Experience Jackson

141 S. Jackson St., Jackson, MI 49201

 Attractions : Activities : Cross Country Skiing

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What to do

Dahlem

(517) 782-3453
Website | Facebook
7117 S. Jackson Rd.
Jackson, MI 49201

Dahlem Dahlem is a place to experience, study and enjoy nature. With five miles of hiking trails containing forests, fields, marshes and ponds, visitors can enjoy a guided hike or experience... » More Information

Hours

Trail Hours
Dawn to dusk, 7 days per week, including holidays

Guided Nature Hikes
Every Tuesday from 9 am- 11 am

Building Hours
Tuesday - Friday: 9am - 5pm
Saturday: 10am - 5pm
Sunday: Noon - 5pm
Monday: Closed 

Meeting Facility Features
  • AV Equipment Available
  • Air Conditioned
  • WiFi Available
  • Multiple Rooms or Facilities
Event Capacity
  • 200
  • Dahlem

Dahlem is a place to experience, study and enjoy nature. With five miles of hiking trails containing forests, fields, marshes and ponds, visitors can enjoy a guided hike or experience the natural wonders on their own. A newly resurfaced 3/8 mile trail has been specially redesigned for visitors with limited mobility. Dahlem offers year-round educational programs for students and families, including naturalist programs, workshops, and special events. The exhibit area and Nutshell Gift Shop are located within the main visitor building. The Nutshell is a great place for outdoor enthusiasts to shop and is an excellent source for nature-related books, clothing, bird-feeding supplies, jewelry and many other items, including fresh wreaths during the holidays. 

Dahlem serves as a natural history education center for kids, but it is also known around the state and country for having one of the largest bluebird trails. Birders can capture the songs of Eastern Bluebirds along this well-maintained trail, as well as the harmonies of other migratory songbirds. The annual festival to celebrate these birds is called the Birds, Blooms, and Butterflies Festival.

Download the Dahlem Center Trail Map 

Venue Capacity

Dutcher Room - 80

Pavilion - 80

Green Space - 125

Group Tour Information

Year round groups of 10 or more are encouraged to take a 90 minute guided nature hike and interactive presentation by a Dahlem Naturalist. Groups will discover seasonal favorites such as dragonflies, bird watching, and butterflies on five miles of well-groomed trails. Meanwhile, limited mobility presentations are also available offered on the paved “Nature for All Trail”. Seated educational presentations are also available in the environmental education space. Groups should plan to spend 1.5 to 2 hours on site.

Groups may also schedule a Dahlem Naturalist to meet the bus at a variety of different birding and wildflower hot spots throughout Jackson county.  

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Ella Sharp Park

(517) 788-4040
Website | Facebook
3225 Fourth St.
Jackson, MI 49203

Ella Sharp Park This 563-acre park currently features an eighteen-hole Golf Course & Learning Center, eighteen-hole miniature golf course, four tennis courts, two picnic shelters, rose garden, Carter’s Corner... » More Information

Hours

Park: Daily 5 a.m.- 10 p.m.

Park Features
  • Flower Garden
  • Benches
  • Picnic Tables
  • Picnic Shelter
  • Grills
  • Playground Equipment
  • Basketball Courts
  • Baseball/ Softball Fields
  • Tennis Courts
  • Soccer Fields
  • Walking-Biking-Cross Country Skiing Trails
  • Swimming Pool
  • Golf Course & Golf Learning Center
  • Mini Golf Course
  • Winter Sledding
  • Fishing Site
  • Modern Restrooms
  • Portable Toilets
  • Ella Sharp Park
  • Ella Sharp Park
  • Ella Sharp Park
  • Ella Sharp Park
  • Ella Sharp Park

This 563-acre park currently features an eighteen-hole Golf Course & Learning Center, eighteen-hole miniature golf course, four tennis courts, two picnic shelters, rose garden, Carter’s Corner Play Structure, two lighted softball fields, three regular softball fields, ten soccer fields, four baseball fields, one basketball court, playground areas, mountain biking trails and the Ella Sharp Museum.

New in 2016 an 18-hole disc golf course!

Mini-Golf (Putt-Putt)

  • Ella Sharp Park's 18-hole miniaturized golf course holds fun for everyone. The mini-course is open 7 days a week. Please call for seasonal hours at 517-788-4696

Lighted Softball Fields

  • The park includes 2 full service fenced and lighted ball fields. Field #1 has a scorer's building while field #2 has a rain shelter.

Open Field Sports Area

  • The park includes 3 full-size football fields, 3 softball fields, 4 full-size soccer fields which can be used as 8 smaller fields.

Fishing Area

  • The park has a stretch along the banks of the Grand River which is available for fishing. The area is handicapped accessible and is located in the southeast portion of the park.

Paved and Unpaved Walking, Jogging, and Bike Trails

  • The park includes a 1-mile path that connects from Fourth Street with Museum and with the South Jackson Street entrance. In addition, the park also keeps some rough trails that meander through natural preservation areas in both the East and West sides of Fourth Street. These trails are ideal for walking, jogging, and cross-country skiing. The Cascades Cycling Trail Map

Tennis Courts

  • The park upkeeps 4 paved tennis courts on a first come first serve basis.

Basketball Court

  • The park upkeeps one basketball court located at the South Jackson Road entrance.

