Experience Jackson

141 S. Jackson St., Jackson, MI 49201
Ella Sharp Park

Falling Waters Trail & the Trail System in Jackson

The trail system in Jackson features three distinct trails. The first and largest is the Falling Waters Trail. Situated on the bed of the former Michigan Central Railroad, the Falling Waters Trail is a unique, 10.6-mile-long linear park that is an ideal place to stroll, jog, bike ride or rollerblade.

Next the Falling Waters Trail continues as the Inter-City Bike Trial in the City of Jackson, from Weatherwax Drive to Morrell Street. Finally the Grand River Arts Walk leads walkers, joggers, bikers and rollerbladers from downtown Jackson through the Arts District to Monroe Street.

Falling Waters Trail Map

Additionally The Dahlem contains 5 miles of trails including a 3/8 mile trail for those with limited mobility called the The Nature For All Trail. Waterloo Recreation Area, being the largest state park in the lower pennisula contains many trails including 12 miles of interpretive nature trails, 47 miles of hiking trails and another 12 miles of equestrian trails for horsback riding.

Interested? Learn more at FallingWaterTrail.org

Explore a Little More

Why not stay a bit longer and explore a little more that Jackson has to offer? We think you'd enjoy learning a bit more about these things as well.

Falling Waters Trail

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

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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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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Grand River Arts Walk

(517) 788-4040
Website | Facebook
Louis Glick Highway to Monroe Street
Jackson, MI 49201

Grand River Arts Walk Opened in 2010, this one-mile trail follows the Grand River from downtown through the Art District at Art 634 and Armory Arts ending at Monroe Street.

Park Features
  • Walking-Biking-Cross Country Skiing Trails
  • Grand River Arts Walk

Opened in 2010, this one-mile trail follows the Grand River from downtown through the Art District at Art 634 and Armory Arts ending at Monroe Street.

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Martin Luther King Equality Trail formerly the Inter-City Trail

(517) 788-4040
Website | Facebook
Weatherwax Dr. to Morrell St.
Jackson, MI

Martin Luther King Equality Trail formerly the Inter-City Trail The arrow-straight formerly known as the Jackson Intercity Trail follows the old rail bed of the former Michigan Central Railroad for 3.4 miles through the southwest section of Jackson. The trail... » More Information

Park Features
  • Walking-Biking-Cross Country Skiing Trails
  • Martin Luther King Equality Trail formerly the Inter-City Trail

The arrow-straight formerly known as the Jackson Intercity Trail follows the old rail bed of the former Michigan Central Railroad for 3.4 miles through the southwest section of Jackson. The trail provides a nice non-motorized way for area residents to commute to shops and work, as well as for recreation. For those wanting to venture farther afield, the Martin Luther King Equality Trail turns into the Falling Waters Trail at Weatherwax Drive, which carries on southwest 10.6 miles to the town of Concord.

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MacCready Reserve

(269) 731-4597
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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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