The Great Outdoors is Open for Business

Photo By
Emerson Ward

One place that’s not closing its doors during this period is nature! That’s right, the great outdoors has decided to bloom for us in our time of need. In fact, Michigan’s Department of Recreation (DNR) has waived the need for the recreation passport to access state parks, trails, and forests. While getting outside is permitted under Governor Whitmer’s directive, we do remind you to keep your distance and use your best judgment. Give your fellow hikers or bikers a wave instead of a high-five at these awesome places: 

  • Explore 820 acres of nature as you bike through Dr. T.K. Lawless Park. The 10-mile bike trail provides a soothing ride with scenery including fields, trees, and a swamp. 
  • Yankee Spring State Recreation Area provides mountain biking trails up to 12 miles. Gaze over the water of nine different lakes that welcome fishing and beach visits. 
  • Boasting 55 miles of interconnected trail, the Portage Bikeway provides routes through the Celery Flats, Bishops Bog Preserve, and Portage’s retail area.  
  • Enjoy a woodsy bike ride and take in the wetlands that attract mallards and blue and green herons at the Herbert Road Nature Preserve.
  • Offering visitors a recreational ride around the expanded 2.7-mile trail Texas Drive Park provides a beautiful path to walk, jog, run, skip, hop, or bike!
  • As the weather warms up there’s nothing quite as refreshing as spending a day on the Kal-Haven Trail followed by a cool-off in Lake Michigan.
  • Comprised of 140 acres of marsh, meadow, pine plantation, and second-growth forest Kalamazoo College’s Lillian Anderson Arboretum welcomes all! 
  • With a focus on environmental education, the Sarett Nature Center will give you a sense of community as you embark on your next hike through its 8-mile trail.
  • One of the most popular parks in Cass County, Michigan Fred Russ Forest Park sits within the 580-acre Fred Russ research forest and provides hikers with an opportunity to enjoy the area’s history.
  • Relax with a hike through sand dunes of the Lake Michigan shoreline at Grand Mere State Park. Beautiful views incorporate undeveloped areas of three inland lakes.
  • Roam the trails of Madeline Bertrand County Park, located along the St. Joseph River. Hikers can enjoy the calm atmosphere of pine and oak forests.
  • Sand dunes attract regional tourists to Van Buren State Park‘s wooded trails and beachy park.
  • A railroad corridor turned paved trail navigates through dense woodlands at the Vicksburg Trailway. The trail also passes through the Vicksburg Recreation Area and connects to the Village of Vicksburg neighborhoods.
  • Refresh with the greenery of Ott Biological Preserve considered to be Calhoun County’s “hidden gem.”
  • Trails meander past agricultural and historical interest points at Scotts Mill County Park, first settled in 1836. 

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