Bruski Sink

The Bruski Sink Karst Preserve is owned and managed by the Michigan Karst Conservancy, Inc. The generous donations of Edward Bruski and members of the MKC made it possible to purchase the properties making up the preserve.

Trails policy

The objective of the Michigan Karst Conservancy is to protect karst areas in Michigan and to educate the public about the value of karst lands and the safe and proper use of these lands.

One aspect of this objective is to provide educational trails on its karst preserves. These trails are narrow footpaths that often go through wet or muddy areas; across or around rocks and boulders; and often have steep, narrow, hilly, or sideways tilted surfaces. Some cross bare rock or cross a stream on a narrow rustic bridge.

These trails are not suitable for personal assistance mobility devices such as walkers, manual or motorized wheelchairs, power scooters, golf carts, off-road or all-terrain vehicles. Use of such equipment on MKC trails is not reasonable and is likely to do damage through soil erosion, trail widening, plant and root damage, and is thus prohibited.

Visitation to MKC preserves is at the visitor's own risk. MKC normally will not have staff or volunteers or emergency phones or equipment present at a preserve. The preserves are a significant distance from emergency medical facilities. Cell phone coverage is limited or non-existent, especially in the Upper Peninsula.

Hiking the trail

The short trail follows the south and east wall of the sink and ends where a 75-ton crane was positioned to remove trash laden dumpsters from the sinkhole.

Be careful walking this trail, and do not enter the sinkhole – technical climbing skills are required to reascend. Be especially cautious with children.

Cleanup of Bruski Sink

For years Bruski Sink was used as an unauthorized trash dump. When the MKC acquired the property in 1996, the sink hole was 85 feet deep.

In 1999 MKC began cleaning the trash from the sinkhole. Using a 75-ton crane from Moran Iron Works, eight car bodies were removed from the sinkhole in the first year.

In succeeding years 10-17 MKC volunteers would descend and the crane operator would lower a dumpster into the hole where volunteers would load it.

Refrigerators, washers, dryers, and coils and coils of wire fencing were hauled out. Most disturbing were the dozens and dozens of rusting two- and five-gallon pails that contained insecticides, paint thinner and motor oil – disturbing because sinkholes are direct paths to underground water. How much of this trash ended up in the wells of area residents?

It took nine years to accomplish the clean-up of this sink – 27 feet of trash were removed. The sinkhole is now 112 feet deep.

Project 319 federal funds were used to fence the sinkhole to discourage dumping. In 2010, Leer Road was resurfaced and the intersection of Leer and Maple Lane was redesigned so that Maple Lane was moved away from the sinkhole to provide safer left and right turns onto Leer. We are very optimistic this move will provide a large buffer and further discourage dumping.