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Hiking Trails

Overview of trails

The Pine River Nature Center has more than three miles of beautiful hiking trails that explore forest, prairie and wetland habitats.
Finding your way along the trails of the Pine River Nature Center is easy. Trails are clearly marked with signs at each intersection. The 90-acre nature preserve is bound on one side by the Pine River and on the other by the CN railroad line, making it difficult to get lost.

When you visit the nature center’s trails, be prepared for the outdoors.

  • Long pants are recommended for all four seasons to keep away insects, brush and poison ivy.
  • Be sure to wear boots during winter and spring. Trails can be very wet in spring from rain and melting snow.
  • During June, July, and August, apply mosquito repellant.
  • Always bring a water bottle with you to avoid dehydration.


Make sure your visit includes Michigan’s first publicly owned universally accessible treehouse.

Begin your hike on North Ridge Trail through a forest of mature white pines

Wooden boardwalk surrounded by swamp and swamp ecosystems

Discover the 30-foot wetland boardwalk on North Ridge Trail that goes through shrub-swamp and swamp ecosystems.

Yellow and orange-red wild impatiens growing along open areas near boardwalk

Wild Impatiens (also known as Orange Jewelweed or Spotted Touch Me Not) bloom in open areas along the boardwalk during mid-summer.

Wooden bridge trail going over channels of the Pine River

Bridges on Wildflower Trail go over abandoned channels of the Pine River. 

Ostrich ferns growing along trail path

Look for Ostrich Ferns growing in low areas along the trail. 

Snow covered trail surrounded by bare winter trees

After a few inches of snow, the trails are a great place for cross-country skiing. The trails are NOT groomed, but you are welcome to forge your own path or follow another. 

A group of children and adults walk along a trail in the sunshine

During the summer, explore Prairie View Trail. The three-acre tallgrass prairie restoration area is a wonderful place to see summer wildflowers and observe grasshoppers and butterflies. 

The Pine River flowing downhill surrounded by colorful fall foliage

Pine River Way follows a half-mile section of the Pine River. During fall, the spectacular red, orange and yellow colors of tree leaves reflect in the river. 

Yellow and blue wildflowers in bloon

Black-eyed Susans and Blue Vervain bloom in summer.

Trails and treehouse availability

Open to the public daily from dawn to dusk. 

Parking lot gates are locked weekdays at 4:15 p.m. There is a small after-hours parking area.