Our first large preserve, Sylvan Solace was donated to the Chippewa Watershed Conservancy in 1996 by Dr. Don and Nancy Nagler. Consisting of of 78 Acres in Deerfield Township, Isabella County, it is our most-accessible large preserve for residents of Mt. Pleasant. The southern half of the preserve consists of a mixed hardwood forest of oaks, aspen, maple, and beech, with scattered white pine and hemlock. The southwest boundary of the preserve consists of more than 1,700 feet of scenic viewscapes and riparian corridor along the Chippewa River. The northern part of the preserve consists of a mixed conifer plantation with several open meadows interspersed throughout the area. Approximately 1.4 miles of trail wind through the property.
The preserve is located on the south side of Pickard between Gilmore and Littlefield Roads, with a small parking lot located along Pickard Road. Two hundred fifty yards south of the parking lot you will find a pollinator garden and a nearby granite marker at the Memorial Grove stands in honor of special people who have been memorialized by family and friends. Benches placed at scenic overlooks provide places to rest and view the Chippewa River. Sylvan Solace Preserve is popular destination for year-round recreational activities such as hiking, birdwatching, cross-country skiing and showshoeing. Many species of edible mushrooms and patches of blackberries, raspberries, and blueberries provide foraging opportunities. Anglers have to opportunity to wade the river or cast from shore for sunfish, smallmouth bass, and other species in the river.
For a downloadable map of the trails, click here.