Last week we visited the Midland Canopy Walk of Dow Gardens. It is a truly amazing experience and a great way to spend some quality time outside with your family. (Check out 1000 hours outside.) The Whiting Forest is home to the country’s longest canopy walk. The ADA Accessible (and stroller friendly) pathway was designed by Metcalfe and stretches over 1,400 linear feet and reaches a height of forty feet at it’s tallest point overlooking the orchards. Other noteworthy features at the Whiting Forest of Dow Gardens include the playground, cafe, creek & trails, educational programming and 54 acres of forest that host a diverse population of plants and wildlife.
The Midland Canopy Walk at Whiting Forest of Dow Gardens
The scenic pathway stretches just over 1/4 of a mile and features three arms. The Spuce arm features a large cargo net where children can climb, jump, balance and play.
The Pond Arm sits 25 feet above Lake Margrador and provides a covered, peaceful place to relax and enjoy the sights and sounds of nature.
The Orchard Arm Overlook reaches 40 feet above the ground and features a glass floor platform with a gorgeous view of the newly planted apple orchard.
Two pods offer a unique place to play, explore or rest.
The Playground at Whiting Forest
The girls had a blast climbing, running, jumping and exploring all the features on the ADA accessible playground at Whiting Forest. The playground offers swings, a slide, tunnels, a water feature (weather permitting), and plenty of opportunities for children to climb and test their balance.
The Whiting Forest Cafe
The Whiting Forest Cafe is located right next to the playground. They offer locally sourced items such as coffee, sandwiches, soup and more. The Cafe is open daily from 11 am to 1 pm and offers a great place to take a break, relax and recharge before heading back out to the forest. The facility is ADA accessible and offers restrooms and convenient parking.
We had lunch at the Cafe. We tried the ham and cheese sandwich, the kids had cream cheese and jelly, they shared a fruit cup and each had a hot chocolate. The lunch was basic. The ham and cheese sandwich was two slices of white bread, two slices of ham and cheese. The fruit cup contained grapes and cheese squares. I did love the biodegradable plates and the comfortable space, but if we go again, we will likely pack our lunch.
Our Experience at Midland’s Canopy Walk at Whiting Forest
We arrived shortly after 11:00 pm and stayed until a bit after 1:30 pm. We had scheduled a visit to the Dow Gardens to follow the experience at the Whiting Forest. It was a bit much to do all in one day. The girls (ages 3, 6, and 9) wanted to spend more time at the playground. We could have easily spent the next two hours at Whiting Forest at the playground and exploring the forest trails.
I noticed so many great things while visiting Whiting Forest.
Everything we encountered was ADA accessible, family-friendly and focused on inclusion, like the gender-neutral restrooms.
I loved seeing the various bat boxes about the forest.
While we had our own tour guide, it was great to see a docent on the canopy walk answering guest questions.
Rolling hills right by the entrance to the canopy walk were intentionally installed for guests (mostly children) to run and play on.
We had a great time during our visit to the Midland Canopy Walk at the Whiting Forest and I can’t wait to visit again.
Amber is the proud mother to four beautiful children, Damian (27), Rosaleigh (14), Carlyn (11), and Naomi (8). Her family also includes four cats.
She loves being a stay-at-home mom and feels blessed to be able to care for her children full-time and provide them with so many opportunities through Metro Detroit Mommy. In addition to Metro Detroit Mommy, Amber has a passion for hosting karaoke with Malibu Entertainment. She enjoys the metro Detroit nightlife especially, singing, dancing and meeting new people.