Playground Equipment

  • Includes Carter's Corner located across from the Ella Sharp Museum

Facility Rental

  • The Jackson Recreation Department will reserve either the Ella Sharp Park Rose Garden (near the entrance of Ella Sharp Park) or the Rotunda (across from the Museum) for your wedding. The Ella Sharp Park Carters Corner Picnic Pavilion or the West Picnic Pavilion are also available for rental. See Ella Sharp Museum for their Facility Rentals.

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Falling Waters Trail

(517) 788-4320
Website | Facebook
Weatherwax Drive to the Village of Concord

Falling Waters Trail The Falling Waters Trail is a major east-west component of the Jackson County Regional Trail plan, connecting the town of Concord with the city of Jackson. This 10.6-mile asphalt rail-trail... » More Information

Park Features
  • Walking-Biking-Cross Country Skiing Trails
  • Falling Waters Trail

The Falling Waters Trail is a major east-west component of the Jackson County Regional Trail plan, connecting the town of Concord with the city of Jackson. This 10.6-mile asphalt rail-trail follows the old rail bed of the former Michigan Central Railroad and at its northeast terminus the trail carries on as the Martin Luther King Equality Trail formerly known as the Jackson Inter-City Trail from Weatherwax to Morrell Street. The trail has been dedicated as a Jackson County Park.

The trial begins in the Village of Concord. Start your trail ride right with breakfast at nearby Concord Cafe. The trail is mostly rural, with only a few road crossings. It also crosses the Lime Lake County Park (5501 Teft Road) where you can drop a line for fish. There are plenty of places to stop along the way and admire the scenery, have a picnic and take a swim.

To start at the west terminus look for the intersection of River and Main St. in Concord and the northeast terminus will be on Weatherwax Rd. between Kibby and Horton Rd. Parking is available at the Weatherwax and Concord Trailhead as well as at the Lime Lake County Park at about the middle of the trail. Click here for a trail map.

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Haehnle Memorial Sanctuary

(517) 641-4277
Website | Facebook
9066 Seymour Rd
Grass Lake, MI 49240

Haehnle Memorial Sanctuary The Phyllis Haehnle Memorial Sanctuary is well-known as THE staging area for Sandhill Cranes. Every autumn, thousands of these birds gather here in preparation for their southern migration. The 963-acre... » More Information

Hours

Open year round from dawn to dusk.

  • Haehnle Memorial Sanctuary

The Phyllis Haehnle Memorial Sanctuary is well-known as THE staging area for Sandhill Cranes. Every autumn, thousands of these birds gather here in preparation for their southern migration. The 963-acre Michigan Audubon Society sanctuary has a variety of habitats, making it possible to see over 200 species of birds and plants, including the Rough-legged Hawk and the Northern Shrike during the winter months. 

The Sanctuary is open to visitors year-round, and during the fall on weekends, sanctuary greeters may be available to answer questions. You can also see many Cranes feeding in the fields in the area in the spring and summer, but especially the fall (September to mid-November). Late afternoon visitors during that time of year can see well over 2,000 Sandhill Cranes landing in the sanctuary during that time. We have even been fortunate to have an elusive Whooping Crane visit the sanctuary as well.

The Jackson Audubon Society is the steward of this sanctuary. They ask that you please stay on trails or the observation areas and treat the land, plants and wildlife with respect.

The Phyllis Haehnle Sanctuary is located 6 miles northeast of Jackson, Michigan on Seymour Road. For GPS, you can use the coordinates of 42.322, -84.289. 

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MacCready Reserve

(269) 731-4597
| Facebook
9243 Skiff Lake Rd
Clarklake, MI 49234

MacCready Reserve The MacCready Reserve is a 408-acre property that is designated for education, research and outreach programs in wildlife and forestry management. The lush environment includes 6.5 miles of trails, rolling terrain,... » More Information

Hours

Daily, Dawn-Dusk

Park Features
  • Picnic Tables
  • Walking-Biking-Cross Country Skiing Trails
  • Modern Restrooms
  • MacCready Reserve

The MacCready Reserve is a 408-acre property that is designated for education, research and outreach programs in wildlife and forestry management. The lush environment includes 6.5 miles of trails, rolling terrain, towering hardwoods, natural springs and colorful wildflowers, creating a diverse habitat for numerous species of birds. This park is also dog-friendly. (Must remain on a leash at all times)

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Waterloo Recreation Area

(734) 475-8307
Website | Facebook
16345 McClure Rd.
Chelsea, MI 48118

Waterloo Recreation Area Located northeast of the city of Jackson near Portage Lake County Park and Phyllis Haehnle Sanctuary, Waterloo Recreation Area is the largest park in the Lower Peninsula. At more than 20,000... » More Information

Park Features
  • Picnic Tables
  • Picnic Shelter
  • Playground Equipment
  • Walking-Biking-Cross Country Skiing Trails
  • Fishing Site
  • Lake Swimming Access
  • Boat Launch
  • Modern Restrooms
  • Portable Toilets
  • Waterloo Recreation Area

Located northeast of the city of Jackson near Portage Lake County Park and Phyllis Haehnle Sanctuary, Waterloo Recreation Area is the largest park in the Lower Peninsula. At more than 20,000 acres, the park boasts two modern campgrounds, a rustic campground, an equestrian campground, a swimming beach, several picnic sites, 11 excellent fishing lakes, eight boat launches, 12 miles of interpretive nature trails, 47 miles of hiking trails, three rustic cabins, numerous equestrian trails and the Gerald E. Eddy Discovery Center.

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