The Odyssey Tour Visits Dowagiac Woods

By Tina Patterson and Dave Wendling

Dave shows the group wildflowers

Dave pauses to show the group some of Dowagiac Woods’ wildflowers. Photo by Tina Patterson

Tina: Did Dave ever stop smiling as we convened at Dowagiac Woods Nature Sanctuary the sunlit morning of April 29? I don’t believe anyone ever saw a smile leave his face as we began our hike through his favorite sanctuary, which he has been co-stewarding for years with Maggie Ebrite and Tracy Braswell.  We started the second segment of the Odyssey in southwest Michigan at the second largest sanctuary in the Lower Peninsula: Dowagiac Woods. The sanctuary boasts 384 diverse acres of beech maple and flood plain forest which have been evolving in a mostly undisturbed state. Though the Woods has been selectively logged and the Dowagiac River has been channelized, the Woods has never been farmed or pastured.  The major reason most visitors come to Dowagiac is to view the amazing display of spring flowers, where more than 50 different species can be found, but any time of year is a good time to visit this special place. Continue reading

Sweet Water Kayak Tour of the Les Cheneaux Islands

By Mitch Lex

MNA members and supporters are encouraged to join Woods and Water Ecotours on a guided paddling excursion through the scenic waters and shorelines of the Les Cheneaux Island archipelago on Saturday, July 14th from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Kayak Tours

Participants stop to smile during a kayak tour

Participants will paddle the protected waters of this 36 island archipelago near Cedarville, exploring inner bays, beautiful boreal forests, wildflowers and freshwater marshes. The area has long been a popular summer escape for paddlers, with sailboats and summer cottages around the islands.

A professional guide will discuss wildlife and varying habitats, as well as the history of the area, which includes the “grandfather of conservation” Aldo Leopold’s childhood cottage. The cost of the event is $75 for members and $95 for nonmembers. All gear, equipment and lunch are included, and no experience is necessary!

For reservations or more information, contact Woods & Water Ecotours at (906) 484-4157 or by email at info@woodswaterecotours.com. Hope to see you there!