Hike a Little, Learn a Lot at Blandford Nature Center

1715 Hillburn Ave NW, Grand Rapids, MI 49504

Blandford Nature Center’s Trails are Organized and Varied

A day at Blandford Nature Center usually makes us think of childhood field trips, but have you ever thought about heading to Blandford just to take a hike?

Blandford Nature Center has TONS of trails that are perfect for exploring with kids. Most of the trails are flat and woodchipped, making it possible to navigate them with a jogging stroller.

Blandford’s trails are organized on a number system which makes it easy to figure out where you need to go when you’re on the trial (remember to ask for a map at the Visitor Center).

These interconnected trails give plenty flexibility to how long of a hike you want to take. You can keep it short and sweet–or you can add on plenty of mileage by visiting the newly acquired Highlands, too.

There is a small $3 fee to enjoy everything Blandford Nature Center offers (children under two are free).

  • Trail Difficulty: Easy, with some hills.

  • Dogs Allowed? Dogs are allowed with exception to the Wildlife Trail where they are not permitted.

  • Facilities: Clean, modern restrooms are located in the Visitor Center.

  • Stroller Friendly? Probably with a jogging or all-terrain stroller. Most paths are wide enough and woodchipped.

  • Time of Year Accessible: Trails are open from dawn to dusk year round. The Visitor Center is open 9:00 AM- 5:00 PM Monday – Saturday with evening hours on Thursdays in the Spring and Summer.

Thanks to our sponsor, Kent District Library.

  • 19 Branches Throughout Kent County

The trails at Blandford offer periodic breaks from hiking to learn a little more about the environment, various animals, and give kids a chance to play.

After checking out the must-see Wildlife Trail, we hiked over to the Farm to check out the chickens, sheep, and goats. It’s a quick hike (perfect for little hikers) with some great views of the woods along the way.

We took the long way back through the Back Forty (about a 3/4 mile loop) and then we had to check out the Nature Nook.

The Nature Nook is over by The Meadow (off of the entrance driveway) and is an excellent place to let kids use their imaginations and get a little dirty. There we found a rustic play kitchen and some fun water features for kids to play with toy trucks in.

The Highlands are a recent trails addition and are a popular spot for dog owners to hike with their four-legged friends. You can reach the Highlands trails from the trails at Blandford and continue your hiking for another mile.

Before you head home, stop in the newly remodeled Visitor Center and checkout some wildlife rescue animals. We fell in love with some darling owls and had fun searching for turtles and snakes.

Springtime Flowers Put on a Spectacular Show at Blandford Nature Center

If you visit the trails at Blandford for a hike in spring, you’ll be blown away by the display of wildflowers. My sixth grade year here taught me all about identifying different wildflowers, and it’s fun knowledge that I still carry around today!

Feeling inspired to start your own field of flowers? KDL offers a phenomenal Seed Library that is free to utilize. In return, they ask that you save the seeds your plants yield and return them to your local KDL branch for people to use the following year. Saving seeds produces stronger plants that are better suited for Michigan’s climate.

This would provide some awesome, hands-on learning opportunities to teach your children about plants, seeds, and where our food comes from!

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