Dow Gardens | @calvinmarteen
Dow Gardens | @nrupalikulkarni
Be Surrounded By
Spring Buds + Blooms

No spring trip here would be complete without an afternoon spent in Midland's Dow Gardens, and on the country's longest canopy walk that winds through its Whiting Forest.

Midland

Explore 110 acres of botanicals, tranquil water features, and architectural bridges — with over 22,000 flowering bulbs in spring and more than 35,000 annuals in spring and summer! Manicured lawns throughout the grounds make this the perfect spot for an afternoon picnic amidst all the eye-candy.

Read More +
Midland

Situated within Dow Gardens, you'll find Whiting Forest and the country's longest canopy walk — 1,400 feet long, 40 feet above the forest floor, and fully ADA-accessible. Stretch out in a giant cargo net tucked high in a grove of spruces and let the magnitude wash over you on a glass-floored platform, four stories above an orchard!

Read More +
Midland

One of the largest private, non-profit nature centers in the country, Chippewa Nature Center spans 1,200 acres of wetlands and woodlands, with 19 miles of trails and an observation tower for spectacular views. Enjoy two river overlooks, explore the Arboretum's 100+ species of Michigan-native trees and shrubs, and marvel at the Oxbow's woods and wildlife.

Read More +
Tobico Marsh | @baycitymilove
Take In Breathtaking
Wetlands
+ Freshwaters

Touted as one of Michigan's best state parks, Bay City State Park and its Tobico Marsh deserve an entire uninterrupted day of exploration.

Bay City

Offering almost a mile of natural Saginaw Bay shoreline along the Lake Huron coast, Bay City State Park beckons with glittering freshwaters and sandy beachfront — plus wetlands, meadows, marshes, and prairies for exploring.

Read More +
Bay City

A National Natural Landmark and one of the largest freshwater coastal wetlands left on the Great Lakes, Tobico Marsh is stunning in any season, especially spring! Hike or bike five miles of trails and make your way to its three-story towers for wildlife viewing from all-new heights.

Read More +
Multiple Cities

Stretching 142 shoreline miles, half of the Saginaw Bay Birding Trail's 40 birdwatching hotspots are here in this nature-rich region! Start from the hub at Discovery Preserve, a natural oasis in urban Bay City, and enjoy every stop from Nayanquing Point to Green Point Environmental Learning Center.

Read More +
Shiawassee NWR | @ninaneuschuetz
Shiawassee NWR | @xamberanthony
Encounter Up-Close,
Untouched Wilderness

From custom boating ecotours to an auto-tour route that winds through it, Shiawassee National Wildlife Refuge boasts ample paths to pristine beauty.

Saginaw

A U.S. Important Bird Area spanning almost 10,000 acres, Shiawassee National Wildlife Refuge draws over 270 species of birds and peak spring waterfowl populations close to 20,000! Enjoy four trails and three wildlife observation decks, two with spotting scopes.

Read More +
Saginaw

Offering guided ecotours through the "Everglades of Michigan" — nearly 10,000 acres of Shiawassee National Wildlife Refuge — Johnny Panther Quests are a must-experience here. Witness abundant waterfowl and wildlife sightings, all aboard a shallow-draft boat, and alongside your expert local guide.

Read More +
Dow Gardens
Dow Gardens
Venture Out For
Uninterrupted Miles

Cruising together slowly on tandems or running its most scenic stretches: the Great Lakes Bay Regional Trail serves up unparalleled views at every bend.

Multiple Cities

An almost-100-mile trail system — that's also part of the longest designated state trail in the nation, the Iron Belle — the Great Lakes Bay Regional Trail provides unbeatable hiking, biking, and birding. Sample its three main trail legs, then branch off to many smaller ones that intertwine!

Read More +
Frankenmuth

Enjoy this sprawling aerial ropes course and combined ziplining adventure, designed to give all ages seven on up a thrilling experience in the trees. Consider a twilight climb to experience each challenge illuminated at dusk!

Read More +
Bay City + Frankenmuth

Book these custom-built, eight- to 15-person trolleys — in either Frankenmuth or Bay City — and pedal off into the sunset, surrounded by beauty. Don't have enough riders to rent the whole trolley? Try Frankenmuth's smaller Circle Cruiser for crews of four to six!

Read More +
Author
Blair Cook

A Great Lakes Bay native, Blair is the Founder at Brandscape — a boutique creative company specializing in content. Her favorite part? Sharing stories about the Pure Michigan places she loves!