Almost three miles of nature trails lead from the Marshlands Museum, taking hikers along the Lake Erie/Detroit River shoreline and through coastal marshes and dense hawthorn thickets. A long boardwalk and several overlooks along the trails provide excellent views of marshes, lagoons, and wildlife.
BIG TURTLE SHORTCUT – .5 MILE
Named after one of the Wyandot Native American clans, this trail loop provides convenient access to three marsh overlooks along the route through the hawthorn thicket. Walk the trail at a turtle’s pace and view migratory birds, including waterfowl and various “thicket” residents. This trail is mostly flat with eight shallow transitions between boardwalk and gravel trail.
TRAPPER’S RUN – 1 MILE
The main trail leading from the museum, this loop explores dense hawthorn thicket and the man-made features of the lowland landscape. A series of five overlooks provide an opportunity to peek into the surrounding marshlands. Take your time on this one as you walk the old trapper’s route between the lagoons. This trail is mostly flat with eight shallow transitions between boardwalk and gravel trail. The northwest corner of the trail has a slight elevation change – a few feet vertically over a span of 30 yards. This is the highest natural feature in the park!
CHERRY ISLAND TRAIL – 1.25 MILES
This trail traverses a coastal marsh and the Lake Erie/Detroit River shoreline. This trail alternates between gravel, boardwalk, and asphalt. There are eight shallow transitions between boardwalk and gravel trail. The large bridge on the southeast corner of trail has a slight incline.
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. Water levels can change dramatically in a short period of time, depending on the season and the direction or intensity of the wind. If winds are from the east or southeast, please call ahead to get the latest information on trail conditions. During extreme conditions, some portions of the trails will flood. Pets, bicycles and running are not permitted on the nature trails.
Click here to view park maps.