Best Outdoor Spots in Lansing, MI


Whether you’re a lifelong native of Lansing, or you’re just passing by for a visit, you may be overwhelmed by the endless list of things there are to do, see, and experience. Lansing’s outdoor activities should be at the top of your sightseeing list. This quiet city offers dozens of entertaining and leisure ideas for the visitor or local looking for a breath of fresh air.

1. Lansing River Trail

The Lansing River Trail is a multi-use trail, that stretches about thirteen miles along both the Grand and Red Cedar Rivers. The park splits into several offshoots, allowing you to explore multiple areas, enjoy the scenery, and get in a bit of exercise. It is not open to vehicles.

2. Planet Walk

Planet Walk recognizes the beauty, majesty, and mystery of the solar system in a miniature display within Lansing. The Planet Walk offers visitors a 5.5-mile walk that begins just outside of Impression 5 Science Center and ends up at Abrams Planetarium on the Michigan State University campus. Each step along the path brings you to a new aspect of a scaled representation of the solar system, offering a unique look at the wonders of our universe.

3. Hawk Meadows

The Lansing Parks, Recreation, and Cemeteries department is responsible for maintaining Hawk Meadows, which offers space for dozens of activities. The park includes several nature trails and provides facilities for recreational and public events, athletics, and other services.

4. Anderson Park

Anderson Park, most notable for the Anderson Park Trail, offers multiple opportunities for outdoor adventures. The Anderson Park Trail is just shy of four miles long, consisting of a moderately trafficked trail loop that is ideal for summer hiking or cross-country skiing. The trail is dog-friendly and is located inside Lansing’s city limits to make access ultra-easy.

5. W.J. Beal Botanical Garden

botanical parkFounded in 1873, W.J. Beal Botanical Garden is the oldest continuously operated garden of its kind in the United States. With over 5,000 different plant species organized in ecological, landscape, and economic groupings, this spot is a great place to breathe in fresh floral scents and to enjoy an educational escape.

6. Crego Park

Crego Park is a quiet, isolated gem offering activities on over 200 acres of private space. The park is home to nature trails (including the Lansing River Trail, mentioned above, to which this park’s trails connect) as well as areas where you can fish, kayak, or canoe.

7. Fenner Nature Center

Fenner Nature Center is an interactive venue designed for children and adults alike. With many miles of self-guided nature trails, as well as exhibits in fields, woods, and around ponds, this year-round center offers opportunities for learning and fresh air throughout the seasons.

8. Delta Mills Park

As the township’s first park facility, Delta Mills Park is a great place to spend an afternoon or an entire day. There is water access to allow for fishing and canoeing, as well as a picnic area and recently updated playground equipment. The park is home to nature trails, basketball, pickleball, volleyball courts, and softball fields.

9. Granger Meadows Park/Valley Farms Park

This park is unique from other recreational facilities, designed for year-round use. Its facilities can be used for wintertime favorites like sledding and cross-country skiing, as well as offering traditional summer amenities like hiking trails, playground facilities, and picnic areas. The park is home to an ice skating pond, restroom facilities, a softball diamond, and more, providing a whopping 76 acres for you to enjoy the great outdoors.

10. The Howard and Erna Soldan Dog Park

dog parkIf you have a four-legged friend, this spot is a must-visit destination in Lansing. It features well over fifteen acres of space for your dog to roam. There are hiking trails, a private dog park, and plenty of drinking fountains for your pets and their two-legged companions, as well.


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Rachel Vogel