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LAKE ERIE METROPARK
MARSHLANDS MUSEUM
32481 West Jefferson Avenue, Brownstown, MI 48173
(734) 379-5020 ext. 6836
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 Thanksgiving Day and Christmas Day.
View Park Maps

At the Lake Erie Metropark Marshlands Museum, you are invited to explore the rich cultural and natural heritage of the Downriver and Lake Erie shore region through exhibits and programs. You’ll learn about the many plants, animals and people who have called this place home over thousands of years. Some of them can even be found inside the museum.

OUR MUSEUM

At the Lake Erie Metropark Marshlands Museum, you are invited to explore the rich cultural and natural heritage of the Downriver/Lake Erie shore region.

Our Animals

Luc (pronounced “Luke”, a name based on the second part of the scientific name which means “white-headed” in Greek) was originally from the Saginaw/Bay City area. He arrived at the Marshlands Museum in July of 2008. While the cause of his injuries is not clear, he is now partially blind and has wing trauma. He can not be released back into the wild and will remain a resident of the museum.  Stop by and visit him at his outside enclosure.

Please do not feed Luc.

Our Displays

The history of waterfowl hunting is brought to life with photos and artifacts including boats, decoys, and firearms.  A huge diorama highlights the now-gone Pointe Mouillee Shooting Club, once located at the mouth of the Huron River.

Other exhibits of historic themes include the War of 1812, Prohibition, fishing, trapping, and ice harvesting. The museum also features displays on marsh and lake ecology, highlighted by a 1,300-gallon Great Lakes Aquarium. In addition, the “Muskrat Club,” an interactive corner for children, gives them a chance to encounter some live marsh animals up close, experience the sounds of the marsh, and explore a touch table!

Our Trails

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.

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

Sensory-Friendly Backpacks

Lake Erie Metropark Marshlands Museum 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 nature trails are comprised of compact gravel substrate with mostly flat terrain and very little increase in elevation.

Please note, 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.

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.

Click here to view park maps.

MARSHLANDS MUSEUM PHOTO GALLERY
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