wilderness arboretum, Port Austin Michigan


trail mapThe Wilderness Arboretum, in Port Austin, Michigan, is a place where the natural environment is protected for scientific and educational purposes. Back in the day, local kids call it "The Woods", where they could explore dry forests and wetlands. The Arboretum is home to all manner of native Michigan plants and animals, birds and wildflowers protected by shallow wetlands, and sandy ridges extending to the nearby beach. This beautiful nature center, has a number of easy to walk, well maintained trails, including handicapped access trails. The wilderness arboretum encompasses over 100 acres of natural beauty, convenience facilities and a Visitor Center.

The paved handicapped accessible trail is a walk into the giant oak trees and an amazing variety of wildflowers. The trail leads to one of the few dry swales found in this region, a forested ridge, and eventually, onto a boardwalk that leads to an interdunal wetland. The longer trails are mostly improved with wood chips, and will take hikers to that same dry swale and a wooded ridge habitat. These trails will also wind through moist woods and wetlands, as well as, stands of hardwoods. Boardwalks are provided in particularly wet areas. There are benches along the way where nature lovers can rest, or simply pause, to drink in the pure forest air. This type of wooded environment once covered the entire thumb.

If all this weren't enough, the Wilderness Arboretum is home to a Lady Slipper Festival every Memorial Day weekend. In years past, the high point of the festival, was the discovery of more than 100 of the rare Pink Lady's Slipper Orchid.

For a gorgeous view of Lake Huron, stop in at Lisa's Loft in the historic brick building at the corner of Lake and Spring Streets above Heins Hardware in downtown Port Austin. The view is truly breathtaking. Besides offering the view, Lisa's is a fantastic gift shop. The fine selection of everyday gifts and seasonal items, includes works by local artists. Add in the variety of antiques and vintage items, jewelry, books, journals, cards, nautical and cottage items, and you will understand why we are proud to have Lisa's as our sponsor.