Self-guided Trails

Interpretive sign along a walkwayThe paved, universally accessible Rock Walkway outside the center is lined with large boulders of bedrock that form a unique time line of Michigan's geologic history. This trail also provides a great view of Mill Lake at several vantage points. Adjacent to the rock trail, visitors may enjoy the sheltered picnic area; a grill is provided. On the west side of the building, an observation deck offers the visitor a pleasant view of Mill Lake, and a telescope is provided for viewing waterfowl and other wildlife.

Hiking Trails

Hiker reading a mapFifteen miles of hiking trails fan out from the discovery center. The trails include the Old Field Trail, which loops around an open area that gradually is being overtaken by shrubs. The Lowland Trail loops through a forested wetland, with a long boardwalk traversing the mucky area. The Spring Pond Trail loops around a shrubby swamp; the area attracts numerous wildlife species, especially during spring. The Bog Trail, Waterloo's best-known trail, offers an opportunity for hikers to view the bog's unique flora and fauna firsthand from a boardwalk that extends well into the bog. Oak Woods Trail is great for seeing geologic features and a nice view of Mill Lake before retreating back into a forested area. Lakeview Trail circles around a field as well as a young forested area. Farthest from the center and accessed at the park headquarters, the Hickory Hills Trail travels through a mature oak-hickory forest. This very hilly trail has a number of steep inclines, but offers a spectacular view of Crooked Lake.