Michigan Trails Week is September 20-27 and the perfect excuse to get out the house and take in Mother Nature. Sign up for the Michigan Trail Challenge (it’s free!) and track your miles to earn badges and win cool prizes.
We spend a lot of time outside and exploring new trails is one our favorite activities but if we had to pick our favorites this is our top 10 list. From traditional trails to fun alternatives, here are our favorite places you can explore.
Matthai Botanical Gardens (Ann Arbor)
The nature trails at Matthaei Botanical Gardens are fun to explore. There are four routes, each highlighting different features of the 90+ acres north of the main building with plenty of bridges, water features and a barn to keep kids entertained. The grounds are free to explore.
Ford House (Dearborn)
Fair Lane was the home of Clara and Henry Ford and always reminds me of a trip through the 100 Acre Woods. The gardens and grounds are open to the public and a picture perfect place for a picnic, play date or nature walk. The grounds are free to explore.
Dequindre Cut (Detroit)
Change things up and experience the Cut. The two-mile greenway connects Eastern Market and the Detroit Riverfront. Ride your bikes or stroll along to the site and sounds of the city. Make sure you have your camera to capture the beautiful art displays at the underpasses.
Heritage Park (Farmingon)
Heritage Park is a 211-acre park with 4.5 miles of trails to explore. The Nature Discovery Trail is fun for kids to engage with (and close to the playground). When you’re up for a longer walk the Valley Trail takes you along wetlands and towards the Rouge River.
Seven Lakes State Park (Holly)
Michigan is the Great Lake State and Seven Lakes combines the Mittens notable topography – shoreline, farmland, rolling hills and forest. There are 4 designated trails that are a quarter mile to 2 miles long – perfect for little legs. An annual State Park pass is $12.
Howell Nature Center (Howell)
The trails at Howell Nature Center are on hilly terrain and more fun than a standard walk (bring the baby backpack and not the stroller). While you’re there visit the animals and the Wild Wonders Playground. Admission is $6 for adults and $4 for kids 4 and under.
Maybury State Park (Northville)
There are plenty of state parks to chose from but Maybury tops the list. The winding nature trail is easy to walk and takes you along some great fishing spots along the lake. Get in some extra steps and walk over to Maybury Farm for barnyard fun. An annual State Park pass is $12.
Paint Creek Trail (Rochester)
Paint Creek Trail is nearly 9 miles long and built along former rail road tracks. It runs through 4 townships and you can start your journey from Paint Creek Cider Mill.
Carpenter Nature Preserve (Southfield)
Carpenter Lake Nature Preserve is one of the coolest places to visit in metro Detroit. Get a Rocky Mountain experience close to home and let the kids climb on rocky terrain, hills and pathways. Afterwards, take a stroll through the nature trail (it’s stroller friendly) and make your way to the overlook onto five-acre Carpenter Lake.
West Bloomfield Nature Preserve (West Bloomfield)
The West Bloomfield Nature Preserve is 162 acres and home to a variety of animals and birds. Look, listen and learn along the trail as you follow interpretive signs and relax on the wetlands overlooks.
About Carrie Budzinski
Carrie Budzinski is the Vice President of LittleGuide Detroit. She grew up in Livonia and Detroit and continues to live life in both cities. Carrie loves exploring the city and finding hidden gems in the suburbs..