The Wildwood Pathway is a pleasant 2.5-mile loop trail in Deerfield Nature Park in Mount Pleasant, Michigan. While this Isabella County trail and park are near town, they offer a surprisingly pristine wilderness experience. This is a great place to take your pup for an hour's walk in the woods, though if you've got more time, there are more trails and amenities to enjoy in the surrounding park. In addition to picnic shelters, bathrooms, and even a disc golf course, this 600-acre sanctuary situated on the Chippewa River features several scenic bridges and is home to a wide array of plant and animal species. People enjoy coming here to fish and kayak in the summer, and cross-country ski in the winter.
The Wildwood Pathway was designated as a National Recreational Trail in 1980 due to its exceptional beauty and natural features. This mostly single-track trail winds through a mixed forest of deciduous hardwoods and conifers, and is an ideal place for leaf-peeping in the fall, when green gives way to gold and orange. It also features many water views. As you walk along the trail, you'll cross bridges over streams, come in view of bluffs along the river, and pass an artesian well where you can fill your water bottle. The river provides a habitat for turtles, muskrats, and many game fish, including bass and pike.
This woodland is a peaceful place, often filled with birdsong. Bird species that have been spotted here include wild turkeys, ruffed grouse, and red-tailed and sharp-shinned hawks. Herons, ospreys, and kingfishers all hunt near the river. In the forest, cedar waxwings, chickadees, and several species of warblers, thrushes, and wrens. Common mammal species in the area include white-tailed deer, coyotes, foxes, and porcupines.
If you're ever feeling frazzled, this is the perfect place to come fill your prescription for the calming sights and sounds of nature.