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June 03, 1994 - Image 127

Resource type:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1994-06-03

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The West Bloomfield Nature
Trail Network has a crushed
limestone surface. Visitors often
gather at the Great Blue Heron

seeds add diversity to the fields of across. An amazing 289 different
this .05 mile woodland trail. A few species of native Michigan plants
hundred yards to the east, the wa- and wildflowers are underfoot.
tershed of the Nature Preserve
Drive north on Dixie Hwy, ap-
drains into Morris Lake on the be- proximately five miles from Clark-
ginning of its long journey to the ston to Rattalee Rd. Turn left
Atlantic Ocean. The path mean- (west) onto Rattalee and drive ap-
ders and narrows here for a more proximately four miles to the pre-
physically challenging 2.1 mile serve.
hike on a five-foot wide wood-
Bloomer Park, 36 acres bank-
chipped trail. Heading still east- ing on Middle Straits Lake, is lo-
erly over the ridge beyond the cated on Richardson Road just east
trees is the Great Blue Heron of Haggerty Road. This West
Rookery. For a closer look, walk Bloomfield park features grills, pic-
east from Arrowhead Road and nic tables, boat launch and play-
you will find an observation deck ground.
that will give you a bird's-eye view
Drayton Plains Nature Cen-
of this hidden world. Trail mark- ter, located one quarter mile west
ers will blaze the way; so as not to off Dixie Hwy.,on Hatchery Road.
get lost, just keep heading east for This 137 acre area on the banks of
an invigorating six-mile hike.
the Clinton River was once the old
The E.J. Johnson Nature state fish hatchery. You'can enjoy
Center, on Franklin Road, north the 4.5 miles of marked nature
of Long Lake Road in Bloomfield trails through woods, prairie, and
Hills, a hidden 32 acre site sur- wetland. Explore the variety of
rounded by expressways and busy touch-and-see nature exhibits for
suburbia, provides a temporary es- children including native fish, such
cape. Five peaceful nature trails as blue gill and bass, or visit a pi-
wind through the preserve's oneer log cabin on the grounds.
acreage. Six miles of trails cut
Cranbrook Institute of Sci-
through a scenic stand of pine, bor- ence, located on Lone Pine Road
der a large tree-lined pond, pass a between Woodward and Tele-
maple sugar shack, and edge graph, features a three-quarter
pleasant meadows. A small me- mile self-guided trail from the cen-
andering stream, Michigan wild- ter of the complex through sprawl-
flowers and rocky debris add ing Cranbrook. The grounds are
glimpses of wildlife to your walk expertly and beautifully land-
through the nature center. As you scaped.
follow the terrain, keep an eye out
Red Ceder Natural Area,
for wild foxes, ducks, woodchuck, covered by towering hardwoods,
raccoons, two penned deer and a includes the Red Ceder River,
pair of caged red-tail hawks. The which is the wilderness outpost
trees and shrubs are labeled which that guards the beautiful Michi-
make it fun to bring the children gan State University. There are
no marked entrances to this na-
Burr Memorial Plant Pre- ture preserve. The trails are not
serve is a five acre piece of land, well-defined, but that adds to the
squeezed between a marshy feeling of the area's untouched
stream, and a section of the Grand uniqueness. It's somewhat con-
Trunk Railroad. This preserve is fusing to find, but you'll be re-
a parcel of the less than one quar- warded with a gorgeous walk
ter of one percent of Oakland Coun- through one of Michigan's native
ties original land that remains sanctuaries. The trails begin on
untouched by humans. It's a living Kalamazoo Street in East Lans-
museum that shows what our area ing. From the intersection of
looked like before suburbs.
Michigan Ave. and Grand River
Walking or hiking the gravel Ave, go two blocks west on Michi-
trails you will find scenic views to gan to Harrison Road. Turn left
the east, where land slips down to (south) onto Harrison and drive
the picturesque creek, which one block to Kalamazoo Street.
winds through marshy wetlands. Turn right (west) onto Kalamazoo,
Rising hills run parallel to the rail- Drive approximately a half a mile
road tracks; you'll find a small and park on the shoulder of the
creek, narrow enough to step road near the bridge. D

STYLE • SUMMER 1994 • 61

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