A week-long class at Central Michigan University brought Mary Zucchero to Mt. Pleasant, but it was her discovery of Deerfield Nature Park that keeps bringing her back even when she’s not on business.
Zucchero, the executive director of the Livingston County Convention & Visitors Bureau, was impressed by the wildlife, the soothing sounds of the Chippewa River and the ability to stretch her legs on eight miles of hiking trails after being in a classroom all day.
“(It’s) a hidden gem and it’s one of the best parks in the state,” said Zucchero, an avid hiker who enjoys time on her local metroparks system in addition to state and national trails. “I needed a break from all the studying and classes and found this park. I went every day and sometimes twice a day.
“It’s rare to find a park in Michigan with a covered bridge, two suspension footbridges and amazing trails that overlook the river.”
Zucchero sat by the river and read, watched as kayakers floated by on the Chippewa River and observed birdwatchers in the serene setting. It’s an environment that relieves stress and serves as a year-round attraction for those looking to unwind. The 591-acre park also features:
- 4 covered pavilions
- kayak/canoe launch
- Two 18-hole disc golf course
- artesian well
- cross-country skiing (groomed trails)
- sledding hill
- sandy swimming beach
- fishing along the Chippewa River
In addition to Deerfield Park, the Mt. Pleasant area claims many other activities to free your mind. Here are tips to get the most out of your visit:
Mt. Pleasant is surrounded with outdoor beauty and activities that will get your blood moving after a day in a meeting or classroom.
- Golf: Bring your clubs on your fall trip because Michigan’s Central Swing can help craft a perfect golf outing for your group or individuals can use it as a guide for the 11 courses on the golf trail. The diverse course styles can challenge golfers with championship, links-style or classic designs.
- Footgolf: Try something new with footgolf, a soccer-style outing that uses your legs as the club at Riverwood Resort. Nine holes gives people of all skill levels to enjoy the outdoors without the precision of traditional golf.
- Water wonderland: Head out on clear and calm waters of the Chippewa River in a canoe or kayak. Check out these three rental locations and take in three season views of woodland habitats and wildlife.
There’s no shortage of activities and events to keep you busy while around town.
- Roll the dice or Rock the house: Soaring Eagle Casino and Resort has the largest gaming floor in the Midwest with thousands of slots, table games, poker and more. The jam-packed excitement extends to the resort’s indoor concert hall and huge outdoor venue, sites where national acts in country, pop, rock and comedy routinely light up the night and bring down the house.
- The Central experience: There’s always something going on at Central Michigan University, one of the state’s premier schools. Whether your passion is athletics, arts or something else, Central Michigan has a ticket or an activity that will find your joy on-campus.
- Play Pebble Beach: When the weather won’t allow for live golf, Bucks Run Virtual Golf is a full-swing, indoor golf simulator that has 16 world-famous courses to choose from.
Dinner and a drink on the town:
If you’re looking for a more relaxing wind down, you’ll find it here.
- Wine and Dine: There’s nothing like kicking back and unwinding with dinner and a cold drink. Find the best of Michigan with local flavor from Mt. Pleasant originals like Adelaide’s Bistro, Camille’s on the River, Midori Sushi & Martini Lounge or Mountain Town Station. The fresh, farm-to table taste and mix of options make every night an experience.
- Locals’ secrets: When you can find an option that locals love, you know you’re doing it right. Hunter’s Ale House — on top of being a great place to try a new beer — is an area mainstay for trivia on Wednesdays and karaoke on Thursdays. See if you can claim the win for your team.
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