Sunday, August 14, 2011

Natural Michigan part 4 (Grand Rapids)

Natural Michigan: A Nature Lover's Guide to 228 Attractions
by Tom Powers

This guidebook has over 200 pages describing natural areas throughout the state, with directions & small maps. In earlier posts, I highlighted areas near Kalamazoo and areas near the Indiana border and areas near Lansing. These areas, near Grand Rapids, are around an hour's drive from Kalamazoo.

Natural Areas near Grand Rapids

1. Aman Park

"Beautiful Sand Creek winds through the heart of the park and dominates the landscape." Trails, wildflowers, cross-country skiing.

Directions: From I-96 exit onto M-45. M-45 (Lake Michigan Avenue) about 6 miles west of Grand Rapids.
Aman Park Trail map

2. Blandford Nature Center
1715 Hillburn Ave N.W.
Grand Rapids, MI 49504
"143 acres of woodland, open fields, marsh and farmland plus ... several ponds and Brandywine Creek." Trails, visitor center.

Directions: From US 131 exit onto Leonard Street. West 3 miles on Leonard to Hillburn Avenue. North on Hillburn 1/2 mile to entrance.
Blandford Nature Center

3. DeGraaf Nature Center
600 Graafschap Road
Holland, MI 49423
"The DeGraaf Nature Center is a perfect example of the old adage, 'good things come in small packages.' Though only 15.5 acres big, the area is packed with a wwide variety of habitats and plant and animal life." Trails, wildflowers.

Directions: From Holland go south on River Avenue to Michigan Avenue. Continue southeast on Michigan to 22nd street. West on 22nd to Graafschap. South on Graafschap 1/2 mile to entrance.
DeGraaf Nature Center

4. Kitchell Dunes Preserve

"Tucked away on the north shore of the Grand River a few hundred yards from where it empties into Lake Michigan at Grand Haven, the Kitchell Dune Preserve is a living showcase for a typical Michigan dunal ecosystem, where nature patiently and efficiently changes a sandy, barren dune into a hardwood forest." Trails.

Directions: From US 31 exit west onto Van Wagoner Rd outside of Ferrysburg to 174th Street. South on 174th to North Shore Dr. West on North Shore to North Beach Rd. South on N. Beach to Berwyk. East on Berwyck to entrance.
Kitchel-Lindquist Dunes Preserve

This book seems to be out of print. Amazon and Barnes & Noble may have copies through their affiliates. I found it at my local library.

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