Trail

Ecosystem Preserve

Grand Rapids, MI
Length: 1.00 mi.
Type: Lollipop

About This Trail

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The Ecosystem Preserve was established in 1985, and occupies the northern half of Calvin College’s east campus.

The 100+ acre preserve includes:

  • 44 trailed acres open to the public (includes mature deciduous forest and 13 ponds and vernal pools)
  • Over a mile of walking trails(woodchip surface and boardwalks–All-terrain stroller friendly)
  • Buiten Wildlife Sanctuary (60 acres of wildlife refuge with restricted access, used for scientific research)
  • Bunker Interpretive Center (used for  classes and community educational programs)

The best place to begin is to park in either the small lot by Bunker Interpretive Center or the north end of Lot 13. Both areas have access to the trails. You can stick to the outer perimeter loop or there are also a couple smaller offshoot loops to explore.

Please walk only on designated trails, and leave everything as you found it (collecting is not allowed). No pets, large groups, loud activities, running, biking, skiing, snow-shoeing, ice skating, fishing, or smoking.

Walking trails are open to the public everyday from 7 a.m. until dusk. Restrooms are available in Bunker Interpretive Center.

Bunker Interpretive Center (BIC) hours

Summer (mid-May through August):
Monday–Friday, from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

Academic year (September through mid-May):
Monday–Friday, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Closed weekends and holidays (Labor Day, Thanksgiving weekend, Christmas break, New Year’s Eve and Day, Good Friday, Memorial Day, and Independence Day)

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Trail Features

Seasons Fall, Spring, Summer, and Winter
Surface type Mixed
Stroller friendly Yes
ADA accessible No
Water fountains Yes
Bathrooms Yes
Cell reception Excellent
Pet friendly No
Nearby convenience store Yes
Camping Nearby No
Emergency support
within 5 miles
Yes

Trail highlights

Boardwalk, Lake, Shaded Hike, Visitor Center, and Wildlife Viewing

Stop into the Bunker Interpretive Center and check out the seasonal educational displays, view some Michigan frogs and turtles up close, read a storybook, and star in your own puppet show!

Throughout the year, they offer a variety of educational programs and events for all ages. Visit https://calvin.edu/ecosystem-preserve/programs-events/ to see what’s currently offered.

Trail Contributor

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