Any time of the year, nature is waiting for you. Explore, discover, learn, and play at the Lloyd A. Stage Nature Center in Troy. Whether you are interested in taking a class or exploring on your own, there is something for everyone here.
Lloyd A. Stage Nature Center Building
If you are looking for some great indoor fun, then check out the Nature Center building itself. With a dinosaur dig pit, a play area that has toys, puzzles, and touch stations, a toad tank, and a collection of stuffed (taxidermy) animals to look at, your children will be busy for hours. The center offers classes and group tours. They also host special programs including summer day camps and the Junior Naturalist Club. You can register for these programs online at www.stagenaturecenter.org. Be sure you check out the beautiful sunroom where you can find an amazing, live beehive exhibit.
Explore the Trails
When you’re ready to head outdoors, there are over 2 miles of trails to explore. Stage Nature Center encompasses a 100-acre preserve with trails that wind through wetland, forest and meadow habitats. The walking paths are suitable for jogging strollers. However, you may come upon some muddy patches if it has been raining. Our two 3-year-old adventurers had no problem navigating most of the walk. Be aware that the trails do run through some wetlands, and that there are no rails on the boardwalk edges. There are a couple of bridges that cross the Rouge River, though it’s more of a brook in this area.
During our 90 minutes of hiking, we saw many Whitetail Deer, ducks, birds, squirrels, and even a small snake! We all enjoyed our sunny time outside. Not only did we get fresh air and exercise, but we also had plenty of hands on learning opportunities.
After hiking the kids played inside the Nature Center building and would have happily stayed longer if it weren’t lunchtime! They also enjoyed climbing on the plastic “rock” formations in front of the building. There are a bit high for brazen little ones, so they enjoyed that more than the mamas did, but they are perfect for slightly older kids (say 6+). We all look forward to further explorations there again soon and it would be a great family day trip to get out and enjoy nature together without having to leave the suburbs! As a side note, because the area is a natural wetland, mosquitos may be an issue in warmer weather, so bring bug spray during bug season.
Stage Nature Center Hours and Location
Note that there are public restrooms available inside the Nature Center building, which is open Tuesday through Friday 9-3, and Saturday 10-4. Call to verify hours during holidays as they may vary. Trail hours are daily from dawn until dusk, and no pets, bikes, or running is allowed. The Stage Nature Center is located at 6685 Coolidge Hwy Troy, MI 48098 and the phone number is 248-688-9703