Nature Centers in Macomb County

Whether your child's school is looking for a field trip destination or your family is looking informative, fun day in nature, these nature centers in Macomb County (and nearby) can meet your needs.

Do you have a ‘wild child’ at home? A little one that loves getting their hands dirty, splashing in streams and taking in nature? If so, head to a nature center! Not only will your family learn about native plants and animals in the region, you will be giving back to the preservation of our natural habitats.

These nature centers in Macomb County — and a couple nearby in Oakland County — have information on everything from the dinosaurs that used to roam the area, to the smallest lizards now lurking in our lakes. Head out for a guided hike, meet local animals or take a class as a family to learn skills like how to build a campfire.

Many of these nature centers are available for family events and field trips, so call to reserve your next birthday party or help your scout troop earn their badges.

Nature centers in Macomb County

Burgess-Shadbush Nature Center

There are two buildings to check out on this nature preserve: a modern nature center and a pioneer-era cabin. Both buildings host events, with the ones at the cabin being historically based — like how to boil maple syrup.

Some of the events at the nature center include the Nature Tales story time event, guided hikes, nature story times and holiday-themed events such as Earth Day Celebration, Halloween Spooktacular and Christmas Aglow.

Don’t forget to visit the turtles, snakes, lizards, bunnies and other fun animals that call the center home. You can even sponsor one to help with preservation efforts.

James B. and Ann V. Nicholson Nature Center

A partnership between the city of Clinton Township and Macomb County has allowed for the preservation of this 33-acre nature easement, which boasts numerous species of trees and plants, along with an array of wildlife — including foxes and blue herons. Local families are welcome to visit the nature preserve daily.

Lake St. Clair Nature Center and Metropark

Featuring informative displays on local flora, fauna and the historical use of the area by French Voyagers, this nature center is perfect for field trips. Park interpreters are available to lead guests through the displays and on nature walks and canoe trips through the freshwater march, meadows and woods. The center also offers programs to help Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts earn their nature badges.

Salt River Nature Center

Enjoy the scenic views along Salt River at this 32-acre property. This nature center offers nature paths, a paddle trail, wildlife viewing areas and more. Look for summer day camps and youth sporting leagues.

Sterling Heights Nature Center 

Experience live reptiles and amphibians, touch tables, and mounted mammals and birds. Learn more about Michigan’s nature with films, lectures, classes and nature walks in the surrounding woods. The nature center can be rented for events and parties, too.

Stony Creek Nature Center

  • Address: 4300 Main Park Road, Shelby Township
  • Phone: 586-781-9113
  • Hours: 1-5 p.m. Monday-Friday, 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Saturday-Sunday Sept. 1-June 18; 10 a.m.-5 p.m. daily June 19-Aug. 31

Participate in a summer camp, or just enjoy a regularly scheduled program to meet reptiles and fish. Scouts can earn badges for bugs, flowers, naturalist, geologist, and any kid can enjoy a class fieldtrip to this center.

Enjoy hiking the surrounding trails and relaxing on the lake. If you want someone to spot you on the lake, guided canoe tours are available at the center.

Wolcott Mill Farm Center and Historic Center

Farm Center:

Historic Center:

  • Address: 64162 Kunstman Road, Ray
  • Phone: 586-752-5932
  • Hours: 7 a.m.-7 p.m. November-March, 7 a.m.-8 p.m. April-October

This Metropark features three separate buildings to learn about and experience Michigan’s history. There are miles of hiking and horse-riding trails, indoor and outdoor camping opportunities, and animals galore. Educational programs are available in both the Farm Center and Historic Center — and group tours are offered, as well.

Nature centers not in Macomb County, but close by

Dinosaur Hill Nature Preserve

Located on 16 acres of protected land in the heart of busy Rochester in Oakland County, this is a great place to get lost in nature while still being close to home.

The center offers a variety of monthly classes and events that explore different aspects of nature. There are also storytimes and themed family campfires. The nature center is available for birthday parties and will even help with your theme – just call for details.

Stage Nature Center 

  • Address: 6685 Coolidge Highway, Troy
  • Phone: 248-688-9703
  • Hours: Trails are open year-round from dawn to dusk. Building hours: 9 a.m.-3 p.m. Tuesday-Friday, 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Saturday, closed Sunday, Monday and most major holidays.

This nature center is located nearby in Oakland County. After you hike along one of the four nature trails surrounding this center, head inside to visit the live beehive and the aqua wall full of reptiles and amphibians. Unearth history in the mastodon dig site or relax with a nature book in the library.

Head to the activity area to play a game or have lunch outside at one of the picnic tables. A family could easily spend the whole day at this nature center and you can do so by renting it out for your next gathering

This post was originally published in 2019 and is update regularly.

For more information on living and learning in Macomb County, visit Make Macomb Your Home. Find more articles like this at Metro Parent’s A Family Guide to Macomb County.

Kari Zaffarano
Kari Zaffarano
Kari Zaffarano is a mom of one and Metro Parent's Audience Development Coordinator. She tracks down the best events every week and shares the inside scoop with families in print and online. She enjoys reading, traveling and exploring metro Detroit with her son.


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