WHITE CLOUD, Mich. (Michigan Back Roads) – The Loda Wildflower Sanctuary is the only wildflower sanctuary in a National Forest. Through more than 70 acres and a hiking trail of about 1 1/2 miles, you can discover a sampling of wildflower plants that used to cover much of lower Michigan.

More than 200 plants have been identified and you can find them easily by following the trail map brochures that are provided near the trail head.

MORE NEWS: Michigan-based Dow to Cut 2,000 Employees from Workforce

In addition to the wildflowers, there are birds galore. The wildflower sanctuary also has a bird checklist available that shows more than 120 varieties of birds to be found in the different habitats.

The Loda Lake Wildflower Sanctuary includes a small spring-fed lake, a wetland area, a creek and marshy areas. There is an oak forest, pine plantations, and the remains of an old farm site. A gorgeous place for a quiet break or a full day. There is a picnic area and there are rustic facilities. There are no shops or services, and it is important to note that you will have to drive a gravel road to get there. The Loda Wildflower Sanctuary, inside the Manistee National Forest, is in northern Newaygo County about 6.5 miles north of White Cloud.

Directions: Use Hwy M-37 south out of Baldwin.  Take 5-Mile Road west to the intersection with Felch Ave. Turn north on Felch to the entrance road and parking lot.