Watershed Wanderings is a short video series made to inspire outdoor adventure in the Chippewa River Watershed. Produced by Chippewa Watershed Conservancy (CWC), the video series highlights nearby outdoor recreational opportunities on land and water. At CWC, we believe there is ample opportunity for outdoor adventure in the Central Michigan region. The goal of Watershed Wanderings is to connect people to publicly-accessible outdoor recreation opportunities and provide trip details such as gear recommendations, directions to parks and nature preserves and adventure itineraries.

Watershed Wanderings: Sylvan Solace

Sylvan Solace is a 78-acre permanently protected nature preserve owned by Chippewa Watershed Conservancy (CWC). The preserve boasts 1,700 feet of frontage on the Chippewa River, nearly two miles of trail to explore and a series of seven QR code interpretive signs. Acquired by a land donation from Dr. Don and Nancy Nagler in 1996, Sylvan Solace has a broad range of biodiversity ranging from coniferous trees plantations, oak-aspen forest and riparian corridor habitat. The preserve is a frequent site of environmental education hikes hosted by CWC. Topics range from tree identification, wildflowers, birds, butterflies, forestry and more. The preserve is free and open to the public. The trails are flat and most are wide, making them great for families and people with different ability levels.

Trip Itinerary

  1. Drive to Sylvan Solace Preserve in Deerfield Township, Isabella County, Michigan. Directions can be found here.
  2. Hike the preserve’s River Loop, Meadow Lane and Aspen Pathway trails.
  3. Return to the trailhead to leave the preserve.
  4. Link to trail map.

Estimated time

  1. River loop: 40 minutes (1 mile)
  2. Aspen Pathway: 10 minutes (.3 miles)
  3. Meadow Lane: 15 minutes (.4 miles)

Recommended Gear

  1. Hiking boots or sturdy shoes
  2. Fast-wicking pants/shirt
  3. Water
  4. Guide book for identification of area flora and fauna
  5. Bug spray and sunscreen