Blandford Nature Center invites people of all ages to enjoy, explore and learn in nature. Located just six miles from downtown Grand Rapids, it encompasses 264 acres of wooded and naturalized trails, a working farm and historic buildings – including a log cabin, barn, schoolhouse and sugarhouse – dating as far back as 1853.
Visitors are welcome to wander the trails and discover the unique beauty of West Michigan, from native trees and plants to indigenous wildlife. Blandford also hosts a wide variety of community programs – animal experiences, classes and workshops, seasonal camps and annual events including a spring Sugarbush Festival and fall Harvest Festival.
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Blandford Nature Center:
What can I see and do at Blandford Nature Center?
Hike eight miles of trails and experience nature through all four seasons. (You can rent snowshoes in winter or bring your cross-country skis.) Visit Wildlife Ambassadors in the Wildlife Education Center and along the Wildlife Trail. Say hello to farm animals and visit the Children’s Garden. Explore the historical buildings of Heritage Village. Attend a community class, demonstration, workshop or event – check Blandford’s Community Calendar for upcoming programs.
Is Blandford good for kids?
If your kids love nature and animals, absolutely! Blandford offers a number of opportunities especially for kids, including day camps, wildlife and nature experiences, school field trips, homeschool programs and more. Nature Nook and Farm playscapes are great for younger ages.
When is Blandford open?
Blandford is open daily from dawn to dusk for trail users. The Visitor Center and Farm are open Monday-Saturday from 9am-5pm.
What is the admission price?
Admission is $3 per person for non-members and free for members. Classes and special events may require an additional fee.
Are there discounts available?
Become a Blandford Nature Center member to enjoy a year of free admission, free snowshoe rentals, discounted pricing on events and experiences, and early registration for programs that often sell out.
Is Blandford Accessible for guests with special needs?
Wooded trails at Blandford are wide and woodchipped but elevation changes and the effects of weather can make them difficult to negotiate for those with mobility issues. The Highlands, a meadowed preserve adjacent to the wooded property, has flatter terrain. An ADA accessible walking path connects the parking lot at the Highlands with the parking lot at the Blandford Visitor Center, ensuring that all visitors (and people with strollers) can experience nature. Two walkers, an electric mobility scooter, adult wheelchair and children’s all-terrain wheelchair can be checked out on a first-come, first-serve basis. Guests can also check out sensory bags containing noise-canceling headphones, fidget toys and a feelings card for visitors with sensory issues.
Where is it located?
Blandford Nature Center is located on the northwest side of Grand Rapids, about six miles from downtown. It is easily accessible by car. Route 7 of the Rapid Bus system stops at the corner of Hillburn Ave. NW and Leonard St. NW, about one-half mile from the Visitor Center.
Where can I park?
There is abundant parking available at two locations on Blandford’s property: the Visitor Center and The Highlands.
Is food available?
Is there a gift shop?
Yes, there is a gift shop in the Blandford Visitor Center, filled with a constantly changing variety of nature and animal-themed items.
Is it open all year?
Trails are open 365 days a year. The Visitor Center is open Monday-Saturday and closed on major holidays.
What kinds of events does Blandford host?
Annual events include the Sugarbush Festival (March), celebrating maple syrup tapped on site, and the Harvest Festival (October), which revels in the splendor of autumn. A summer concert series wildlife care classes, nature observations, arts & crafts workshops and outdoor yoga are among the many other events Blandford hosts throughout the year.