Anna Wilcox and Harold Warnes Memorial Nature Sanctuary was originally part of a 160-acre land-grant awarded to David Wilcox by President Andrew Jackson in 1833. Used primarily for farming corn and wheat by Wilcox, he later passed it down to his granddaughter Anna, who became the joint tenant with Harold Warnes, who had worked on the Wilcox farm since 1912. Refusing several offers from land speculators throughout their ownership, Wilcox and Warnes decided to donate the 44-acre property to the MNA in 1975, which was originally named the Wilcox Sanctuary. Following the death of Warnes in 1976, MNA renamed it Wilcox Warnes Memorial Nature Sanctuary.
One mile of trail takes visitors through a forest that supports an array of trees and wildflowers. Massive tulip trees and bottle gentian highlight the diversity of vegetative species present within the sanctuary.
The clear stream that runs through the southern part of the forest is also home to inhabitants of the sanctuary; the brightly colored Laura’s clubtail dragonfly is one of the species that relies on the high-quality water that the stream provides. The monkeyflower, which requires moist soil or even shallow water, also thrive in the marsh habitat.
Many wild turkeys and the occasional great horned owl are seen throughout the sanctuary. Visitors with a keen eye may be able to spot warblers and finches.
The abundance of large tulip trees highlights the incredible habitat and wildlife diversity of Wilcox Warnes.
Planning Your Visit:
Autumn is the best time to see the beautiful colors of the tulip trees, but spring and summer seasons bring a show of wildflowers at Wilcox Warnes.
How to Get There:
The sanctuary is in Shelby Township in Macomb County, on Schoenherr Rd, just south of 26 Mile Road.
For additional information, contact the MNA office at (866) 223-2231.
View the Sanctuary Fact Sheet
Wilcox Warnes Nature Sanctuary Fact Sheet.pdf