Big. That’s the best way to describe the Harold C. Wilson Three Springs Nature Preserve. Big in size—at 515 acres it is one of the largest purchases ever by the Door County Land Trust. Big in historical significance—it has a long association with the area’s cultural past. And big in ecological importance—it preserves a key piece in a wildlife corridor that has been described as one of the premier natural landscapes of the western Great Lakes. Big and wild though it may be, the preserve is located just two miles outside of Sister Bay.
The springs and creek that meander through the property give the preserve its name, but more importantly these wetlands provide specialized habitat for plants and animals, including endangered and threatened species such as the Hine’s emerald dragonfly, dwarf lake iris and showy lady’s slipper. Perhaps the greatest value of Three Springs Nature Preserve is its location. It is a pivotal parcel in a grand landscape encompassing 17,000 acres of relatively wild, unfragmented land—from the Three Springs Preserve south to the Ridges Sanctuary and Toft Point State Natural Area in Baileys Harbor.