Reach for the Sky Canopy Walk
Funded through our Reach For The Sky initiative, this at-tree-level walk allows visitors to experience the tree canopy like never before with ways to connect with nature via up-close observation of leaves, branches, birds, insects and other woodland wildlife above the ground.
This one-of-a-kind contemporary attraction will appeal to both local residents and tourists while contributing to the cultural setting of the Lenawee, Jackson, Hillsdale and Washtenaw County communities. The project is designed to provide significant opportunities for education, outreach, research, visitor experience, tourism and economic development.
Please visit Reach for the Sky Canopy Walk | Infrastructure Planning and Facilities (msu.edu) for the most current information.
In addition to more than 6 miles of one-way paved drives, there are 12 miles of hiking trails to allow the visitor a closer look at the beauty that the Gardens provides.
For a safe and enjoyable visit on the trails, please be aware there will be continued clean-up of wood debris. Stay safe by paying close attention and watching for signs of tree clearing operations. The Hikers, Pine Tree and Sassafras trails are the first receiving attention.
While being mindful of your surroundings, do not forget to take int he fresh air, stunning views of dappled light through the forest, the glistening of Hidden Lake, and most of all, the peace and quiet.
Open late April to early November each year, the Bonsai Courtyard displays the HLG bonsai collection just outside the Conservatory. A gem of quiet and astonishing beauty, this wonderful variety of miniature trees in pots invite the visitor to see the intimate interaction of the natural world with the human hand and artistic imagination. Gifts from numerous accomplished bonsai artists grow there sustained by ongoing and constant care, showcasing the intersection of art and science. The bonsai collection of Hidden Lake Gardens began in 1968 with the hiring of Jack Wikle. The collection has grown over the years thanks to Jack's personal involvement with the bonsai world and his generous capacity to share his extensive knowledge and enthusiasm with others. To read more about Jack Wikle, his legacy and the bonsai collection, please visit https://jackwiklebonsailegacy.com/.
During the season, the Bonsai Courtyard is open Tuesdays through Sundays, 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. The collection receives special attention every Thursday. Visitors are encouraged to observe the collection and interact with the staff and volunteers as they maintain and train the bonsai trees.
The Harper Collection of Dwarf and Rare Conifers
The Harper Collection is a result of the vision and generosity of Justin C. Harper. As an avocation, Mr. Harper collected choice conifers from many sources throughout the country. In 1981, he gave his collection to Hidden Lake Gardens to serve as a source of pleasure, inspiration and education for the visiting public.
Hosta Hillside Collection
Prior to the pandemic, the demonstration gardens were a point of pride and another source of pleasure, inspiration and education for the visiting public. With an increased staff and volunteer force, Hidden Lake Gardens hopes to restore the beauty of the Demonstration Gardens for the 2023 season.
The Visitors Center at Hidden Lake Gardens is currently under renovations. Updates already completed include a new water bottle fillling station next to the gift shop and new fixtures in the restrooms.
With three separate biomes, Tropical, Arid and Temperate, the Conservatory display of plantings is both beautiful and educational for visitors.
Open Thursday through Sundays, from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m., the Daffodil Gift Shop at Hidden Lake Gardens is located in the lower level of our Visitors Center and offers a wide variety of unique, garden-inspired merchandise, including many local vendors.