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Augusta-Anne Olsen State Nature Preserve “Early Signs of Spring”

Posted on 4/1/2015 by State Nature Preserves
Augusta-Anne Olsen State Nature Preserve
Augusta-Anne Olsen State Nature Preserve

Guided walk to focus on early spring wildflowers and amphibians

As winter slowly gives way to spring, the earliest of spring wildflowers and the first emerging amphibians will be sought-out during this staff-guided hike through the Augusta-Anne Olsen State Nature Preserve on Saturday, April 4.

Olsen Preserve is located alongside the Vermillion River, which makes a huge bend as it traverses the preserve. The preserve features ridge-top oaks and maples which tower over a mixed floodplain forest. The meandering river has created many small plant communities with different exposures, offering a great deal of diversity in a relatively small area.

The half-mile Spring Trail offers a wide variety of spring wildflowers in April, including twinleaf, bluebells, sessile trillium, ginger, bloodroot, marsh marigold, hepatica, wild hyacinth, golden saxifrage, dwarf ginseng and showy orchids.

Birding along the river is outstanding in the springtime. Bald eagles, kingfishers, scarlet tanagers and many species of wood warblers can be spotted along the trail. The floodplain also provides the landscape for vernal, or seasonal, pools of water teeming with breeding amphibians, such as dusky, redback and smallmouth salamanders.

Olsen Preserve encompasses 132 acres within Huron County. The preserve now bears the name of Augusta-Anne Olsen, who, with her husband, was instrumental in protecting this significant scenic natural area by donating her 83-acre family farm.

Augusta-Anne Olsen Preserve is located about 1 mile north of Wakeman on West River Road.