Botanical Gardens

Outdoor Fun in East Lansing

East Lansing is packed with outdoor fun for everyone to enjoy. You can explore the W.J. Beal Botanical Gardens or have a day of excitement at the Anderson Park MTB Trail. Now, we know how difficult it can be to choose the best activities for your day can be and we at Hannah Lofts want to help! That’s why we decided to share our very own list of some of the best outdoor fun you’ll find in East Lansing. Now get out there and enjoy the great outdoors.

Walk Around the W.J. Beal Botanical Gardens

Location: W Circle Dr, East Lansing, MI 48824

Part of Michigan State University, the W.J. Beal Botanical Gardens offer a relaxing environment for you to escape the city life. It is an outdoor laboratory dedicated to the study and appreciation of plants that are both local and foreign to East Lansing. It’s a great place to go out and learn about the beautiful plants that you see every day around East Lansing as well as some of the more rare plants in the area. The botanical gardens include 3 categories of natural areas that include – Pinetums, Woodlands, Wetlands, Woodlots, and other natural areas. Just don’t forget your camera at home because the botanical gardens have some of the most beautiful sceneries you will find in East Lansing.

Explore Northern Tier Trail

Location: Northern Tier Trail, East Lansing, MI 48823

The Northern Tier Trail is 4.5 miles of beautifully paved pathways that are full of outdoor fun in East Lansing. It’s a great trail to discover a variety of wildlife, plants, flowers, trees, and wetlands within a short distance. It’s the perfect place to go hiking, jogging, biking, rollerblading, bird watching and more. The trail also allows you to access 10 different parks and community facilities along the way.

Explore Potter Park Zoo

Location: 1301 S Pennsylvania Ave, Lansing, MI 48912

Just a few minutes drive away, the Potter Park Zoo offers a different world for families and small groups to explore. The Potter Park Zoo is home to over 160 different species of animals from across the globe. You’ll be able to see popular species like the – African Lion, Amur Tiger, Barred Owl, Black Rhino, the Mandrill, and other species. Potter Park Zoo also features explanations by zoologists, concessions, and souvenir shops.

Adado Riverfront Park

Location: 201 E Shiawassee St, Lansing, MI 48933

Adado Riverfront Park is one of the largest parks in the Lansing area. The park features some of the town’s most anticipated festivals including Common Ground Music Festival. It is also a great place to enjoy a lovely walk by the dock located along the Grand River – where you’ll find locals enjoying a run, fishing, and feeding the ducks.

Brenke Fish Ladder

Location: 216 E Grand River Ave, Lansing, MI 48906

The Brenke Fish Ladder is a peaceful place to enjoy witnessing great views of fish traveling along the Grand River. You’ll find various locals fishing nearby for catfish, bass, salmon, and other species that inhabit the river.

Note: The city prohibits fishing from the Brenke Fish Ladder, but it’s a great place to admire nature at its finest.

Visit Hawk Island Park

Location: 1601 E Cavanaugh Rd, Lansing, MI 48910

Hawk Island Park offers a modern-day in the park experience for all of its visitors. The park features rentable boats, boats, a swimming beach, a splash pad, horseshoes, fishing docs, and picnic areas, and shelters for a nice day by the water. The park also offers the community to enjoy some snow tubing and later warm up in a warm lodge. There’s also a dog park nearby called Soldan Dog Park, where owners can enjoy a leash-free environment with their dogs.

Kayak/Canoe on the Grand and Red Cedar Rivers

Another great way to have some outdoor fun in East Lansing is by floating the river. The Lansing area is home to both the Red Cedar River and Grand River. Both of these rivers offer great environments where you can enjoy a float around the rivers in peace. There are also various ways of accessing the rivers. One of the more popular places to access a body of water in town is Crego Park in Lansing.

Visit John M. Patriarche Park

Location: 960 Alton Street, East Lansing, MI 48823

One of the newest parks in the East Lansing recreational system. The most noticeable feature of the park is the well-designed playground. It offers the children a modern look with unique games that were built with great imagination and community support. John M. Patriarche Park also offers – baseball fields, a basketball court, benches, grills,  a playground, a softball field, tennis court(s), volleyball fields for the community to stay active.

Visit Northern Tail Dog Park

Location: 6400 Abbot Rd, East Lansing, MI 48823

Just north of the Softball Complex, the Northern Tail Dog Park is a great place to enjoy a relaxing afternoon with your dog. It is a 2-acre area designed to be a leash-free zone where every dog can have a chance to socialize. The dog park also contains signage, landscaping, and doggy do station.

Visit Nancy Moore Park

Location: 1960 Gaylord C Smith Ct, East Lansing, MI 48823

Nancy Moore Park has plenty of shaded areas that can help you beat the sun during the spring and summer seasons. The park is also home to an annual and perennial garden that has been installed in memoriam. Nancy Moore Park also features ball diamonds, athletic fields, sidewalks, and trails in case you’re looking to stay active during your outdoor fun in East Lansing.

Visit Crego Park

Location: 1600 Fidelity Road, Lansing, MI 48910

Located a few minutes away in Lansing, Crego Park is a 200-acre park with plenty of outdoor activities to explore. The park is popular for its great fishing, kayaking, and canoeing opportunities as well as its great trail system access. You’ll also be able to enjoy a nice long walk, run, or bike around the park and take in some of nature’s great scenes in Michigan.

Visit Rose Lake State Wildlife Research Area

Location: 8562 Stoll Rd, East Lansing, MI 48823

Rose Lake State Wildlife Research Area is one of the most popular local spots to have some outdoor fun in East Lansing. The area features hunting, fishing, biking, and hiking opportunities, making it an outdoorsmen haven during the fall season. You’ll also be able to find some of the most beautiful animal and plant species the area has to offer. The research area also features an outdoor shooting range to enjoy a different outdoor experience in East Lansing.

Visit the Shigematsu Memorial Garden

Location: Just North of LCC’s Dart Auditorium, Lansing, MI 48933

Located at Lansing Community College, this Japanese garden is another relaxing alternative to the city environment. You’ll be able to witness pines, Japanese maples, and cherry trees that manifest their beauty in every season of the year. The Japanese gardens also contain a beautiful waterfall in the background, walking paths, and various stone setups to help share the culture with the Lansing area.

Visit the Fenner Nature Center

Location: 2020 E. Mount Hope Avenue, Lansing, MI 48910

Fenner Nature Center is a must-visit place that connects the community with nature in Lansing. Although it focuses on helping the youth become more aware of nature, it is still a place worth visiting for adults. There you’ll be able to learn more about the local trees and ecosystems that help keep the Lansing area beauty intact.