Located in Rockford, the Maas Family Preserve is home to a remnant oak-pine barrens ecosystem–a unique savanna community that supports the endangered Karner blue butterfly. The preserve is a popular stop-off point for users of the White Pine Trail, particularly in May and June when the purple lupine is in full bloom.Read More
At a Glance
- Approximate Street Address: 8748 Je-Ne-Be Dr., Rockford, MI
- Overlooking Brower Lake near Rockford, this preserve protects rare bog and oak barrens ecosystems. The land provides quality habitat for a multitude of wildlife and provides people with a quiet natural landscape for hiking and nature study.
- Trail length: 1.4 miles
- Before you visit, check out our preserve guidelines. If you have any questions, feel free to contact us.
What to See
Trails wind across the hilly preserve and lead hikers through several forest types and past a variety of wetlands, providing excellent opportunities for birding, wildlife viewing, and enjoying quiet encounters with nature. Wooden benches provide contemplative resting spots throughout the preserve.
Brower Lake Nature Preserve protects wetlands and forest in an area increasingly pressured by development. Along with a sphagnum bog and a mature oak-hickory forest, the preserve also contains remnants of an oak barrens natural community – one of Michigan’s rarest ecosystem types.
The Land Conservancy is working to restore the oak barrens on the preserve by carefully using prescribed fire and selectively thinning the dense forest canopy. Volunteers often help to remove invasive species like honeysuckle and garlic mustard that threaten the health of the oak barrens, forests, and other areas of the preserve.
Beginning in the 1800s, portions of the preserve were logged, farmed, or planted with non-native pine. Some of the natural vegetation has recovered since that time, and the Land Conservancy, through the generosity of Peter Wege and the Wege Foundation, established Brower Lake Nature Preserve in 2002.
The preserve’s establishment reflects both the Land Conservancy’s and the Wege Foundation’s commitment to include natural greenspace as part of a developing landscape.
A small parking area and trailhead are located at 8748 Je-Ne-Be Drive, Rockford, MI. Look for the preserve sign.