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Explore the Trails at Harris Nature Center

May 10th, 2020 by Corey A. Edwards

a frog at Harris Nature CenterLooking to get outdoors for a much needed nature break? Harris Nature Center, in Okemos, MI is just what the doctor ordered with 5 miles of nature trails along the banks of the beautiful Red Cedar River.

Harris Nature Center (HNC) is located in Okemos, MI on the banks of the Red Cedar River. All less than a half-hour’s drive from our Lansing-area restaurant, pub, and bed and breakfast, The English Inn.

The Center’s main mission is protecting and preserving the Red Cedar River ecosystem. Public access allows people to learn more about the natural world and see for themselves the stunning natural beauty that is being preserved here.

The preserve’s 48 acres are natural habitat to a broad array of animals. Visitors may see white-tail deer, red-tailed hawks, pileated woodpeckers, many kinds of turtles, snakes, frogs, salamanders, and toads.

Trails at the HNC take you through the connected forests, meadows, and along the Red Cedar River. In winter, these same trails become a popular cross-country skiing and snowshoeing destination, with equipment rentals available at the Center.

Harris Nature Center also rehabilitates wild animals for future release or permanent care, depending on their level of recovery. You can meet many of these permanent residents inside the center and even “adopt” one.

Other inside attractions include interpretive exhibits, nature murals, and a variety of programs throughout the year. The red-tailed hawk and Living River Exhibits are some of the Center’s most popular attractions.

Meridian Riverfront Park and Red Cedar River Water Trail

Meridian Riverfront Park MapHarris Nature Center is part of the larger Meridian Riverfront Park, which also includes Legg Park, Eastgate Park, and the Red Cedar Nature Area. Combined, they present over 200 acres of public land for hiking, biking, boating, picnicking, and other types of outdoor recreation.

The Red Cedar River, which runs through the area, is excellent for canoeing and kayaking. One popular, short paddling trip takes you from Harris Nature Center to Ferguson Park, a 3 hour, 4.8 mile trek through Meridian Township. You can even ride the river all the way to the MSU campus.

Harris Nature Center

3998 Van Atta Road, Okemos, MI
For schedules, directions, and more, visit HNC online at: You can also follow the Center on Facebook.

Spend the day enjoying the beautiful Michigan countryside, then come back to your comfortable room at The English Inn, refresh yourself in the pub, and enjoy a sumptuous meal at our award-winning restaurant!

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