This 110-acre Chippewa Run Natural Area just north of the Village of Empire has easy terrain and a diversity of habitats. The trail has boardwalks over wetlands and benches along the trail. The natural area is great for birding, viewing wildflowers, and enjoying the fall colors along the stream.
The stream that runs through the property flows into South Bar Lake. Historically the Chippewa Indians were known to hunt and fish along these shores. Settlers who later came to the area planted fruit trees here. Cherry stumps in the old meadow and an old apple orchard north of the creek are evidence of this.
The natural area is located less than a mile north of the intersection of M-72 and M-22 in Empire. The main entrance and parking is on the northwest (left) side of M-22, just south of the creek. If the parking lot is not plowed in the winter, turn onto LaCore street as if heading toward the Empire Museum. Then turn right on Fisher Street and follow signs to recycling bins. Park in the recycling area. The trails can also be accessed from the end of W Fisher Street, along the preserve's western boundary