With the ability to still get outside during the Stay Home. Stay Safe. order, our staff have been checking out nearby outdoor spaces! We've asked each of them to document their experience -- take a look below to see where we've been exploring!
As Preserve and Volunteer Manager my job is working outdoors ensuring trails are safe and improving the habitat that surrounds those trails. The stay home to stay safe order came when spring was awakening, and it’s the time of year where my job gets to the exciting part putting the plans we’ve been thinking and writing out all winter in action and seeing the results. For the safety of the community, I happily work from home and I was thrilled to see outdoor recreation was still okay as long as we remain a safe distance from people outside our home; there are natural areas in the country that have become so crowded they needed to be shut down. Mid-Michigan is lucky to have a huge variety of natural spaces that even if one place has a full parking lot there is another spot nearby that we can explore and enjoy the sounds of spring.
I live in Mount Pleasant so I am unable to enjoy Little Forks’ trails but let’s face if I were to live closer I would totally be caught working and really when you work in nature it’s hard to stop thinking about ways to improve an area while out walking around. Mount Pleasant is home to a wide array of natural spaces from the paved network of trails in the city parks to the rustic trails in County parks and Chippewa Watershed Conservancy preserve; I am taking the time to enjoy them all!
Deerfield Nature Park is managed by Isabella county west of Mount Pleasant is 591 acres with 8 miles of trail with Chippewa River flowing through it. It is a great spot for a day hike and large enough to walk without constantly running into other users. My dog, Lola, loves walking here with all the smells, briefly running into the water before realizing how cold it is still and meeting some other pups on the trail!
Chippewa Watershed Conservancy has 8 preserve with established trails open to the public. My two favorites are Sylvan Solace and Bundy Hill. Sylvan Solace has beautiful views of Chippewa River and great spaces for birding. Bundy Hill is the highest point in Isabella County just ¼ mile above sea level. Walking up the hill side has very neat ridges and rock formations.
I am lucky to live a stone’s throw away from the Mount Pleasant city parks that follow along the Chippewa River with the trail named Gregory K. Baderschneider Riverwalk Trail; it stretches from Pickard Rd better known in Midland as M-20 all the way almost to Broomfield Rd which for those unfamiliar is the southern road for CMU campus. I can simple walk out my door and walk the length of Mount Pleasant! This area is utilized for our daily walks with our dog and sometimes our cat!
Stay Healthy. Be Safe. Explore Nearby!
Preserves & Volunteers Manager