Finding the Outdoors in Your Own Backyard – Midland, MI

Have you ever been to Midland, Michigan? I was born and raised in this city, and am excited to share with you all that our great town has to offer in terms of outdoor entertainment!


The Tridge


One of my favorite outdoor attractions in Midland is the Tridge!  In case you haven’t heard of it, the Tridge is a 3-way wooden footbridge spanning the Chippewa and Tittabawassee Rivers as they flow together.  It opened in 1981, and is located near downtown Midland in Chippewassee Park.  The total length of the bridge is 541 feet.  It is cool to stand on the Tridge on the 4th of July and watch the fireworks being set off over the river, or walk across the Tridge for the annual Labor Day walk.  Also in the evening, the bridge’s arches are lit which make it a very appealing location for nighttime walks any time of the year!

The Tridge also marks the starting point of the Pere Marquette Rail Trail, which is another one of my favorite outdoor attractions in Midland!  It is one of the most heavily used trails in Michigan with its paved, flat walkways that welcome all non-motorized users, such as walkers, bicycles, skateboards, and in-line skates.  The scenic trail is 30 miles long, and runs from Midland to Clare County.  It is recognized as one of 25 Rails to Trails Conservancy Hall of Fame trails in the U.S.  There are many access points along the trail, as well as benches for users to stop and enjoy the scenery!  Whether it’s spring, summer, fall or winter, the Pere Marquette Rail Trail offers a peaceful place for viewing wildlife such as deer, chipmunks, and an assortment of birds.

Another awesome outdoor attraction in Midland is City Forest, which is 520 acres and Midland’s largest park!  It is ideal for year-round outdoor activities and there is no charge to enter the park.  In the warmer months, City Forest offers two trail systems for bikers, runners and outdoor enthusiasts.  My favorite thing to do there is ride my mountain bike on the trails because they are well maintained and offer a challenging ride!  In the winter, you can enjoy sledding, ice skating, tobogganing, cross country skiing and snowshoeing, along with a trip to the City Forest Café, which offers snacks and beverages!

Lastly, a trip to Midland wouldn’t be complete without visiting Dow Gardens.  It is a 110-acre garden, with over 1700 varieties of plants!  It was started in 1899 by Herbert Dow, founder of The Dow Chemical Company.  The property offers paved walking trails that lead you around streams, bridges, and many beautiful scenic spots.  Dow Gardens offers many year-round events such as lunchtime concerts, outdoor movie nights, the Butterfly House, and my personal favorite, the evening luminary walk during the Christmas Holiday.

While I have only touched on a few of the great outdoor activities Midland has to offer, there are many more to explore on your own! They include:  Chippewa Nature Center, Stratford Park, Whiting Forest, Dow Diamond, etc.  So, the next time you are looking for a great place to visit and explore, come to Midland, or look for those special places around your home town and enjoy the outdoors!

Tyler Squires-YCC member, Midland, MI


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