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Michigan State Parks

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Northeast Region
Tittabawassee River State Forest
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The Tittabawassee River State Forest, located in Michigan, is a scenic and abundant natural area encompassing approximately 2,000 acres. This forest is characterized by its diverse ecosystem, offering a blend of wetlands, forests, and the majestic Tittabawassee River, creating a haven for wildlife and nature enthusiasts alike. Visitors can explore the forest through well-maintained trails that allow close encounters with unique flora and fauna, providing an immersive, tranquil experience in the heart of nature. With its serene atmosphere and picturesque river views, the Tittabawassee River State Forest is an ideal destination for outdoor activities such as hiking, birdwatching, and fishing, ensuring a memorable and rejuvenating escape from the bustling city life.
History of the Area
Tittabawassee River State Forest is located in the eastern portion of central Michigan and covers an area of approximately 6,500 acres. It is named after the Tittabawassee River, which runs through the forest. The history of the Tittabawassee River State Forest is closely tied to the history of land use and conservation efforts in Michigan.

In the early 19th century, Michigan was largely covered by dense forests, which were a valuable resource for the growing state. However, extensive logging took place in the region during the mid-to-late 1800s, with large-scale clear-cutting and extraction of timber. This resulted in significant deforestation and habitat loss, leading to concerns about the long-term sustainability of the state's natural resources.

To address these concerns, the state of Michigan began acquiring lands for the establishment of state forests. The Tittabawassee River State Forest was first established in 1927 when the state purchased 2,560 acres of land in Saginaw and Midland counties. Over the years, the forest has expanded through additional land acquisitions and now spans across various areas, including Tittabawassee Township and Ingersoll Township.

The primary purpose of Tittabawassee River State Forest is to protect and enhance forest resources and ecosystems while providing various recreational opportunities for the public. The forest is managed by the Michigan Department of Natural Resources (DNR), which focuses on sustainable timber production, wildlife habitat management, and outdoor recreation.

The Tittabawassee River State Forest offers a range of recreational activities, including hiking, birdwatching, hunting, fishing, and camping. The forest serves as an important habitat for various wildlife species, including white-tailed deer, turkey, squirrels, and numerous bird species. Additionally, the Tittabawassee River, which flows through the forest, provides opportunities for boating, canoeing, and kayaking.

The Tittabawassee River State Forest has gained attention due to its proximity to the town of Midland, which experienced severe flooding in May 2020. The flooding resulted from heavy rainfall and the failure of the Edenville and Sanford Dams on the Tittabawassee River. However, the forest remains an important natural area and continues to be managed for the benefit of both people and wildlife in the region.
The Recreation Passport is required for vehicle entry into state parks and recreation areas, state boat launches, state forest campgrounds and state trail parking lots. Details and information on how to obtain your Michigan Recreation Passport can be found by visiting the MICHIGAN RECREATION PASSPORT web page.
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Tittabawassee River State Forest is located near Midland, Mount Pleasant
Nearby Parks

1. Tittabawassee River Trail: This trail is approximately 3 miles long and follows the course of the river, offering scenic views of waterways, wetlands and diverse wildlife habitats.

2. Pine Haven Recreation Area Trails: These trails are located within a large pine forest in the park's northern section. The area has several looped routes ranging from easy to moderate difficulty levels with distances varying between 0.5 mile to over two miles.

3. White Birch Loop Trail: A moderately challenging hike that spans about four miles through dense forests filled with white birch trees; this path provides opportunities for bird watching as well as sightings of other local fauna like deer or foxes.

4. Hemlock Grove Pathway: An easier route suitable for beginners or families which winds its way around an old-growth hemlock grove covering nearly one mile distance on flat terrain.

5. Oak Ridge Hiking Route: It's a more strenuous uphill climb leading hikers up onto oak-covered ridges where they can enjoy panoramic vistas across vast expanses of woodland below them.

6. Wetland Wanderer Track: As name suggests it takes you deep into marshy areas providing unique experiences such as spotting rare amphibians & aquatic plants along roughly three-mile stretch.

7. Maple Forest Circuit - About five-miles-long circular track meandering amidst maple tree clusters giving visitors chance to witness vibrant color changes during fall season.

8. Blue Jay Way- Short half-a-mile nature walk ideal even for young children featuring interpretive signs explaining various aspects related flora/fauna found here.

9. Riverside Ramble- Two-and-half-miles trek alongside picturesque banks affording beautiful sunset/sunrise views plus occasional glimpsing at beavers building dams etc.

10. Cedar Swamp Stroll-A boardwalk-based pathway extending little less than two kilometers enabling exploration inside swamp without getting feet dirty while observing cedar-dominated ecosystem closely.

11. Fox Run Ridge- A challenging six-mile-long trail that ascends steeply to a ridge offering breathtaking views of the surrounding forest and river valley.

12. Wildflower Walkway: This is an easy, one mile looped path through meadows filled with wildflowers during spring & summer months.

13. Sand Dune Climb: It's unique in sense it leads hikers up onto large sand dunes formed thousands years ago providing unusual hiking experience within otherwise woodland setting .

14. Pine Cone Path: An educational half-a-mile long route featuring signs about local pine species along way making it perfect for school trips or nature enthusiasts wanting learn more about these trees.

15. Bear Paw Trail: Named after frequent bear sightings this five-miles track takes you deep into remote parts where chances encountering wildlife are higher than elsewhere.

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Area Campgrounds
Outdoor Adventures Mount Pleasant Resort
340 North Loomis Road
Mount Pleasant, MI

1. Start by heading north on I:75 if you are coming from Detroit or south if you are coming from Mackinac City.
2. Take exit 162 for M:13 toward Bay City/Saginaw and merge onto M-13 North.
3. Continue driving on M:13 North for approximately 15 miles until you reach Freeland.
4. In Freeland, turn left onto W Washington Road (also known as County Highway A20).
5. Follow W Washington Road for about 6 miles until it intersects with N Midland Rd/County Hwy:A14; take a right at this intersection.
6. Drive straight ahead on N Midland Rd/County Hwy:A14 for around 7 miles until reaching St Charles Street/Midland-Bay County Line Road; make a left turn here.
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Michigan State Parks