Sturgeon River Preserve
The heart of the preserve is its namesake river which contains 2,100 feet of frontage along the Sturgeon River, a Blue Ribbon trout stream that flows through the northern half of the property. The terrain varies from cedar swamps and clearings of towering bracken ferns to ridges and hills forested in birch, hardwoods and some impressive pines.
The preserve has been dedicated to the late Calvin “Rusty” Gates Jr., owner of Gates AuSable Lodge, founder of Anglers of the AuSable and a conservancy board member who died in 2009. Gates is most often associated with the Holy Waters of AuSable River but he often fished the Sturgeon River. A sign at the entrance of the preserve pays tribute to Gates with two carved, hand-painted trout flies flanking his name.
The HeadWaters Land Conservancy has built a pair of short trail loops and a 380-foot-long boardwalk along the Sturgeon River that is slated to be finished in 2019. All together the trails and boardwalk can be combined for a 0.8-mile. The size of the preserve makes it best suited for hiking, snowshoeing, birding, tree and plant identification.
|Difficulty - Easy|