Nature Preserve Guidelines

We encourage you to get out and explore our nature preserves, which are open to the public from sunrise to sunset. For your safety and to help us protect our preserves’ natural features, please follow these general guidelines:


  • Stay on the trails
  • Keep pets on a leash
  • Leave plants and wildlife in place
  • Take out your trash
  • Enjoy the preserve


  • Bike or ride horses
  • Use motorized vehicles
  • Hunt, fish, or trap
  • Camp or build fires
  • Damage trails, signs, or natural features

Exceptions to these guidelines apply at a few of our preserves. For example, some of our most fragile natural areas are closed to the public and are accessible by permit only. Other preserves with sensitive wildlife don’t allow pets, even if they’re on a leash. Be sure to check the preserve’s webpage for details before you head out. You can read our detailed preserve policies here. If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to contact us.

COVID-19 Notice: Our preserves remain open for you to explore 

While you are visiting our preserves , we ask that you please take care of yourself and others. Help prevent the spread of COVID-19 by following these guidelines: 

  • If you are sick, please stay home. 
  • Please explore natural areas close to your home. 
  • If the preserve you are visiting looks busy, please consider visiting another location. Visit for a full list of spaces we’ve helped protect.
  • Only visit our preserves on your own or with members of your own household. 
  • Practice physical distancing: Keep at least 6 feet (the length of a dog leash) between you and non-members of your household. 
  • Do not congregate. 
  • Avoid touching hard surfaces. 
  • Wash your hands with soap and water before and after your visit. 

Your cooperation ensures that the natural areas we protect can continue to be open for you to explore—thank you! 


We are always looking for volunteers who are excited to help with our stewardship efforts. You can learn more about our volunteer opportunities by visiting our volunteer information page.

Sign up for our E-news!

Receive the latest West Michigan conservation news, events and volunteer opportunities in your inbox.
* = required field