Whiting Forest in Midland, Michigan
Whiting Forest of Dow Gardens is a truly special place in Michigan. In October 2018, Whiting Forest opened up the nation's longest canopy walk, which hovers above the ground at heights up to forty feet. The walk is 1,400 feet long, but laid out in such a way that even young children or those with physical impairments navigate it with ease. Certainly, the walk is the absolute highlight of any trip to Whiting Forest, but it's hardly the only thing that makes this place worth visiting.
Whiting Forest is the kind of place that young children dream about when they think of disappearing into a deciduous forest. The colorful fall leaves are a perfect compliment to the organic design of the canopy walk, providing plenty of nooks, crannies and special places to hide away or take in a vista. The forest is easy to navigate and difficult to get lost in, despite its size, since it contains many intuitive and well marked trails.
The best part about Whiting Forest for families is the wonderful playground installation. It is one of the largest playgrounds I've taken our little man to, featuring many natural details, such as real rocks to scamper over. I loved how they did a great job incorporating elements of nature into the playground, instead of simply constructing another brightly colored artificial structure. When everyone is finished getting their share of fresh air and playtime, a conveniently located cafe nearby offers hot cocoa and freshly baked treats.