Practicing safe social distancing is an important part of life right now, but that doesn’t mean you need to stay confined to the house! Michigan’s great outdoors are beginning to show signs of Spring, and offer a perfect place to spread out and get some fresh air.
We strongly recommend that you follow all current advisories in place from state/local/federal government, and be smart when traveling outdoors. These advisories include keeping a safe social distance (6’ or more) from others, not congregating (even in outdoor spaces), and regularly washing your hands with soap and warm water for at least 20 seconds.
Augusta: Kellogg Bird Sanctuary
The grounds will be open from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. to hike their trails, offering space to maintain the CDC recommended six foot social distancing. If you are not a member, please use the green honesty box for your admission (cash only). To keep the flock safe, please do NOT bring in your own waterfowl feed, bread, etc. Sanctuary staff will be on site every day caring for the birds.
Battle Creek: Leila Arboretum
Leila Arboretum, in Battle Creek is the perfect place to “get out and spread out” during this time of social distancing. Walk your dog. Play a round of disc golf. Fly a kite. Photograph signs of spring. Run the 1-mile loop. Enjoy a picnic of carry-out food from your favorite restaurant. Wander about the 8’-20’ tree carvings in the Fantasy Forest. Walk and meditate in the Peace Labyrinth Garden. Play Pokemon Go. Join Leila Arboretum in their 85 Acre park (with free admission) and avoid feeling cooped-up by the quarantine. Make an effort to get outside each day.
Grand Rapids: Blandford Nature Center
The trails at Blandford Nature Center remain open, and Blandford hopes you continue to take advantage of them. Their trails, habitats, and green spaces offer the restorative, healing, and stress-relieving power of connecting with nature, so they encourage you to get outside!
Grand Rapids: Robinette’s
You probably know they have great cider and donuts, but did you also know that Robinette’s has some great outdoor trails? Here’s a link to their trails, which you can still enjoy while practicing social distancing. You can also still pick up or order their bread, donuts, baked goods, sandwiches, and wine while you’re there!
Hastings: Historic Charlton Park
All Parks Commission grounds, trails, and recreational areas remain open at this time for enjoying the outdoors and some fresh Michigan air. These include the Historic Charlton Park Recreation Area and Trails, McKeown Bridge Park, and Paul Henry Thornapple Trail sections. They continue to emphasize that you maintain the social distancing guidelines when using outdoor amenities and follow all CDC and Barry/Eaton District Health Department COVID-19 guidelines for preventing exposure. Please check back regularly for any updates and/or changes to operational procedures.
Hastings: Pierce Cedar Creek Institute
Pierce Cedar Creek Institute is a nature center, environmental education center, and biological field station located on 742 acres with nine miles of hiking trails located ten miles south of Hastings. The trails at Pierce Cedar Creek Institute are open for use from dawn to dusk.
Hickory Corners: Kellogg Manor House
To honor social distancing the Manor House will be closed for daily visitors until further notice, however the KBS grounds will remain open. Pick up a historical walking tour brochure on the white office doors at the Manor and enjoy the fresh air.
Statewide: Michigan State Parks
Michigan’s outdoors are here for you. The Michigan DNR encourages you to get outside, but be ‘COVID-19 smart, safe and solo.’ Although the public contact areas (restroom buildings, shooting ranges, visitor centers) at many DNR-managed facilities are temporarily closed, people are still welcome to enjoy the public outdoor areas at state parks and recreation areas, state game and wildlife areas, state forests, state trails and, of course, lakes, rivers and streams. For the duration of the COVID-19 situation, the DNR is waiving the need for the Recreation Passport for entry at state parks and other destinations. Explore things to do on the DNR’s website for inspiration; check out their YouTube channel for how-to videos; and get hunting and fishing licenses at the new license system website. Closer to home, you could soak up some sun on the back deck, walk around the block, or jog the nearest local trail. No matter how you enjoy the outdoors, the DNR urges you to practice effective “social distancing” and other measures to help stop the spread of the coronavirus and keep you, your family, and your community safe