The Huron County Nature Center and Wilderness Arboretum are located midway between Caseville and Port Austin. The wilderness arboretum offers over 120 acres of woods, dunes, marsh connected by an intensive trail system. This provides a glimpse of the upper thumb as it appeared 100 years ago. The land comprises alternating dune ridges (now with mature growth) and broad pine areas, oak, fern, and huckleberry.
The area was established in 1941 by Huron County Women’s Clubs on a large tract of untouched forest and ancient dunes in Hume Township, Michigan.
Walk on the Wild Side at the Huron County Nature Center and Wilderness Arboretum
The center offers many special weekend programs for families and naturalists. Check with the centers’ Programs and Events calendar for details and times. In addition, it provides well-groomed trails, raised boardwalks, and an interpretive center.
There is no charge to visit and walk the trails. However, donations are welcomed.
This site offers some of the best Thumb nature trails around. It’s dog-friendly and now provides a new mountain bike trail option.
Open 365 days of the year from dawn to dusk – No entrance fee or Michigan Recreation Passport required.
Huron County Nature Center Map
The HCNC is located east of Thomson County Park and south of Oak Beach County Park. Look for signs. Head south of M-25 on Oak Beach Road and turn left onto Loosemore Road. The center is ronon the left.
Huron County Nature Center Mountian Biking Trail
In 2017, the HCNC enlisted the help of bikers Rob Hair and Steve Penn to design a wilderness biking and hiking path roughly half a mile east of the present trail system but on the south side of Loosemore Road. Fundraising was carried out to cover the cost of four long boardwalks. In addition, the land was cleared of brush, and volunteer workers cut new pathways.
They came up with the idea of combining a five-loop trail system with linking trails to create a nearly 4-mile long mountain bike track. It is a single route that follows ridges split by swales in the landscape. This trail might get muddy, but it makes for a thrilling ride.
The trail loops are available to hikers and trail runners, although it is intended for off-road cycling. To minimize accidental interactions between trail users, all loops are designed to be traveled counterclockwise.
The Huron County Nature Center’s bike trail joins the Sleeper State Park bike trails as the only wilderness bike/hike trails open to off-road cyclists in the entire Thumb region of Huron, Sanilac, and Tuscola Counties.
Other Attractions Near the Huron County Nature Center
A Dozen Things to See and Do Around Huron County – We encountered many folks who have come up to Michigan’s Thumb for their entire lives but never have seen these exciting sites.
Official Site of the Huron Nature Center – Open 365 days of the year from dawn to dusk – No entrance fee or Michigan Recreation Passport required. Hiking and a 3.7-mile biking trail can be enjoyed.
On a Lake Huron Sand Dune…at Midnight – When the summer is over, it’s an entirely different feeling in the upper thumb.
12 Free Things to do in Michigan’s Thumb – We went looking for neat and exciting things and came up with this list of a dozen free things to do in Michigan’s Thumb. All are family-oriented and many are free. All they cost is your time.
17 Amusing Things to Do In Caseville Besides the Cheeseburger Festival – The 2020 Pandemic has forced the cancellation of the Cheeseburger in Caseville Festival this year. The festival is late summer, a fun-filled family event with plenty to do and see. But what else can you do?