Sunday, October 23, 2011

Sarett Nature Center

The Sarett Nature Center is a great outing, not far from Kalamazoo, with trails, wildlife, water, and woods, but somehow it had been a few years since my last visit. Last week, on the way to Chicago, I couldn't resist a quick side-trip, particularly since Sarett is only 5 minutes from the I-94 + I-196 junction. (Exit 1 on I-196, then west on Red Arrow; Benton Center Road is the first right.)

The nature center had built several new structures recently: an expanded visitor center, a butterfly house, and an impressive elevated boardwalk on a trestle high in the forest.

Of course, the original attractions of the nature center were still in place: a series of trails and boardwalks through woods, marshes, fens, swamps, and fields along Cowslip creek and the St Joseph River. The habitat is great for birds and other wildlife. It's one of the few places where I've seen a Massasauga Rattlesnake. On my short walk this time, I saw plenty of birds, a leopard frog, and a couple of deer. I'd hoped to see some fringed gentian but the one plant I saw had already flowered.

Sarett Nature Center
2300 Benton Center Rd.
Benton Harbor, MI 49022

Admission $3
Free for members
Also free admission for members of the Kalamazoo Nature Center, DeGraff Nature Center, Blandford Nature Center and many others. See the ANCA Membership Reciprocal List [pdf].

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