W.K. Kellogg Experimental Forest
Location: 7060 N. 42nd St., Augusta
• Daylight saving time (Second Sunday in March to the first Sunday in November): Grounds open every day 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.
• Regular time: Grounds open every day 8 a.m. to dusk.
• Office hours are 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., Mondays through Fridays.
• Grounds closed only on Christmas Day, New Year’s Day, Thanksgiving Day and Easter Sunday.
This is a good place to take a hike when you want to get away from it all. We love the covered bridge at the entrance and the stream, too. For hiking, there is a changing landscape, so this spot is not the best for younger children or strollers. The forest has one of our favorite maple sugar demonstrations that normally take place in March.
Contact W.K. Kellogg Forest for more details.
Kalamazoo Nature Center
Location: 7000 N. Westnedge Ave., Kalamazoo
Hours: 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Mondays through Saturdays, 1-5 p.m. Sundays.
Cost: $7 for adults; $6, seniors (55 plus); $4, children (4-17); free for children 3 and younger. Annual family memberships available.
We love the Kalamazoo Nature Center whether we want to go for a family walk, explore the Interpretive Center, or head over for one of their weekly story times. The interpretive center offers tanks of turtles, fish, salamanders and frogs and toads. Always a bonus is all of the buttons to push. What kid doesn’t love pushing buttons?
There are a variety of trails to hike and a trail map available to guide you along the way. Walking down to the stream is one of our favorite short hikes. We also like to visit the birds outside the main Interpretive Center. The nature trails range from 0.2 easy miles to 2.7 difficult miles.
• Interpretive center with restrooms and interactive displays
• Nature trails, some handicap/stroller accessible
• Access to and free parking for Kalamazoo River Valley Trail
Contact the Kellogg Nature Center for details.
Wolf Lake State Fish Hatchery
Location: 34270 County Road 652, Mattawan
Hours: Grounds are always open.
Visitor center hours:
• Spring and fall (March-May, September-October): 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesdays through Saturdays, noon to 4 p.m. Sundays and closed Mondays.
• Summer (June-August): 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Mondays through Saturdays, noon to 6 p.m. Sundays
• November: Open weekends through Thanksgiving and some weekdays; call ahead
• Winter (December-February): Closed except for special programs
Cost: Free admission
We loved the tour of the fish hatchery and found it interesting to both parents and kids. The fish hatchery produces a wide range of fish species that are stocked in the Great Lakes as well as inland lakes throughout the state. Make sure that you check their website for touring times. They also have free fishing days. Check the website for dates and times.
We loved to feed the fish behind the main touring outpost. You can get a free token to feed the fish if you participate in the hatchery tour. Open areas provide welcome sunshine on a cool day and beautiful views across the ponds.
• Visitor center with interactive exhibits
• Nature trails
• Show pond
• Picnic tables and benches
Contact the Wolf Lake Hatchery for more details.
Kellogg Bird Sanctuary
Location: 12685 East C Ave., Augusta
• Grounds are open every day November through April, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
• May through October, 9 a.m. to 7 p.m.
• Gift shop is open 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Mondays through Fridays, and 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays, depending on volunteers
Cost: Adults $4, senior citizens (62-plus) $3, children (2-12) $2, younger than 2 free. Annual memberships are available.
We love feeding the geese and the ducks in the pond and walking around to explore the property. There is a good walking path that is accessible with strollers. You’ll also find various birds in pens along the paths which are fun for the kids to see.
• Paved trails
• Benches and picnic tables
• Group tours available
• Resource Center gift shop
Contact the Kellogg Bird Sanctuary for more details.