Take a little time to commune with nature on the 40th anniversary of Earth Day, Thursday, April 22 by hitting the trails in Traverse City, Leelanau, Harbor Springs and more.  With an abundance of preserves and conservancy properties in Northern Michigan, there are plenty of places to hike and pledge eternal gratitude to Mother Earth.  Here are a few of our favorite spots (that also have work bees happening for those inclined to lend a hand).

Arcadia Dunes: The C.S Mott Nature Preserve This 3,000 acre slice of heaven has a plethora of reminders why natural resources are worth protecting.  There are 15 miles of hiking and mountain biking trails that wind through the land, which includes beaches, forest, grasslands and dunes.  Join the Grand Traverse Regional Land Conservancy folks in sprucing up this special spot on Earth Day. A list of volunteer opportunities is available online gtrlc.org.

Kehl Nature Preserve: No work required on this guided hike along the two miles of easy trails at the tip of the Leelanau Peninsula.  Add appreciation to the day with an on-hand mushroom expert and a chance to take in the magic of the spring season at this beloved 180-acre parcel.  Register by calling 231-256-9665. theconservancy.com.

Offield Family Preserve:  If you haven’t checked out one of the Little Traverse Conservancy’s newest public spaces, make time on Earth Day to lend a hand as teams of volunteers do everything from plant seedlings to pull invasive exotic plants on the grounds of the 390-acre “crown jewel” of the Harbor Springs Greenbelt.  Lots of flat, looping trails make this a perfect family outing.  To serve up some help on April 24, call 231-347-0991. landtrust.org.

Two great opportunities to volunteer outdoors on Earth Day!

Grand Traverse Regional Conservancy is Looking for 200 Volunteers on Earth Day

Commemorate Earth Week – Work Day at Offield Family Preserve near Harbor Springs