation. A fun place to stop and stretch your legs. Be sure to hit the park early in the summertime before the crowds arrive to check the beach for shorebirds!
I3 - East Tawas State Dock
East Tawas State Dock is a marina operated by the Michigan DNR and offers views of over 100 species including waterfowl, gulls, terns, swallows, and warblers. A popular area for summertime tourists, fishermen, and waterfowl.
I4 - Tawas Point State Park
Tawas Point State Park is undoubtedly the best migrant trap in the Watershed. Birding is best during times of rapid migration such as during strong south winds in spring and strong north winds in fall. The spring migrants tend to follow the lakeshore and actually migrate south for a time to the tip of the point which faces southwest. Bad weather after a prolonged high pressure situation also tends to ground many migrants in the park. Soon after these conditions subside, the spring migrants slowly work their way northward out of the park. Equally impressive migrations occur in the fall. Tawas State Park has an excellent campground and beach facilities, has a restored lighthouse with daily tours, is home to nesting Piping Plovers, and is a classic Michigan weekender’s spot all year.
I5 - Tawas Lake
Tawas Lake is a 1600-acre lake with a public boat launch and parking. The lake has historically been the nesting site of Black Terns. The public access provides a limited view of the lake, so bring a kayak or canoe to fully explore and scope out the area!
I6 - Tuttle Marsh Wildlife Area
Tuttle Marsh, a 5000-acre wetland complex surrounded by Huron National Forest, is a popular location for bird watchers looking to observe secretive marshbirds, waterfowl, and shorebirds. The wetland dike systems act as hiking trails for visitors. Spring and fall migration are the prime times to visit, as water levels are high in the spring, inviting a variety of waterfowl, and low in the fall, exposing mudflats that attract herons, marshbirds, and shorebirds. Notable species observed here include American and Least Bitterns, Virginia and Sora Rails, Purple and Common Gallinules, Caspian, Black, Common, and Forster’s Terns, Eastern Screech, Great Horned, Snowy, Barred, Short-eared, and Northern Saw-whet Owls, Olive-sided Flycatcher, Blue-winged, Golden-winged, and Black-throated Blue Warblers, Bobolink, Meadowlarks, Rusty Blackbird, Orchard Oriole, and Pine Grosbeak.