Burns Prairie Preserve
Located on Mt. Zion Road, south of US-12, in Galien Township, Burns Prairie Preserve is a 38-acre nature preserve that includes a planted prairie, wetlands, and woodlands. The Preserve boasts native prairie grasses, such as big bluestem and Indian grass, as well as an abundance of summer-blooming wildflowers, including black-eyed susans and butterfly weed. A seasonal wetland was also re-established in a drainage area that bisects the Preserve.
This prairie most closely resembles a mesic (or moist) prairie, a once common feature in Michigan that is now considered critically imperiled. In fact, according to the Michigan Natural Features Inventory, remnant mesic prairies are so rare that none occur on sites in the state that are open to the public! Burns Prairie Preserve may not be a remnant of the original prairies that bison roamed, but it is being actively restored to resemble such an ecosystem. Chikaming Open Lands has partnered with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and Michigan Department of Natural Resources in the restoration and on-going management of the property.
The original 12-acre property was donated to Chikaming Open Lands in 2012 by Lloyd and Pat Burns. In 2019 and 2020, with funding from the William Knack Memorial Fund, Jim and Judy Neuman, and other individual donors, Chikaming Open Lands purchased an additional 26 acres of planted native grassland to expand the Preserve.
Burns Prairie Preserve has a new trail system--Enjoy the hike! A dedicated parking area along Mt. Zion Road is in the planning process and will be coming soon. No bicycles or motorized vehicles. No hunting. Leashed dogs are welcome. Please stay on marked trails.