112 West Bloomfield Woods
wildlife viewing |
directions and facility information
A wooden overlook along the
West Bloomfield Trail Network provides a good viewing
area of the wetlands in the adjoining nature preserve.
A permanently mounted telescope enhances viewing of
great blue heron nests.
Photo: © Phil Seng & Jonathan Schechter
Photo: © Phil Seng
it is located in a bustling suburb only 20 miles from
downtown Detroit, this beautiful 162-acre site could
easily be mistaken for northern Michigan. Rolling
hills covered with stately oak and hickory trees lead
down into bottomland forest and wetland areas. In
the spring, there are great carpets of white trillium
and yellow trout lilies. The site is also home to
large black walnut trees and beautiful native dogwoods.
The nature preserve is the western trailhead of the
West Bloomfield Trail Network, a 4.25-mile rails-to-trails
project that meanders through areas of wildflowers,
wetlands, woodlands, and residential communities.
Bicycles are allowed on the trail network only.
Photo: © Jonathan Schechter
The primary attraction of this site is
the active great blue heron rookery, which is easily
visible near the west end of the trail network. The
rookery overlook features a permanently mounted telescope
for close-up viewing of approximately 100 great blue
heron nests. Courtship begins in March and the nesting
activity continues until the young leave the nesting
area in early July. A 2.5-mile trail (1/2 mile of
which is barrier free) wanders through the glacially
sculpted hills and valleys of the nature preserve,
which is frequented by over 100 bird species, white-tail
deer, red fox, coyote, and weasels. Sightings of soaring
turkey vultures, red-tailed hawks, and osprey are
no longer rare.