ST. CHARLES, Mich. (Great Lakes News) – Ringwood Forest is a rugged 160 acre park in the middle of Saginaw County.

This is a great place for nature lovers of all ages to enjoy the outdoors in all seasons.  The trail loops are conveniently short, and most are less than a half mile in length.  The river and wetlands attract exotic birds, like mergansers and loons.  There are places along the bank of the river for fishing.

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If you visit Ringwood Forest in October, it will be a riot of fall colors that will rival anything to be found “Up North.” The park has a pavilion, a picnic area, a playground, and pit toilets.  The river access includes a canoe launch.

In the winter, these trails become cross-country ski trails.

Within the three miles of trails, the Historic Spruce Alley is one of the most beautiful loops.  After a short walk through the grand evergreens of the Pine Promenade, the Spruce Alley winds through the woods and back to the banks of the Bad River.

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There are several main trails in the Ringwood Forest with loops through unique habitats branching off each one.

The Walnut Ridge trail follows the course of the Bad River on the south bank.  At the end of the main loop, is a scenic overlook of the river.  From there hikers can take the Spruce Alley loop, or the Lumberjack loop, back to the picnic area.  These same trails can be hiked in the opposite order by starting down the Pine Promenade.

The Footbridge and Western trails are reached via the Muskrat Flats trail.  This trail crosses the river, where it branches into the Witch Hazel loop and the Pine Hills Run loop.  These are somewhat longer hikes, with the Witch Hazel loop charted at two miles long.

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All of the main trails are just a few steps from the parking lot and picnic area.

Find out more at the Michigan Back Roads website.

Directions: Ringwood Forest is located 2 miles South of St. Charles and 15 miles north of Owosso. From there it’s two miles west of M-52 on Ring Road.