Park reviews: Douglas Evans Nature Preserve

Nick Skinner

photo by Nick Skinner

The center of the Douglas Evans Nature preserve, on November 6, hosts a beautiful field with diverse species of tall grass and wildflowers. In the fall and summer, it makes for magnificent photographs.


I went further down the trail, convinced I was hundreds of miles from the nearest person. The streams, birds, and wind were quickly replaced by barking dogs and roaring cars. It reminded me of hiking in the Rocky Mountains, many miles from the nearest town, but I was only a three-minute drive from Groves. Located in our own backyard, Douglas Evans Nature Preserve is an 18-acre park owned by the village of Beverly Hills. Its facilities are next to none with no bathrooms, staff, or public structures. The parking is very limited and there are at most ten parking spots. All of this makes the park more enjoyable, it is never crowded and always very quiet. This park is for those looking to get away in nature on a hike or perhaps a picnic. There's a large field in the middle of the park that not only offers beautiful views when it's overgrown in the summer but also as an activity field when it's clear cut in the winter and spring. People walking their dogs are an extremely common sight at the park but are allowed only when they're on a leash.

photo by Nick Skinner

The grand entrance to the park is a large paved bridge which gives a very wide view of the river. While this bridge is paved the trials are quite rugged.

photo by Nick Skinner

During the fall the park is filled with the vibrant colors of the changing leaves. It would be a great background for senior photos.


The main attraction of the preserve is definitely its two-mile loop trail, which winds through a dense forest. The rouge river runs through the park and only adds to the beautiful views of the park. The park is big enough to give the feeling of truly being in nature but it’s only a short drive away. The trails are rugged, and while the dirt has been packed down from use, there are still many roots and stumps that can cause a broken ankle if you're not careful. The trails aren’t marked well so it's easy to get lost in the winter and fall when the path is covered in snow or leaves. All this can be great training if you plan on going backpacking or on rugged hikes out west. The trails are not handicap accessible and while not very difficult, hikers should still be vigilant for stumps and roots on the trail. It is very easy to socially distance at the park as the trails are wide enough to safely pass someone by. The park doesn't get a lot of traffic making it a good hiking option for the pandemic.

photo by Nick Skinner

Located only 5 minutes away from Groves, the Douglas Evans Nature preserve offers a fun getaway from the stress of school. The park’s official sign bears an adorable drawing of a raccoon, one of the many examples of wildlife found at the park.

photo by Nick Skinner

In the summertime, the river runs quite high compared to the other seasons making it a fun destination for swimming and fishing.


I had a very pleasant experience of hiking at the preserve with my family, it served as a wonderful getaway from being quarantined in a house. In the warmer months, it also makes for a nice place to run through while training for upcoming athletic seasons. Overall I would go back to the Douglas Evans Nature Preserve to run and hike because of its beautiful scenery, lack of crowds, and nice trails.

photo by Nick Skinner

The trails of the preserve are mostly dirt that has been packed down from use. It's still important to be cautious of the many tripping hazards such as roots and stumps that are often in the middle of the path. This can be especially dangerous in the fall with the leaves obscuring the obstacles.

photo by Nick Skinner

The park is host to a wide variety of species of wildflowers, tall grasses, and trees making it a wonderful place for nature lovers.

photo by Nick Skinner

Running through most of the park is the Rogue River, the most prominent feature of the park. The relaxing sounds offer a nice background noise for hikers and the winding river adds to the scenery.

photo by Nick Skinner

The dense forests of the preserve and their fall colors offer a fresh getaway from quarantine and the indoors.

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The Scriptor | Newspaper at Groves High School | 20300 W. 13 Mile Road, Beverly Hills, MI 48025