Distance: 1.1-, 2.5-mile loops
Type: Foot path
Terrain: Mature beech-maple forest
Located 5 miles south of Saginaw, Price Nature Center is a 186-acre woods surrounded by the agricultural heart of Saginaw County. This park offers a variety of amenities including picnic area, children’s playscape, a pavilion that is available for rent, even a group campground but most visitors come here for the solitude of the trees, particularly in fall and spring.
The land was originally donated to Michigan State University by James C. Price who in 1940 wanted to “assure its continued use to the public” and serve as a memorial to his family. Price Memorial Forest was used by the MSU Forestry Department for field studies and experiments as well as by locals for camping and picnicking. In 1979, the area was passed onto Saginaw County and in 1981 Price Nature Center, dedicated to preserving the mature beech-maple forest that covers most of the park, was open to the public.
A sluggish creek splits the Saginaw County Park in half with nearly 3 miles of foot paths on both sides. The trail system is composed of three short loops. From the picnic area, the White Oak Trail is a 1.1-mile loop with a crossover spur that shortens it to 0.9 miles while the Cottonwood Grove Trail is a 1-mile loop. Deer Run Trail is a 0.7-mile extension off of Cottonwood Grove. A series of benches, wildlife blinds and an observation tower line the paths.
The hike described below is the outside perimeter of the trail system that begins from the trailhead in the parking area. This loop is still only a 2.5-mile hike and makes for an easy and enjoyable outing along extremely level trails. In the spring, the woodland flowers can be impressive; in the winter cross country skiing is a popular activity when there is sufficient amounts of snow.
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Directions and Map to Price Nature Center
The fall forest at Price Nature Center.
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