Sara Swanson

Exploding cattails in the Clark & Avis Spike Preserve

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In addition to our county park, Sharon Mills, the Manchester area boasts seven county preserves. Located in the beautiful rolling Short Hills of Sharon Township is the Clark & Avis Spike Preserve. Sunday’s record setting warm weather and sunny skies made for a gorgeous mid-february hike and perfect conditions meant cattail heads were sending seeds flying in unbelievable flurries of fluff when touched.

Located on the north side of Grass Lake Road, 1.29 miles west of M-52, the preserve consists of 103 acres with .64 miles of trails. The trail system takes the visitor through multiple ecosystems including emergent marsh, a wet meadow, and a shrub area. As you head north along the first boardwalk, which starts just beyond a kiosk, you will reach open fields of grasses and broad vistas of the surrounding wetlands and rural landscape. To the north, an established woodlot features a mixture of tree sizes of native species: basswood, black cherry, maples, and oaks. A perennial stream meandering through the property provides good aquatic habitat and serves as the source for a man-made pond.

The Preserve is managed in partnership with the adjacent landowner, Grass Lake Sanctuary —an organization devoted to providing nature focused retreat experiences.

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