Exploring Local Parks: Bradford Dickinson White Nature Preserve

Julie Anna Densmore and her family are exploring local parks and sharing their adventures with us. Follow along and you might just find your new favorite place in Lowell.

With the temperatures dropping and the leaves changing, it’s the perfect time to venture out and experience Mother Nature in all her majestic glory. 

Lowell is home to hundreds of acres of beautiful parks and nature reserves. Having access to an incredible trail system and all of our beautiful preserved lands is such a gift to those of us lucky enough to call this idyllic little town home, so much that we feel inclined to dedicate an entire series to highlight the many spectacular hiking trails that Lowell has to offer.

Our hiking journey through Lowell begins at Bradford Dickinson White Nature Preserve, located at 12589 36th Street, Lowell, MI. 

B.D. White Nature Preserve is comprised of 45 acres of natural landscape, teeming with wildlife. It features a beautiful stream and meandering trails.

There are only enough parking spaces to facilitate one or two vehicles, so consider the time of day when planning your trip to this particular area.

The trail is 1.1 miles and is well marked, There are some alternate routes and uphill areas for a fairly decent workout. 

We loved the variation in the landscape through the winding trails. A symphony of bird songs carried through the forest, which was full of wild mushrooms, mossy banks and sweet, grassy smells.

It is worth noting the benefits we experience from a hike out in the natural world. We all know that going for a brisk walk is beneficial to our health, but there is more to be said for the effects of walking in nature, especially through forests. The USDA Forest Service states that “Exposure to forests strengthens our immune system, reduces blood pressure, increases energy, boosts our mood and helps us regain and maintain our focus in ways that treeless environments just don’t.” 

The higher concentration of plants means higher concentrations of oxygen, as well as the natural oils (chemicals known as phytoncides) that plants produce to defend themselves against unwanted pests, fungi and bacteria. Other ways we benefit from exposure to the phytoncides are reduced anxiety and stress hormones, heart rate and blood pressure, and an increase in anti-cancer proteins. And studies have shown that the effects of a hike through the forest can last for more than 30 days; which should encourage us to take a trip through nature once a month for our health and overall wellness.

At the B.D. White Nature Preserve, the trails are a bit narrow in some places and some areas are a bit steep, so for our seven-year-old daughter, there were challenging moments that we’d hold her hand through.

Leashed pets are permitted at the preserve, but please be equipped to clean up after them. And as always, please be respectful of these areas and keep them clean and pristine – bonus points if you bring gloves and a trash bag for trail cleanup while you hike.

You can read more about the history and legacy, conservation value and management practices going on at B.D. White Nature Preserve online.

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