Heading up the hill and over a small ridge, we start on a new trail set up by Suttons Bay High School student Niles Segerlind, who championed the one-mile loop as part of his Eagle Scout project. The trail is pretty much complete the day we leave. Signage and fires will be up soon, but for now we are left half guessing where the trail is. The leaves are so deep that we are almost lost in the most wonderful way.
The land had been slated for development, with up to 60 homes planned. But over the years, two different developers have tried unsuccessfully to market a housing estate. After watching the property change hands over the past decade, neighbors Ray and Jan Pezzi decided enough was enough. They purchased the 50 acres as plots became available before giving it all away in 2019 to the reserve in honor of Jan’s parents, Phyllis (merchant) and David Stites, who both grew up near Acme (their distant relatives were among the first settlers in Northport).
The Pezzis, who enjoy walking their dogs on the property, often think of those who taught them to love nature. “I think my parents would be really happy,” says Jan.
They should be; we are surrounded by nature, knowing full well that Farm Club is just up the road for a good wine, or a good read awaits us at downtown Bay Books just minutes away. It is an oasis within an oasis.