Bernard W. Baker Sanctuary

21145 15 Mile Rd., Bellevue, MI 49021
Michigan Audubon Society's first sanctuary and remains one of the largest. Established in 1941 primarily for the protection of Greater Sandhill Cranes and their nesting and migration-staging habitat, the refuge has made a significant contribution in restoring Michigan's crane population. In recent years, more than 5,000 Sandhill Cranes have been recorded at Baker Sanctuary on a single October day and as many as 13 pair of cranes have nested there in the spring. Access to certain areas of the Sanctuary is restricted. A resident manager coordinates crane viewing at the Kiwanis Youth Area, adjacent to the sanctuary, Saturday and Sunday each weekend in October from 4pm-7pm, and hosts Crane Fest the second full weekend in October each year. The sanctuary contains nearly 900 acres of varied habitat and more than 200 bird species have been recorded at Baker Sanctuary. In recent years, three prairie restoration projects and a wetland restoration have taken place on the meadow and marshland trail off 15 Mile Road. Several geo-caches have been established as well. Pets on leashes are permitted (meadow and marshland trail only) as is cross country skiing (in season). Nature study, bird watching, and wildflower viewing (in season) are encouraged from dawn to dusk daily on both trails. Removal of anything is prohibited. Open daily dawn to dusk. Free admission.
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