The Mt. Pleasant area offers a wide variety of outdoor recreational opportunities, and with over 1,000 acres of parkland and 19 nature preserves, there are plenty of ways to unplug and unwind in central Michigan. Check out our top picks for the best spots to hike, walk, or bike along the Chippewa River – the jewel of central Michigan.

Deerfield Nature Park

Voted Most Beautiful Place in Isabella County by Pure Michigan, Deerfield Nature Park consists of 591 acres and 8 miles of hiking trails. The River Trail is 1.47 miles long and runs along the Chippewa River, providing a beautiful scenic overlook. There is also a suspension bridge and a covered bridge that both go over the Chippewa River.

Insider Tip: Deerfield Park is also home to two Grade A, 18-hole Disc Golf courses – the Deerfield Course and the Wildwood Course!

Audubon Woods Preserve

Audubon Woods Preserve, one of the CWC Nature Preserves, provides 40 acres to explore with a series of winding footpaths and more than a ¼ mile of scenic Chippewa River frontage. It is a great place for hiking, bird and wildlife watching, fishing, and picnicking.

Insider Tip: Over 110 species of birds have been documented on the preserve!

GKB Riverwalk Trail

The GKB Riverwalk Trail provides a universally accessible paved pathway through one of Mt. Pleasant’s most scenic and protected areas, and winds along nearly 2 miles of the Chippewa River. The trail begins at Chipp-a-Waters Park and extends through 4 more city parks, ending at Pickens Field just north of historic Downtown. Along the trail, you will find picnic tables, pavilions, benches, and public restrooms.

Insider Tip: During your excursion, take a break for a bite to eat at one of the many downtown dining hot-spots.

Sylvan Solace Preserve

Sylvan Solace Preserve is the CWC’s most accessible large preserve and consists of more than 1,700 feet of scenic viewscapes and riparian corridor (vegetation) along the Chippewa River. There are even benches placed at scenic overlooks to admire the Chippewa River.

Insider Tip: Sylvan Solace is a popular destination for year-round recreation activities such as hiking, birdwatching, cross-country skiing, and snowshoeing.

Meridian Park

Meridian Park is 152 acres and is used by hikers, runners, fishing enthusiasts, and many others. The park offers Chippewa River access, excellent river fishing, hiking and biking trails, diverse vegetation, and a picnic area.

Insider Tip: Meridian Park is a great place to take your four-legged friend on a walk (must be leashed)!

Canoe Liveries

For those searching for even more adventure on the mighty Chipp’ River, visit Buckley’s Mountainside Canoes or Chippewa River Outfitters to rent all of the essentials, including canoes, kayaks, and tubes.

Meet Mt. Pleasant

While on your outdoor adventure, be sure to snap a photo and tag us using the hashtag #Meetmtp. Follow the Mt. Pleasant CVB on Facebook, Instagram, and TikTok to keep up with the latest in the Mt. Pleasant area.

Photo Credits: Chippewa Watershed Conservancy, Isabella County Parks & Recreation