Location: 8101 W East Rd, Three Oaks, MI 49128 Hours: None posted Pet Friendly: Dogs must be on a leash Parking: Gravel lot Restrooms: No Trail Length: 1.25 miles
Robinson Woods is one of nearly a dozen preserves protected by the Chikaming Open Lands in southwest Michigan. To get here, take Red Arrow Highway to East Rd. and head east. About a mile down the road is the small gravel lot for Robinson Woods Preserve.
Before heading off on the trail, pick up the guide from the kiosk to learn about the preserves history while you explore the trail. Be sure to return it when you are done. The trail is made up of packed dirt and easily identifiable by the QR code markers along the way. Be sure to bring your phone with you to learn more about the flora and history of the area.
On this fall hike, there were some light lake effect rain showers, and even a little snow, but the tree canopy kept me pretty dry as I wound down the trail. One of the first interesting things I saw was a pin oak tree. This is where the QR code markers helped out. Without them, I would have just thought it was an interesting tree and never known its name. It seemed everywhere I saw a tree, plant or other photo-worthy subject there was a QR code. Chikaming Open Lands did an excellent job strategically planting these markers.
Further in is a deep ravine with a creek flowing at the bottom. Scanning the QR code here I learned this creek flows into Cherry Creek which then empties into Lake Michigan at Cherry Beach. As I roamed on, I learned about pileated woodpeckers who mate for life, tulip poplar trees with tall trunks and high limbs, ground cedar whose spores were used in early photography as a flash power, hair-cap moss, the eastern white pine where barred owls like to hide out, and the Robinsons’ summer cabin that once stood in the middle of the preserve.
Robinson Woods Preserve may be a short trail but after an hour wandering the trail and learning about the area I came out of the woods with more knowledge than when I went in. Whether you are up for a Sunday stroll or want to get your kids out for a nature walk, this is great trail to explore. Even in the rain. If you are up for another short trail, look both ways, and cross the street to visit Flynn Woods.