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Wildcat Falls Community Forest Already Expanding Less Than a Year After Establishment

Northwoods Alliance

Wildcat Falls Community Forest is 160-acres tucked away in the midst of the Ottawa National Forest northwest of Watersmeet, Michigan.

It features a waterfall, unique geological features and old growth forest.

It took the Northwoods Alliance 10 years to get the parcel of land protected.

The land got the Community Forest designation last September and it’s already expanding.

Northwoods Alliance Acting Director Joe Hovel said the 40 acres they recently acquired holds a pond that directly feeds into the stream above the waterfall and is key to maintain water quality.

“We felt it was extremely important to protect water quality at any opportunity that we have. This particular creek is a rather short branch of headwaters, and this is literally part of it,” said Hovel. “It is a trout stream and protecting water and providing the proper habitat for trout and all the other small non-consequential critters that are in the creek is very important to us.”

There’s a three-quarter of a mile trail that takes people to the falls.

But even without major trail development, Hovel says the area is fairly easy to navigate.

“Between the developing old growth hemlock and cedar and the waterfall, and the rock outcrops and so forth. There’s a lot of really wonderful ecological features compacted into a small area,” said Hovel.

Hovel says the Northwoods Alliance is always open to expanding the Wildcat Falls Community Forest if the opportunity arises.

You can learn more about the community forest on the Northwoods Alliance website.

Katie Thoresen is WXPR's News Director/Vice President.
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