Gull Harbor Natural Area: This protected area is along Gull Harbor Drive east of the Whiskey Point Lighthouse (Site 2 on the BIBT Map). Most of the habitat is shoreline, cedar shrub, and marshy ponds, but there are a few wooded areas behind the open areas. This is an excellent site to observe waterfowl, wading birds, shorebirds, and raptors. The area is used extensively by migrating songbirds in the spring and fall.
Whiskey Point Lighthouse: This lighthouse standing at the mouth of the harbor (Paradise Bay) is visible from almost all points in St. James and is an easy walk or bike ride from the Community Center (Site 2 on the BIBT Map). Cliff Swallows nest at the lighthouse, and there is access to the shoreline that forms the entrance to Paradise Bay for observing shorebirds and waterfowl.
Barney’s Lake Preserve: This natural area surrounding Barney’s Lake on all but the south side is managed by the Little Traverse Conservancy (Site 12 on the BIBT Map). There is a parking lot across the road from the lake with a display of a map of the east trail system of the preserve. Common Loons have nested on the lake, and Bald Eagles, Ospreys, and Caspian Terns are often seen flying over the lake. Various sandpipers, Soras, and American Bitterns have been observed along the marshy areas of the shoreline. American Woodcocks can be found along the trails above the lake, and the combination of shrubby and woodland habitats above the lake attracts many species of songbirds.
Board the shuttle for this trip at the BIC Center. You’ll return there at the conclusion just in time for lunch. Options include the Concession Stand at the BIC Center, the Harbour Bodega and the Shamrock (both nearby) or Dalwhinnie’s Deli (about a 20 minute walk towards the Whiskey Point Lighthouse).
Please note our cancellation policy: Cancellations made by 5:00 p.m. on April 15, 2022 will receive a 50% refund. No refunds will be made for cancellations after that time.
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