The western shore of the Reserve, along Admiralty Inlet, is an eight-mile strip of narrow beach that gives way to dramatic bluffs and low ravines. The elevation ranges from seal level to just over 200 feet. Many of the bluffs are sparsely vegetated, relatively unstable, and constantly eroding. Access to the fragile bluffs is limited to a trail that runs through State Park property along the crest of the bluff, meeting The Nature Conservancy property and then NPS lands. Please stay on the trail to prevent erosion from occurring.
Three large natural prairies cover over 5000 acres of the Reserve. These prairies formed over 13,000 years ago by the receding glaciers. All are defined by ridges that embrace the rich fertile soils, an especially valuable resource. About one-third of the prairie lands are planted in squash, grains, forage, seed and feed crops. The remainder are a mixture of wetlands, pastures, woodlands, and farmsteads. Together these features form a cohesive character area, one that holds the telling physical remnants of human history-old fence lines, hedgerows, orchards, field patterns, weathered barns, and historic farmhouses.