Where to Take a Nature Bath in Southeast Michigan

A nature bath, also known as forest bathing, can have some feel-good benefits for the whole family.

Fresh air, beautiful scenery and the sounds of the great outdoors. There is nothing more peaceful than unplugging from technology and truly connecting with nature in Pure Michigan.

This ritual practice — also known as nature or forest bathing — comes from a Japanese concept developed in the 1980s. During a nature bath, you experience nature therapy by “bathing” in the energy of clean air to awaken the senses. Taking a mindful stroll through nature is known to ease stress, restore positive moods and boost immune function.

Here are some places to get you started on taking a nature bath with kids.

Carpenter Lake Nature Preserve

A hidden gem that is ideal for a nature bather who opts for the ability to appreciate the natural habitat over long trails, Carpenter Lake Nature Preserve features more than 40 acres of woodlands, forested wetlands and native meadows. This peaceful area overlooks the beautiful Carpenter Lake, which boasts viewing platforms from multiple angles.

Crosswinds Marsh Wetland Interpretive Preserve

This thousand-acre wetland has become a national benchmark for ecological restoration and environmental design. The park consists of open marsh, wet meadows, forested wetlands and upland forests. Nature enthusiasts enjoy the park trail system and boardwalks that allow for the viewing of more than 240 species of birds and 40 species of mammals.

Kensington Metropark

Kensington Metropark is a 4,400-acre mecca of wooded and hilly terrain surrounding Kent Lake. Home to an abundance of wildlife and waterfowl, nature bathers can walk through rolling hills, wooded hiking trails and sandy beaches. A great place to bird watch, don’t be surprised if your family has a close encounter with Sand Hill Cranes and Blue and White Herons.

Maybury State Park

Maybury State Park is an ideal location for nature bathing. Set up for those who like to keep fit while enjoying the outdoors, the park offers four miles of paved trail and six miles of cross-country trails. All trails allow visitors to experience different areas of the park, including gently rolling terrain, woodlands, and an open meadow and forest. Many of the trails offer beautiful views of ponds and expose nature bathers to abundant wildflowers and wildlife throughout the park.

Whitmore Lake Preserve

Considered a gem in Washtenaw County, Whitmore Lake Preserve features a wealth of trails that let visitors explore diverse habitats, including, meadows, mixed hardwood forest and wooded wetlands, with scenic views over a large marsh and small lakes. The trails have quiet sections of shady forest and wide-open fields for nature meditation. Depending on the time of year, nature bathers will find flowers as well as turtles and frogs.

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