Just past Welke's airport, 1/8 of a mile, on the left hand side of the road the Little Sand Bay Nature Conservancy. This is a very, very special place for the islanders. Here is one of the few spots that progress hasn't touched and there are several plants that are on the threatened and/or endangered list. Wild flowers bloom profusely here and the sugar sand beach and shallow water make it a fun swimming place for families with young children. You can't drive down, but there is a parking area and a footpath down to the beach.
On November 22nd, we hiked down to Little Sand Bay to see what was left of an old shipwreck. Parking the car, we followed the wooded trail, ending up at the southern end of Little Sand Bay. Along the way, we crossed tiny creeks and running springs making it very hard to believe this was the end of November. We could still see the reminders of the tornado of November 1997 in the forest.....whole trees uprooted.
The extremely low level of Lake Michigan gave us new views of one of our favorite beaches.
Not much remains of the old shipwreck, but it's easy to see from the exposed, broken ribs and keel that this was a ship at least 100 feet long. What ship was it? How did it come to be wrecked on the shore of Beaver Island? Who was the captain? Who was the crew? These are questions that will remain unanswered allowing the visitor to fantasize about a time long past and forgotten.
To learn more about this area and the Conservancy, please check out the Island Links page.
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