A forest with more than 50 acres sits in the heart of a Mid-Michigan city and will soon be home to the nation’s longest canopy walk.
The new feature of Midland’s Whiting Forest promises spectacular views any time of the year.
“When you come out to Whiting Forest and you get up into the canopy walk you cannot believe you’re in Midland or even in Michigan,” said Kyle Bagnall, program manager for the forest.
The attraction, full of bridges and walkways, is a whopping 1,400 feet long and sprawls over the forest.
“What’s so exciting about this forest, it’s right in the middle of a city. It’s 50 acres. So when you hear about Central Park in New York and we know how exciting that is, we have the same thing here in Midland,” said Chuck Martin, grounds manager for the forest.
Martin has seen the project grow while at the same time protecting the trees and wildlife. He said the 54-acre site will have a café, 71 different apple trees, natural art pieces and a playground.
“Every day we come out and see the project. There’s something new, there’s been a new detail added or a new adventure for people to see and experience,” Martin said.
Martin said the best part of the canopy is the view of nature from under the trees. The handicap accessible walkway allows you to get a better look at the forest from above.
The orchard arm of the canopy walk is the highest point. It measures 40 feet.
The walk will be open year-round, depending on the weather, for a low price. It’s all thanks to the Herbert H. and Grace A. Dow Foundation.
“It was designed as a gift to the community in many different ways. So, Whiting Forest and Dow Gardens is a way for people to get outside and enjoy beauty and be with each other in a beautiful setting,” Bagnall said.
They plan to open the canopy walk to the public in early October.
“You’ll find yourself kind of swept away and really enjoying a natural experience that you’ll never forget,” Bagnall said.
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