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Bay City SRA: Lagoon Trail & Chickadee Nature Trail
Two short interpretive trails depart from near the Saginaw Bay Visitor Center; Lagoon Trail and Chickadee Nature Trail, both with display signs and built to be handicapped accessible.
At the south end of the Lagoon Trail loop a paved trail departs south to cross State Park Drive and connect to the Bay County Riverwalk Rail-Trail, a 17.5-mile system of walkways and pathways that extends to Bay City.
East of the interpretive center, the Lagoon Trail is a 0.9-mile loop that encircles Tobico Lagoon, the outlet of Tobico Marsh. It’s posted near the large fishing pier that extends out onto the lagoon and is used by anglers interested in catching panfish. The trail stays in view of the lagoon and halfway through the hike uses a boardwalk to cross the marsh’s outlet into Saginaw Bay.
Chickadee Nature Trail
Chickadee Nature Trail is west of the visitor center and features a handful of colorful interpretive displays. The paved trail loops around the Lakeplain Prairie, a restoration project that was undertaken by the Michigan Civilian Conservation Corps in 2000.
The Saginaw Bay Visitor Center was dedicated in 1995 as the newest state park interpretive center. Formerly known as the Jennison Nature Center, the exhibit hall is a result of a million dollar renovation that now explores how the Saginaw Bay was formed and the abundance of life found in a wetland. The facility features a 100-seat auditorium with a multi-image slide show, hands-on displays that help visitors to learn how to identify waterfowl and a glass-walled observation room to observe wildlife.
The Saginaw Bay Visitor Center (989-667-0717) is open Tuesday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and noon to 5 p.m. Sunday. A vehicle entry fee is required to enter the state park.
Bay City State Recreation Area is 5 miles north of Bay City and reached from I-75 by departing at exit 168 and heading east on Beaver Road. It's almost 5 miles to the park entrance, just past the intersection with M-247 (Euclid Road).
For more information on the trail call the Saginaw Bay Visitor Center (989-667-0717) or the Bay City State Recreation Area headquarters (989-684-3020).
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