Location: Midland, Michigan
With 1,500 acres of diverse habitat and 19 miles of trail, Midland’s Chippewa Nature Center is the perfect place to spend quality time in nature.
The idea of the Chippewa Nature center began in 1963. The president of the Midland Nature Club, Howard Garrett, appointed a committee and asked them to consider establishing a nature center near Midland, Michigan.
Two years later, the Dow Foundation stepped in and reserved 198 acres of their land at the Pine and Chippewa Rivers. This land was set aside for the new nature center, beginning what is now known as the Chippewa Nature Center.
The hiking trails range from 0.4 miles to 3.5 miles, and offer connecting loops for longer distance hikes. We decided to hike the River Trail (blue, 3 miles) and the Arbury Trail (yellow, 0.4 miles).
The River Trail is an easy, mostly flat trail consisting of dirt (my favorite) and grass. We hiked through wooded pines, by wetlands, and along the Chippewa River. Our wildlife views were limited but from what the workers told us, this particular trail has many opportunities for seeing the diverse wildlife that exists within the center.
Our most interesting encounter was passing by an area known as Six Island Pond. We saw a dozen or so turtles resting on fallen trees and taking in the sun.
The Arbury Trail had a lot less diversity. It was paved and took us through a mini pine forest.
In the winter time the trails are open to snowshoeing and skiing, making the center an outdoor enthusiast’s haven all year round.
Chippewa Nature Center is one of the cleanest and prettiest nature centers I have visited. The people are friendly and nature abundant. It is well worth a repeat visit.
For more information or to plan your trip, visit Chippewa Nature Center.