Located three miles south of Mackinaw City, this unique park combines history, adventure, and nature on 625 acres of northern hardwood forest. A working stream-powered sawmill is a replica of the original built here in the 18th century. Over three miles of well-maintained hiking trails, much of it handicapped accessible , meander along the rushing Mill Creek and under the shelter of the maples and oaks. Listen and look for Ovenbird, Redstart, Black-throated Green Warbler, Wood Thrush, and Red-bellied Woodpecker. Visit the bird feeders at the visitor center for close views of White-throated Sparrow, Rose-breasted Grosbeak, Red-breasted Nuthatch, and Pileated Woodpecker. A highlight for birders is the 50-foot tall tower with an observation platform at treetop level offering spectacular views of the Mackinac Bridge and Mackinac Island. Here one can be eye to eye with canopy-loving birds such as Blackburnian Warbler, Scarlet Tanager, and Baltimore Oriole. Bald Eagles, Northern Goshawks, and Red-shouldered Hawks soar over the forest from nearby nests and, during spring migration, Golden Eagles may glide by. For the adventurous birder, for a small fee, one can challenge the five-story climbing wall with bird songs that ring out as one moves upward. Peeking into holes will reveal cavity nesters such as Northern Saw-whet Owl and Pileated Woodpecker. A zip line ride follows the course of a Bald Eagle down the valley and riders are encouraged to try and spot the trout swimming in the stream below. The swinging canopy bridge runs across the creek bed far below and the park Naturalist provides lessons about forest and stream ecology while suspended high in the treetops. Plan to spend at least half the day in this one of a kind park with the unique combination of education and fun.
Things To Do
Birding, Hiking, Parking, Picnicing, Touring, Wildlife Watching