Trails
Chippewa Nature Center

TRAIL MAP

Open every day from dawn-to-dark, you’re invited to enjoy 19 miles of trails on foot, snowshoes or cross-country skis through 1,500 acres of diverse ecosystems. Get out on the trails to take in spectacular views of the natural world while observing the plants and animals that call this area home.

Chippewa Nature Center trail map

Download Trail Map & Visitor Guide

For the safety and enjoyment of all visitors and wildlife, CNC does not allow bikes (except Chippewa Trail), ORVs,
dogs, smoking, fires, alcohol, picking or collecting. Pets are not allowed on Chippewa Nature Center property.

Do not venture out onto ponds or rivers as ice conditions are not safe.

 

TRAIL CONDITIONS

3/8/24 – The River Trail from the Arboretum to the Oxbow is now open.

3/5/24 – Due to forestry mowing, the River Trail is closed from the Arboretum to the Oxbow until further notice.

2/5/24 – All trails are now open. There are some muddy spots, but most are easily passable.

1/31/24 – Due to flooding and ice on the trails, the following trails are closed: River Trail, portions of Field Trail, portions of Wood Duck Trail, and portions of Sugarbush Trail. Please follow signage posted on the trails.

1/28/24 - Due to flooding and poor trail conditions, the River Trail and Field Trail are closed.

1/23/24 - The Visitor Center will close at 1 pm today, Tuesday, January 23, 2024. Trails and parking lots will remain open until dark.

1/15/24 - Update #2: Trails are open for use! However, the River Trail from the Arboretum to the Oxbow Causeway will remain closed for the week for forestry mowing to allow for invasive exotic tree and shrub removal. Sections of the River Trail, Homestead Trail and Chippewa Trail have been groomed for cross-country skiing. Since the stretch of the River Trail from the Arboretum to the Oxbow Causeway will be closed for the week, skiers will be rerouted down the Homestead Trail.

1/15/24 - Update #1: Currently, the only open trail is the Arbury Trail. We will let you know as different trails are opened back up. However, the River Trail from the Arboretum to the Oxbow Causeway will remain closed for the week for forestry mowing to allow for invasive exotic tree and shrub removal. As we can, we will also attempt to groom the Chippewa, River and Homestead Trails for skiing. Since the stretch of the River Trail from the Arboretum to the Oxbow Causeway will be closed for the week, we will not groom that portion but reroute skiers down the Homestead Trail instead.

1/14/24: Due to a power outage and tree limbs continuing to be a safety hazard, CNC Visitor Center and trails are closed today, Sunday, January 14, 2024.

1/13/24: Due to inclement weather, CNC trails and Visitor Center are closed today, Saturday, January 13, 2024.

CNC TRAILS

ARBORETUM TRAIL:

Trail surface includes grass and mulch; flat terrain; 0.7 miles

The Howard L. Garrett Arboretum showcases a wide variety of Michigan trees and shrubs with wildflowers and native grasses interspersed.

View a detailed map of the various species found in the Arboretum


ARBURY TRAIL:

Paved trail; flat terrain; 0.4 miles

Perfect for a quick sampling of the diverse ecosystems found at CNC, this trail will take you across a pond, through a pine and hardwood forest, to an overlook on the Pine River and along the edge of a meadow. Benches are placed throughout trail to take a break or observe wildlife.

Picture Book Pathway

As you walk Arbury Trail, pause at each post to read a story as you stroll. If you have children with you, encourage them to recognize letters, sound out words or look for elements of the stor in the world around them. Stories will change with each season, so stop back often!


CHIPPEWA TRAIL:

Paved trail; bikes welcome; 3.5 miles

This non-motorize trail welcomes walkers, runners, bicyclists and in-line skaters to explore nature at their own pace. Interpretive stops tell the story of this unique landscape. Benches are placed throughout trail to take a break or observe wildlife. This is the only CNC trail where bikes are allowed.

Donors who supported construction of the Chippewa Trail

Donate to the Chippewa Trail Maintenance Endowment Fund to help support maintenance of this trail


FIELD TRAIL:

Trail surface includes grass and dirt, flat terrain; 1.0 miles

Travel along and through one of CNC’s largest open meadows showcasing a diversity of native wildflowers and grasses that provide habitat for a variety of birds and butterflies.


MEADOW MOUSE TRAIL:

Trail surface includes grass and dirt, flat terrain; 0.7 miles

View diverse meadows, catch a glimpse of the Pine River and listen for birds living in a variety of ecosystems. Access this trail from Arbury Trail.


RIVER TRAIL:

Trail surface includes dirt, gravel, mulch and grass; small hills; 3.0 miles

CNC’s signature trail offers opportunities to view the Chippewa River, explore ponds, pass through forests and skirt meadows.


SUGARBUSH TRAIL:

Trail surface includes dirt, grass and gravel; small hills; 0.6 miles

This short loop is filled with life – both in the mature beech maple forest and in Six Island and Peepers Ponds, each with its own observation dock.


WOOD DUCK TRAIL:

Trail surface includes dirt, grass, and gravel; flat terrain; 1.4 miles

Crossing through the Homestead Farm, this trail leads to Wood Duck Pond where turtles, muskrats, beavers, herons and woodpeckers make their homes. An overlook gives you an elevated view of the area.


RIDGE TRAIL:

Trail surface includes dirt, grass, and gravel; small hills; 0.9 miles

alk along the ridge of an ancient sand dune and discover pockets of wildflowers, a hidden wetland and mature forests. Start from the parking lot off Grey Road or the Chippewa Trail.


RIVER POINT TRAIL:

Trail surface includes grass, dirt, gravel and board walk surfaces; flat terrain; 1.5 miles

Accessed from the parking lot at the end of Hubert Road, a short walk through a field reveals hemlock and cedar forests bordered by the Chippewa River.


WETLANDS TRAIL:

Trail surface includes grass, dirt and gravel; flat terrain; 1.7 miles

Explore three mitigated wetlands and the upland grasslands between them. The trail includes access to a two-story accessible observation tower, two docks and a boardwalk.