Up next on our Summer Fun Bucket List “Take a Hike” top five kid-friendly hiking locations in Jackson County, Michigan:
Dahlem Environmental Education Center
Where do I even start with my review of Dahlem? I have been a fan for many years, and visit often throughout the warmer seasons. Dahlem offers something for everyone: gardens and flowers, beautiful varieties of foliage, hiking trails through the prairie, forest, or other scenic locations, multiple ponds, wildlife galore, and a fun community-wide tradition of hiding painted rocks for visitors to find. Dahlem has a spacious natural playground for their young visitors, which we always visit before and after our hikes. The Dahlem Environmental Education Center is an absolute must!
Location Name: Dahlem Environmental Education Center
Address: 7117 South Jackson Road
Jackson, MI 49201
Why we love it: Beautiful hiking trails, scenic views, and the super fun natural playground
Features: 300 acres of gorgeous grounds, five miles of hiking trails including the 3/8 mile Nature for All Trail, Nutshell Gift Shop (check the hours on their website before your visit to make sure it will be open!)
“Big’s Review”: Dahlem has awesome walking trails and an awesome playground. I wouldn’t recommend the playground for people with babies, but I would recommend they still visit to wander the trails. Dahlem is one of my favorite places to go!
Elizabeth’s Suggestion: I love going on the occasional solo hike here as well. When I get the chance to do so, I love taking the long hike out to the community garden, since that hike is a bit long for my kiddos.
Toddler Approved? The Nature for All trail is perfect for toddlers, and they will enjoy the natural playground as well. Aside from that, “Little” gives Dahlem his wandering approval.
Stroller friendly? The Nature for All Trail is not paved but is passable with a sturdy stroller. Props to the grown-ups that I have seen tackle this!
Big Kid Approved? 100%, yes.
Full Sun or Shade? Dahlem offers a little of each. I recommend hiking the prairie in early spring before it gets too hot, as this is a full sun location. The forest trails offer a lot more shade, as does most of the Nature for All Trail
Restroom? Currently closed until further notice
Cost? Free, but donations are accepted in the Donation Box by the front entrance and used for trail maintenance.
Parking? Dahlem has a large parking lot with plenty of spots.
Hours? Dawn to dusk, 7 days per week, including holidays
In short, in case you can’t tell, WE LOVE DAHLEM. We cannot say it enough times, but Dahlem is the perfect kid-friendly hiking location here in Jackson County! We love that even when there are a lot of cars in the parking lot, there is so much space for everyone that it never feels too people-y. If you see us out on the trails, say hello!