MANISTEE, Mich. (Michigan News Source) – Lake Bluff Bird Sanctuary in Manistee is not only a bird sanctuary but is also home to some champion trees. Champion trees are considered the largest living of their species. Lake Bluff has a Champion Cottonwood and a Champion Sycamore Maple.

However, the tree that steals the show is a giant Sequoia. It was planted in 1948 and is now more than 100 feet tall. That makes it the biggest sequoia east of the Rocky Mountains. While not a designated champion, it is a site to behold. Sequoias out west have reached heights of 300+ feet and diameters more than 35 feet. They can have protective bark more than a foot thick that has helped some survive more than 3000 years.

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The sanctuary has a lot to offer in addition to the trees. There are multiple trails through the old farm, the orchards and along Lake Michigan. In fact, the property boasts 1500 feet of Lake Michigan shoreline and 76 acres of woodlands. One special treasure is a vernal pond, a special wetland essential to amphibians and other species.

The trails and gardens are improved by numerous plaques and signs explaining the different areas and habitats. Several points in the sanctuary are specifically designed for observing the migratory birds that flock to this area each year.

When you go, be aware that the sign at the property reads Lake Bluff Farms, not Lake Bluff Bird Sanctuary.