This 110-acre Chippewa Run Natural Area, located just north of the Village of Empire, is a beautiful reserve containing a diversity of habitats. Visitors are encouraged to hike along an easy trail with boardwalks over wetlands and benches placed along the way. This Natural Area is an undiscovered gem; great for birding, viewing wildflowers, and quietly enjoying the fall colors along the stream.
An ecological gem that serves at the “Gateway to Empire.” Years ago when a beloved parcel on the outskirts of Empire went up for sale, the community and the Leelanau Conservancy rallied to preserve this scenic buffer which protects the village’s small town character. The land takes in four separate ecosystems, and features a much-loved beaver pond and stream where brook trout spawn and where blue flag iris and cardinal flower grow in abundance. Chippewa Run is a birding paradise where dozens of species visit or live, including green herons which nest in the pine tree grove that was planted in 1953.