Maxton Plains - Drummond Is., Michigan

The "Gem of Lake Huron" - 


maxton plainsA very rare natural feature occurs on Drummond Island, known locally as the Maxton Plains. This flatland area is a unique grassland, called an alvar. Alvars are extremely rare plant communities existing on limestone bedrock. Alvars are only found in partss of Canada, the United States and Sweden.

These plains are grasslands growing on very thin soil consisting of bulrush sedge and ragwort, prairie dropseed, prairie smoke, and Indian paintbrush. There are even fields of Prairie Smoke sprouting up through the cracks in the rocks. Another unusual feature of alvars is that trees tend to grow in straight lines following the soil filled cracks in the bed rock.

The Maxton Plains on Drummond Island are some of the largest remaining in North America at about 2 miles by 4 miles. The interpretive signs will enrich the experience.