The Charles A. Ransom Nature Preserve has open fields and northern Michigan hardwoods. Most of the trails are over hilly terrain. From the trailhead and through most of the southeast portion of the preserve, the trail cuts through grassy meadow and along the edges of once farmed fields. The upper portion of the field provides panoramic views of western Charlevoix County, Lake Charlevoix, Lake Michigan, and on a clear day, the distant Leelanau Peninsula, North Manitou, Beaver Island, and the Fox islands.
The entrance and parking to the preserve is located off of Maple Grove Road. During the winter months, Maple Grove Road is plowed to the top of the hill and there is space to park. The trails are not groomed.