Loda Lake is an area that includes a small spring-fed lake, a bog-like wetland area, a creek and riparian marshy areas, oak forest, pine plantations, and an early successional old farm site. Botanist Clayton Bazuin noted, “Loda Lake is ideally suited as a wildflower sanctuary and although near one of Michigan’s busy highways, can still be a natural reservoir of wild plants. This is due to the large number of ecological associations it affords in which they may survive".
Loda Lake is the only Wildflower sanctuary in the National Forest System, a project supported both financially and botanically by the Federated Garden Clubs of Michigan for over seventy years.
Informational signs are located at several locations throughout the area, including several around the remains of the structures. A resurgence in restoring the area has led to several new native plant restoration efforts, along with the development of educational and information tools, including trail guides, maps and a teacher’s guide. With the assistance of the Garden Clubs, the Forest Service has been able to identify over 500 plant species within the Wildflower Sanctuary, as well as identifying several cultural sites and historic trails.
Wildflower tours are available. Arrangements can be made by calling the Baldwin Ranger District or by emailing the Huron-Manistee National Forests.