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Hikers enjoy a day at Hidden Marsh Sanctuary

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For about an hour Thursday, the shade of a heavily wooded property just outside Three Rivers provided respite from an uncomfortably hot day.

Nearly a dozen people enjoyed the monthly social hike, sponsored by the Southwest Michigan Land Conservancy at its 38-acre Hidden Swamp Sanctuary.

The property is on the east side of Buckhorn Road just north of East Hoffman Street in Lockport Township.

Miko Dargitz, who helped coordinate the event on behalf of SWMLC, said the Galesburg-based agency loves giving the public the chance to experience one of its 17 properties.

“We try to do a social hike monthly all year round, so we try to stay closer to Kalamazoo during the winter months because that’s where most of our participants come from,” he said. she declared. “During the warmer months, however, we try to venture outside a bit to introduce people to some reservations they may not have been to before. That’s why we’re here today.

Dargitz said that to his knowledge, Thursday’s two-thirds-mile hike was the first SWMLC-coordinated social walk on the property.

Easy-to-walk trails took participants through a thick canopy of trees, offered scenic views of the Portage River and Hoffman’s Pond, provided glimpses of wildlife and waterfowl, and also delivered remnants of the property’s sole use as a strawberry farm in the late 1800s.

“Today’s hike is not designed to point out various nature-related things, rather it’s to introduce people to the reserve,” Dargitz said. “There are people who might not be comfortable walking alone, so it’s a good opportunity for those people to have a group to walk and experience it with like-minded people. ideas.”

Dargitz said she’s explored the Hidden Marsh Sanctuary in the past and said its water views are hard to beat.

“There’s a great view right next to our property, that’s one of the many special things about this place,” she said, adding that the trail system is easy to follow and tree roots that could be potential tripping hazards are well marked.

More information about the agency, its properties and its various activities can be found at www.swmlc.org.

Miko Dargitz of the Southwest Michigan Land Conservancy led a hike Thursday at the Hidden March Sanctuary as part of the agency's monthly Social Hike event.  The Three Rivers area property was SWMLC's featured parcel in June.