Nature Walks Near Waterford

We love taking nature walks! Our kiddos get excited at the very mention of a nature walk near Waterford, MI. When we pack up our backpacks and head out for a day of exploring one of the beautiful nature centers in Oakland County, we know we are in for an adventure! We are so fortunate to have three great nature centers to choose from near Waterford.

Top 3 Nature Centers in Oakland County

  1. Drayton Plains Nature Center
  2. Independence Oaks
  3. Johnson Nature Center


  1. Drayton Plains has excellent facilities and walking trails.

Pack your lunch and enjoy one of the 12 picnic tables available on the grounds of this beautiful nature center in Oakland County. The trails meander through the trees and lead to serene spaces with ponds and the sounds of wildlife. Let your children learn about the nature that surrounds them at the interpretive nature center building.

Is there anything more exciting for a child than the chance to see a bird flying through the air or sitting on a nest? Bring the list of birds recorded at the Drayton Plains Nature Center on your nature walk and see how many you can spot. Don’t worry – there are plenty of birds on the list, so your kids can come back as many times as they want!


  1. Independence Oaks is more than just a one-day trip.

One visit to Independence Oaks Nature Center in Oakland County and you will understand why it is in our top three! There are so many scenic areas to walk, you won’t know which way to go first! The north end of the park features a 312-foot boardwalk that is a perfect stopping point for the kiddos to point out wildlife and look for fish.

Wint Nature Center is the closest location to Waterford to see the Inside l Out installation program from the Detroit Institute of Arts. The trail map will guide your nature walk through the areas of the park that feature artwork by Seurat, Degas, and more. Inspire your little nature lover with walks through the woods that includes reproductions of famous masterpieces!


  1. Your kids may never want to leave Johnson Nature Center!

The two miles of wood-chipped walking trails are just the beginning of this excursion into the best this nature center in Oakland County has to offer! A relaxing pond encourages visits from hikers and wildlife alike. Let your kids settle in with a snack and watch for deer, mink, red fox, and coyotes, as well as listen for the many birds that inhabit the nature center.

Watch your kiddos delight in experiencing some wildlife close-up! Johnson Nature Center in Oakland County offers special wildlife pens with orphaned animals such as deer and injured hawks and owls for observation. With ponds, plants, wildflowers, and a tributary, this nature center is sure to be a family favorite and in your personal top-three list for nature trails near Waterford!

We love nature walks and spending time in the nature centers in Oakland County. Looking for parks in the area? Check out our favorite parks in Waterford. If you are looking for activities to enjoy with your kiddos near Waterford, give us a call at The Breakie Bunch Learning Center. Your child’s success is our top priority!