Saturday, June 4, 10am EDT
Protecting Biodiversity
Leonard Wildlife Preserve
Union Pier, Mich.

On the Hikers’ next adventure, Alex Florian, Invasive Species Coordinator for SWxSW Corner CISMA, will be talking about how invasive plants impact pollinators and other plants. A list of native plant resources will be available along with tips on how we Hikers can stop invasive species in our tracks. This hike venue will be new and interesting, one you’re sure to enjoy. Edward and Elizabeth Leonard Wildlife Preserve protects 108 acres along Lakeside Rd. in Chikaming Township. The property, owned by Chikaming Open Lands, consists of woodlands, wetlands and agricultural land. Some of the property is still in production today. The northern third of the preserve has not been farmed since at least the 1930s (if ever), and this has allowed a mature forest to develop with trees that could be over 100 years old. Wear long pants (preferably tucked in), a sun hat, sturdy shoes or boots and insect repellent, and bring plenty of water. Depending on the weather, there may be some muddy areas. The Hikers observes federal and state Covid guidelines. Face masks are currently optional.

Directions: Leonard Wildlife Preserve is at 15800 Lakeside Rd. in Union Pier, Mich. From Red Arrow Highway, head east on Warren Woods Rd. to the stop sign at Lakeside Rd. Turn right onto Lakeside Rd and watch for the preserve entrance on your right after about 0.4 mi. (before the I94 overpass). GPS: 41.832532, -86.668521 (DD).
Estimated Presentation Time: 15 min.
Estimated Total Time: 2 hrs.
Hiking Distance: 1.75 mi.
Physical Difficulty: Moderate
Pre-Hike Remarks: Alex Florian, Invasive Species Coordinator, CISMA
Hike Leader: Pat Fisher, President, Harbor Country Hikers

An all-terrain rollator is available on a first-come, first-served basis by emailing

Flash Hikes

The Hikers holds occasional Flash Hikes evenings, while it’s light out, and weekends when there are no scheduled HCH events. These hikes have no theme, no leader–just a walk in the woods with like-minded people.

The only notification of Flash Hikes will be by email to our list of members and others who’ve signed up for email notices of Hiker activities, and the emails announcing the Flash Hikes will go out two or three days beforehand. If you’re not on our email list and would like to be, send your address to As always, we look forward to hiking with you.

About Dogs…

Harbor Country Hikers welcomes dogs on our hikes, as long as they’re well-behaved and on leashes. Those who manage some of the trails we hike may feel otherwise, however, and they have the final word. Check with them before you bring the pooch. Chikaming Open Lands allows dogs in its preserves, as do the state parks. Chikaming Township Parks allow dogs. Berrien County Parks do not, nor do the New Buffalo Schools Nature Study Trails. Fernwood generally doesn’t, either, except on special occasions. The Dunes National Park generally allows dogs.

Other Hiking and Related Activities

Fernwood Botanical Garden and Nature Preserve–At 13988 Range Line Rd. in Niles, Mich., Fernwood and its trails are currently open Tuesday-Saturday, 10am-5pm, and Sunday, noon-5pm. There is an admission fee for non-members.

Indiana Dunes National Park–The Indiana Dunes National Park has started charging admission. A vehicle pass, good for one to seven days, is $25. Those who come on foot, by boat or by bike are charged $15, up to $25 per family. A motorcycle pass costs $20, and an annual pass goes for $45. Passes are available at several park locations, and the park hopes to make them available at some retail businesses near the Dunes as well. The Dunes National Park says the admission fees will help pay for the Marquette Greenway bike trail and infrastructure improvement.

Alternatively, you can pick up passes good at any national park. An annual pass costs $80 and is available to anyone. A similar pass for active military, veterans and Gold Star Family members is free. Seniors, anyone 62 or over, can pick up an annual pass for $20 or a lifetime pass for $80. For information about national passes, visit

Indiana Dunes State Park
Call 219-926-1390 for information about park activities.