Sugarwood Forest Preserve

Access: Open to the public

Acreage: 40.25 acres

Recreational Activities: Hiking, spring blooms, summer flowers, fall colors, wildlife viewing, and Kindness Rocks.

Directions: Located at 6855 W Elm Valley Road in Three Oaks, MI. From Three Oaks Road travel west on Elm Valley Road 1/3 mile to the preserve entrance. From Red Arrow Highway, travel east on Union Pier Road/Elm Valley Road, approximately 4 miles to the entrance. Click here for a link to Google Maps. 

Parking: A gravel parking area is located at the entrance to the preserve.

Natural Features

The Preserve is a plateau of uplands bisected by deep ravines. The northern portion of the preserve boasts an old growth beech-maple forest as well as a ravine with a Galien River tributary, a groundwater seep, and a unique plant community. The rest of the wooded uplands are considered mid-successional mesic southern forests in various stages of regrowth after a history of grazing. The southern ravine system contains floodplains with an impressive number paw paw trees. The southeastern corner is a former agricultural field being restored to a native prairie.


The Forest Preserve was purchased via a bargain sale from former board member and current neighbor, George Platz, in 2021. The name comes from one of the Platz family's many uses of the property: tapping maple trees and making maple syrup.

Pictured to the right is the winner of our 2022 #COLfallphotos contest.