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KENSINGTON METROPARK
NATURE CENTER
4570 Huron River Parkway, Milford, MI 48381
(810) 227-8917
Monday 1 p.m. – 5 p.m.
Tuesday – Sunday 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Closed Thanksgiving Day and Christmas Day.
View Park Maps

A complement to seven miles of Kensington Metropark nature trails, the Nature Center offers exhibits that put a spotlight on the wildlife found at the park. Park interpreters are available to answer questions as you visit live animals such as turtles, snakes, fish and Ranger the red-tailed hawk. Special programs on the wildlife, ecosystems, trails and more are held throughout the year.  

OUR CENTER

Kensington Metropark Nature Center celebrates local ecosystems, local flora, and local fauna. Come find out how the plants and animals you encounter in the park are both adapted to and shaped by the land around them!

Our Animals

Stop inside to get an up-close look at live reptiles and amphibians native to Michigan’s wetlands. Almost 20 animals live at the Nature Center and we are happy to answer any and all questions about our native animals and plants. On your way out don’t miss a visit with our educational bird of prey, Ranger, the red-tailed hawk. Ranger was only six months old when he was found with a closed-head injury. He was rehabilitated at the Howell Nature Center and now lives here. Ranger works with us as an educational animal ambassador.

Remember, when visiting Kensington Metropark, please do not feed the animals. The protected habitat provides food for our wildlife year-round. Help us keep the wildlife wild by limiting human and animal interactions. If you are interested in hand-feeding the small songbirds, please stop by the Nature Center or give us a call at 810-227-8917 to ask about our animal feeding guidelines for this unique exception.

Our Displays

Take a closer look at Kensington habitats, animals and more through short videos, dioramas and natural artifacts. Experience hands on exploration with discovery drawers, touch tests and tables, our great blue heron “flight simulator” and a microscope featuring biofacts from local flora and fauna. Be sure to spend time looking at our amazing collection of taxidermy with specimens dating back to the early 1800s, including a mount of a Passenger Pigeon!  This bird has been extinct for 100 years and is very rare to see.

Our Trails

Explore over 700 acres of forests, fields, fens, and swamps. Discover rewarding scenic vistas and overlooks throughout the nature center trail area. Highlights include the great blue heron rookery island, countless native and noteworthy plants such as tamarack, orchids, ferns and wildflowers, and hundreds of bird species including pileated woodpeckers, sandhill cranes, bald eagles and warblers.

CHICKADEE TRAIL – 2 MILES
A 2 mile shaded trail of mixed-gravel, with several wooden boardwalks. This trail traverses dense forest, has short portions that are steep, and has tree roots that stick up in several places. This mostly-wooded “backwoods trail” offers opportunities to view deer, turkey, and woodland bird species.

DEER RUN TRAIL – 1.5 MILES
A 1.5 mile trail of mixed-gravel paths with wooden boardwalks. This mostly shaded trail is relatively flat and features two shortcuts that allow you to shorten the trail to a half mile or 1 mile loop. This trail travels through wetlands and mixed forest habitats. You can often spot sandhill cranes and deer on this trail.

ASPEN TRAIL – 1.5 MILES
A 1.5 mile trail of mixed-gravel with wooden boardwalks and wooden bridges. This relatively flat trail contains both shady sections and full sun exposure and features one shortcut allowing you to shorten the loop to 1 mile. Passing through prairies, wetlands and mixed forest habitats, this trail offers opportunities to see abundant wildflowers, pileated woodpeckers and the remains of a historic homestead.

WILDWING TRAIL – 1.75 MILES
A 1.75 mile trail of mixed gravel, with wooden boardwalks and wooden bridges. This trail has shaded sections, full sun sections, areas that are steep, and areas that follow close along the water of Wildwing lake. This trail features an extensive boardwalk that provides scenic views of the marshlands along the eastern shore of Wildwing Lake. From the boardwalk you can also spot nesting great blue herons and great egrets in the heron rookery on the island in the lake.

Know before you go: Occasionally woodland trails may be blocked with debris such as fallen tree limbs. Nature trails are not cleared or salted in the winter and may be snow-covered, slippery or muddy. Pets, bicycles and running are not permitted on the nature trails.

Click here to view park maps.

PROGRAMS & ACTIVITIES

Educational programs and activities allow you to interact with nature and learn about the world around us in fun new ways. In-school programs, fields trips to the Metroparks, homeschool programs and scout programs can all be found at your Metropark interpretive centers.

What topics do we cover? Wildlife, natural science, environment, ecology, climate, farm life, regional history. And that’s just to start. Most Metroparks programs support the Common Core Science, Technology, Reading, Engineering, Arts and Math (STREAM) and Michigan Science Standards curriculum in content, methodology and technology use.

Learn more about educational programs and activities by clicking on the buttons below.

ACCESSIBILITY

The Metroparks are committed to removing barriers, creating and improving access, and increasing recreation opportunities for all.

Displays

Our Nature Center displays were designed with accessibility in mind for our visitors to observe and interact.

Sensory-Friendly Backpacks

Kensington Metropark Nature Center offers Sensory-Friendly Backpacks for those with sensory sensitivities. These backpacks include communication cards, noise cancelling headphones, sunglasses, a liquid timer, and additional fidget items. These can be checked out and returned to the front desk.

Sensory-Friendly Facility Map

Nature Center Sensory-Friendly Building Map

Social Story

Kensington Metropark Nature Center has created a Social Story as a preview guide for individuals with sensory process and autism spectrum differences. This guide can help prepare you, parents or caregivers for your visit to the center. Click here to read the Kensington Metropark Nature Center Social Story.

Trails

Discover which of our trails would be the best fit for you:

CHICKADEE TRAIL – 2 MILES
A 2 mile shaded trail of mixed-gravel, with several wooden boardwalks. This trail traverses dense forest, has short portions that are steep, and has tree roots that stick up in several places. This mostly-wooded “backwoods trail” offers opportunities to view deer, turkey, and woodland bird species.

DEER RUN TRAIL – 1.5 MILES
A 1.5 mile trail of mixed-gravel paths with wooden boardwalks. This mostly shaded trail is relatively flat and features two shortcuts that allow you to shorten the trail to a half mile or 1 mile loop. This trail travels through wetlands and mixed forest habitats. You can often spot sandhill cranes and deer on this trail.

ASPEN TRAIL – 1.5 MILES
A 1.5 mile trail of mixed-gravel with wooden boardwalks and wooden bridges. This relatively flat trail contains both shady sections and full sun exposure and features one shortcut allowing you to shorten the loop to 1 mile. Passing through prairies, wetlands and mixed forest habitats, this trail offers opportunities to see abundant wildflowers, pileated woodpeckers and the remains of a historic homestead.

WILDWING TRAIL – 1.75 MILES
A 1.75 mile trail of mixed gravel, with wooden boardwalks and wooden bridges. This trail has shaded sections, full sun sections, areas that are steep, and areas that follow close along the water of Wildwing lake. This trail features an extensive boardwalk that provides scenic views of the marshlands along the eastern shore of Wildwing Lake. From the boardwalk you can also spot nesting great blue herons and great egrets in the heron rookery on the island in the lake.

Know before you go: Occasionally woodland trails may be blocked with debris such as fallen tree limbs. Nature trails are not cleared or salted in the winter and may be snow-covered, slippery or muddy. Pets, bicycles and running are not permitted on the nature trails.

Click here to view park maps.

NATURE CENTER PHOTO GALLERY
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