Kauffman Nature Sanctuary is ACRES Land Trust’s first Michigan property. Land donor Janet Kauffman purchased the land in 1977, farming a portion of the property for more than a decade before letting nature reclaim the rolling acreage, and restoring five pre-settlement wetlands. Now sedges, willows and cattails provide habitat for nesting green heron and sandhill cranes.
The loop trail winds through tall grass before entering a forest with several large pawpaw patches and a rich floodplain at the back of the property. A coldwater stream — one of Michigan’s headwater streams of Lake Erie — flows through these woods. Thirteen species of freshwater mussels have been documented in the stream, including the slippershell mussel, threatened in Michigan.