Nature Study Trails Logo . Outdoor Classroom

Harbor Country, Michigan



August 19, 2015
The trails received a grooming today and has a new structure, thanks to volunteer students and Coach Johnson. Take a hike and enjoy.

August 11, 12, 2015
The City of New Buffalo had a Trail Town introduction and site survey... read more.

August 1, 2015, 11:30a-1:30p
Connecting with Nature... rediscovering the Wild. Presentation and Eco-Tour by Trekkmode AKA Pat Fisher at the NB Township Public Library... read more.

July 28, 2015, 7p-9p
Trails through the Sand... exploring our Lake Border Moraine. Presentation on nearby trails by Trekkmode AKA Pat Fisher at the NB Township Public Library... read more.

June 20, 2015, 11:30a-1:30p
A Glacier Ran Through It... after the Big Thaw. Presentation and Eco-Tour by Trekkmode AKA Pat Fisher at the NB Township Public Library... read more.

March 7, 2015
The trails will be in need of spring stewardship, just thinking ahead!

March 1, 2015
An article titled "The Beauty of Lake Ice" co-featured New Buffalo and was published by Joseph Dits, an outdoor adventure writer for the South Bend Tribune. Read it HERE.

Have two dates set, Jun 20, and Aug 1, 2015, for Presentations w/ Eco-Tours sponsored by the NB Twp. Library and presented by Trekkmode AKA Pat Fisher. Stay tuned for the details. Get your trail map HERE.

April 18, 2014
Raked the trail tread behind the school to make it easy to follow the trail for Easter Weekend. The west woods trails are dry (behind the school), the east woods vernal pools and rivulets are active (wear high boots). Get your map HERE.

November 19, 2013
Took one of the 5th Grade classes on a 1-1/2 hr Nature Hike to learn about scientific observation and natural history (i.e. Ice Age 4).

November 18, 2013
Cleaned up hundreds of small twigs, a dozen trees from 2" to 8", have two new downed trees which will require HELP!

November 9, 2013
Had a good turnout today for the Trail Presentation, 6 morning and 5 afternoon, including pets. Everyone said they had wonderful time and were impressed with the trails.

October 30, 2013
Happy trails (HC News)
I would like to extend a big THANK YOU to all of the team leaders, parents, students, school staff, fire dept and other volunteers who set aside their Saturday morning to work on the NBAS Nature Study Trails. And a special thanks to our school administration and board of education for their "Outside the Box" thinking. Without their interest and ongoing efforts our new trail system could not have happened. Enjoy your new trails!

October 21, 2013
Trail Tales - NB schools push to upgrade nature area (H-P)
Few school districts can boast about having a 55-acre biology lab. But New Buffalo Area Schools are one such district…

October 16, 2013
New Buffalo man seeks to blaze an old trail at elementary school (HC News)
Self-described “trail champion” Pat Fisher wants to share his love of walking with the community, and is working with the New Buffalo Area Schools to revamp old trails and establish new ones winding through the district’s 55 acres of wetlands and forested dunes…

October 9, 2013
Galien River County Park Taking Shape (HC News)
Just off Red Arrow Highway and a short distance from Lake Michigan, an unspoiled piece of marshland and upland forest is being shaped into a park…

April 17, 2013
Plan to restore Bison Nature Trail presented (HC News)
An outdoor classroom, a cross country track, a walking path to school, a hiking trail for the community — these are all benefits a restored and expanded Bison Nature Trail could provide to the community…

March 31, 2013
Lake Michigan Beach Walk - Winter 2012-2013 / 8½x11" (1.8mb)
During the winter of 2012-2013 TrekkMode made a coastal journey from the Illinois/Indiana state line to South Haven Michigan. Day Hiked 100+ miles of the accessible Lake Michigan Coastline.

October 25,2014
Hoadley Trail, Watkins Park / 8½x11" (144kb)
Watkins Park features sand volleyball courts, baseball field, basketball court, timbertown style playground and picnic tables. There is a large pavilion with prep kitchen, bathrooms, grills, picnic tables and electricity that can be rented. Hoadley Trail was a 1-1/2 mile physical education trail including 21 workout stations (now abandoned). The trail has been updated to include a mowed loop that can be used by off-road bicycles and hikers. The wooded paths are reserved for foot traffic only, with recently added interpretive signs and trail markers.


Our Interpretive Trails and Nature Walks are a part of the Holbrook Creek Watershed (also known as Lighthouse Creek) and pass through prime examples of dune forests and interdunal wetlands. When completed, there will be over 4.5 miles of trails with markers and plaques scattered along the paths that relate to their natural history.
Remember that wetland habitats are fragile and easily damaged by human activity. It is best to visit them in small groups, and to avoid wading through areas of soft muck soils and shallows where sensitive plants may occur. Boardwalks traversing the wetlands, observation decks and stairways will be added to improve access, and to reduce human impact.

Nature Study Loop

The Nature Study Loop (1.6mi) is a series of rural, semi-primitive and primitive trails. This moderately difficult nature walk connects you with trails that pass through our Nature Study Areas and onto community greenways.

Bison Nature Trail

The Bison Nature Trail (0.4mi), our easiest trail, is located behind the school playgrounds with over 40 varieties of trees, shrubs and vines indentified. This self-guided nature tour includes several scenic viewpoints and benches along the way. This trail earned Edward Hatton, Jr. an Eagle Scout rank under the direction of Edward Hatton, Sr.[1] Most of the trail structures have survived over 20 years of SW Michigan weather.

Nature Study Trails

Our Nature Study Trails (1.2mi) have varying degrees of difficulty and pass through hardwood forests, pine groves, marshes, vernal pools, along bogs, swamps and creeks. The unfinished Marsh & Creek Trail will be physically demanding but brimming with nature.

New Buffalo Hiking Connector

The New Buffalo Hiking Connector leads to a residential section of the City of New Buffalo. It also drops you off a block from Turtle Pond Nature Preserve.

Turtle Pond Nature Preserve

The New Buffalo Turtle Pond Nature Preserve (0.15mi) is a walking trail complete with boardwalks and on site parking. The trail meanders around and over a natural pond which hosts a wide variety of wildlife.[2] Turtle Pond is only one block away from our trails.

Harbor Country Hike & Bike Trail

The Harbor Country Hike & Bike Trail project is a long-term comprehensive project to bring a network of interconnected non-motorized vehicle trails to the corner of Southwest Michigan known as Harbor Country. A marked leg of this system passes right through the NBAS Nature Study Trails.[3]


    1.) The Bison Nature trail, New Buffalo Elementary School, 1992, Edward J. Hatton, Jr., May 28, 1992
    2.) City of New Buffalo Community Parks, Recreation, Open Space, and Greenway Plan 2012-2017, City Boards and Committees, 2012
    3.) Harbor Country Hike & Bike Plan, Friends of Harbor Country Trails, 2010


Anyone who has been around me for any length of time has picked up on my enthusiasm about the natural history of Southwest Michigan and nearby Northwest Indiana; this is a direct result of my passion for hiking. I have hiked and re-hiked most of the trails and all of the shore in any kind of weather, even the “Gales of Hurricane Sandy” (my wife says I'm touched).

To find out more about the reasons behind my nature study projects, Learn @


NB Elementary School
12291 Lubke Rd
New Buffalo, MI 49117
Lat/Lon: 41.782233,-86.757151

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Direct any questions to Pat Fisher ▪ Everyday Hiker


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