Eastern Region Viewing Area

LOCATION and PHOTOS

Sand tickseed.
Sand tickseed (Coreopsis lanceolata). Photo by Carolyn Henne, Manistee National Forest.

Tall blazing star.
Tall blazing star (Liatris aspera) with bumblebee. Photo by Carolyn Henne, Manistee National Forest.

Chittenden Pollinator Gardens

Forest: Huron-Manistee National Forest

District: Cadillac-Manistee Ranger District

Description: Many beautiful areas on the Manistee National Forest offer excellent opportunities to view wildflowers. Some of the areas that could be explored for interesting plants include the dunes along Lake Michigan, coastal plain marshes, northern mesic hardwoods, jack pine barrens, and a multitude of riparian corridors. Native pollinator gardens are being planted at Chittenden, a former tree nursery, which will feature the native grasses and wildflowers characteristic of jack pine barrens. The flowerbeds in front of the Conifers conference building offer the opportunity to see individual plants labeled with their common and scientific names. A short walk away the same species are planted in a more natural setting. Chittenden was previously a tree nursery that had been left fallow for many years. The nursery beds are being planted with native grasses and wildflowers typical of healthy jack pine barren communities. Seed from the fields at Chittenden will eventually be used to restore jack pine barrens throughout the Manistee National Forest.

Viewing Information: Twenty-six species of native grasses and wildflowers characteristic of jack pine barrens are present in a relatively small area. The chances of finding something in bloom are good throughout early summer through late fall, but July and August offer peak flower viewing opportunities. Many pollinators can also be found visiting wildflowers in the area, including monarchs and other butterflies, bumblebees, moths, and hummingbirds.

Directions: Chittenden is located just east of Wellston, on the south side of M-55, from Manistee, drive east on M-55, through. Chittenden is located just before Wellston, on the south side of M-55, from Cadillac, drive west on M-55.

Ownership and Management: U.S. Forest Service, Huron-Manistee National Forest, Cadillac-Manistee Ranger District.

Closest town: Wellston, Michigan.