Photo Gallery Friday: Winter at Deerfield Nature Park in Mount Pleasant, Michigan
Photo Gallery Friday is a regular feature on Travel the Mitten that will help showcase photos from places where one post just isn’t enough to show off everything.
One of our goals last year was to get out and visit many “new to us” parks in Michigan. One of our trips took us to Mount Pleasant, where we visited Deerfield Nature Park and had dinner and beer at Mountain Town Brewing Co. Deerfield Nature Park is an Isabella County park with 591 acres alongside the Chippewa River. This is a paradise for the outdoor recreation enthusiast in any season, as the park boasts two 18-hole disc golf courses, eight miles of hiking and biking trails, groomed cross-country skiing trails, a swimming beach, kayaking and canoeing, fishing, volleyball and horseshoes, and 10 campsites. The trails lead to two swinging bridges and a historic covered bridge, as well as artesian wells. Four covered pavilions and picnic areas provide opportunities for breaks. We visited the park in March when there was still a decent amount of snow on the ground, and left the parking area to hike. The Lewis Pontiac Trail is a short path that leads to the Lewis Pontiac Bridge, which provided great winter views of the partially frozen river. We then followed the River Trail, a 1.47 mile trail, to the point where it intersects the Covered Bridge Trail. That trail led us to the Fisher Bridge, a covered bridge built in 1968 and rebuilt in 1996 after it was destroyed by a fire. Open only to pedestrians and bicyclists, it is a beautiful bridge and something of a hidden gem. This is a popular spot for gatherings, summer weddings, and other photo opportunities according to the county’s site. For more information on the park and its amenities, head to: http://www.isabellacounty.org/parks-information/deerfield-nature-park. You’ll find trail maps and directions there. Despite the snowy conditions we had no trouble hiking in just winter boots, but support poles and boot-bottom strap-on traction (YakTrax, etc.) would certainly be helpful. If you’re visiting the Mount Pleasant area this year, consider stopping at Deerfield Nature Park to check out some of the best local nature trails.