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LAKE ST. CLAIR METROPARK
NATURE CENTER
31300 Metro Parkway, Harrison Township, MI 48045
586-463-4332
June 19 through August 31
10 a.m. – 5 p.m.
September 1 through June 18
Monday – Friday 1 p.m. – 5 p.m.
Saturday & Sunday 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Closed New Year’s Day, Thanksgiving Day and Christmas Day.
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Lake St. Clair Metropark Nature Center allows visitors to experience Michigan’s unique wetland habitat up-close. Uncover the importance of this protected habitat through interpretive exhibits, live animals and taxidermy. Explore nearby trails which guide you through natural areas traversing freshwater marsh, meadow and woodland habitat. During your visit, our park interpreters are available to answer questions and discuss what’s new and exciting to see and do in the parks.

OUR CENTER

Stop by the Lake St. Clair Metropark Nature Center for displays featuring wetlands, waterfowl, and live animals. Learn about the historical use of the area by the French Voyageurs. The Nature Center hosts public school, private school and homeschool field trips,  Voyageur canoe programs, nature walks, special events and many other educational and fun programs.

Our Displays

Conservation and Management

Find out what park efforts have been made to protect, conserve and mitigate our coastal wetlands. These efforts include invasive species management through controlled burns and the introduction of new wetland habitat. See how our wetlands provide essential habitat for threatened and endangered Michigan species and how we monitor the health of Lake St. Clair.

History

We offer displays discussing the history of the French Voyageurs and their role in the Great Lakes region. Visitors can also learn more about members of the Lewis Cass Expedition and their documented stop at what is now Lake St. Clair Metropark.

Wildlife

The displays at the Nature Center highlight the diverse plant and animal species that live in or migrate through Lake St. Clair Metropark. View our live animals in their newly upgraded displays including a 340-gallon turtle tank and natural feature wall. Visitors can find themselves face-to-face with many of Michigan’s reptile, amphibian and fish species. Sit and relax by the windows overlooking our seasonal butterfly garden and year-round bird watching opportunities.

Our Trails

Our nature trails are the perfect place to take in the the sights and sounds of nature.  Three nature trails comprise the Nature Center trail system, varying in distances, the trails will take you through a grove of cottonwoods, across a meadow and along the marsh.  View birds, flowers and the wildlife of the marsh when you set out on our trails.

MAIN TRAIL – .75 MILE
This trail takes you through a grove of cottonwoods, across a small meadows and along the South Marsh.  Great for warblers in the spring and fall, nesting swans and geese and beautiful flowers in the spring and summer. A floating accessible dock extends out into the marsh at the North end.

MEADOW LOOP – .5 MILE
This trail meanders through a small meadow where you can observe field plants, flowers and many types of birds.  This is a good place to see insects such as crickets, grasshoppers, butterflies and dragonflies.

MARSH ROADSIDE TRAIL – .5 Mile (1 Mile Round Trip)
This side trail will lead you further into the marsh area to explore the wetland wildlife.

MARSH OBSERVATION DECK
The raised walkway and deck take you into the South Marsh.  Experience great views of the wetland life.

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. Interactive exhibits feature audio-capable touchscreen, tactile objects for hands-on learning and sensory stimulation. Additionally, the Nature Center exhibit room floor has wide spacing, allowing for easy access to all nature displays as well as low pile carpeting. Handicapped parking is available in the main parking area.

Sensory-Friendly Backpacks

Lake St. Clair 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

Coming soon.

Social Stories

Coming soon.

Trails

The 1.5 miles of nature trails are comprised of compact gravel substrate with easy curves and very little increase in elevation. These paths cross over two wooden plank bridges and allow access to a ¼ mile long boardwalk and a rustic grassy pathway that is off the main trail.

MAIN TRAIL – .75 MILE
This trail takes you through a grove of cottonwoods, across a small meadows and along the South Marsh.  Great for warblers in the spring and fall, nesting swans and geese and beautiful flowers in the spring and summer. A floating accessible dock extends out into the marsh at the North end.

MEADOW LOOP – .5 MILE
This trail meanders through a small meadow where you can observe field plants, flowers and many types of birds.  This is a good place to see insects such as crickets, grasshoppers, butterflies and dragonflies.

MARSH ROADSIDE TRAIL – .5 Mile (1 Mile Round Trip)
This side trail will lead you further into the marsh area to explore the wetland wildlife.

MARSH OBSERVATION DECK
The raised walkway and deck take you into the South Marsh.  Experience great views of the wetland life.

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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