Providing the city with plenty of peaceful open space, access to nature and wildlife, and places to exercise, relax or spend time with friends and family, parks and gardens are an important part of Lansing life. Situated around the beautiful scenery of the Grand and Red Cedar Rivers, these are our choices for the city’s best green spaces.
The Lansing River Trail is not only a wonderful green space in itself, but it also connects many of the city’s best parks, gardens, and natural areas. Running for nearly 20 miles (31.1 kilometers) along the Grand River and Red Cedar River, following it you can see sites like the Brenke Fish Ladder and Potter Park Zoo, or just enjoy the fresh air and peace of the flowing rivers.
On the west bank of the Grand River in downtown Lansing, Adado Riverfront Park is the city’s main festival park. It hosts events throughout the summer, including the Common Ground Music Festival, Lansing’s premier outdoor music event, but it is also a beautiful and tranquil place for a stroll or a picnic. There are trails and boardwalks to walk on, and a couple of docks for fishing.
The Fenner Nature Center is a 134-acre nature preserve with a network of trails to explore and plenty of wildlife to see. Run by the Fenner Conservancy, a nonprofit organization with the mission of connecting people to nature in the heart of Lansing, it also has educational programming for families and festivals to enjoy. Entry is free, but the suggested donation is $2.
The grounds that surround the stunning Michigan State Capitol building may be small, but they are still a wonderful green space. Alongside its lawns, there are beautiful flower beds, many varieties of trees, and statues and monuments relating to Michigan history to enjoy, while the Capitol building itself provides a spectacular centerpiece.
If you follow the River Trail east along the Red Cedar River past the Potter Park Zoo, you’ll find Crego Park, one of Lansing’s newest parks. The pretty, 200-acre park’s main attraction is its small lake, which is a great spot for fishing, kayaking, and canoeing. The River Trail also has several offshoots around the park for cycling or walking.
One of the city’s most beautiful places, the Cooley Gardens and Scott Sunken Gardens are currently closed for renovations. However, these picturesque gardens have long been a favorite spot for outdoor weddings and offer an attractive and tranquil place for a quiet walk year-round. The city eagerly awaits the new and improved gardens.
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meet our Local Insider
HOW LONG HAVE YOU BEEN A GUIDE?
WHAT DO YOU LOVE ABOUT YOUR JOB?
It's the personal contact, the personal experiences. I love meeting people from all over the world... I really like getting to know everyone and feeling like I'm traveling with a group of friends.
WHAT DESTINATION IS ON YOUR TRAVEL BUCKET-LIST?
I have so many places on my list, but I would really lobe to go to Africa. I consider myself an “adventure girl” and Africa feels like the ULTIMATE adventure!
Every CULTURE TRIP Small-group adventure is led by a Local Insider just like Hanna.
KEEN TO EXPLORE THE WORLD?
Connect with like-minded people on our premium trips curated by local insiders and with care for the world
Since you are here, we would like to share our vision for the future of travel - and the direction Culture Trip is moving in.
Culture Trip launched in 2011 with a simple yet passionate mission: to inspire people to go beyond their boundaries and experience what makes a place, its people and its culture special and meaningful — and this is still in our DNA today. We are proud that, for more than a decade, millions like you have trusted our award-winning recommendations by people who deeply understand what makes certain places and communities so special.
Increasingly we believe the world needs more meaningful, real-life connections between curious travellers keen to explore the world in a more responsible way. That is why we have intensively curated a collection of premium small-group trips as an invitation to meet and connect with new, like-minded people for once-in-a-lifetime experiences in three categories: Culture Trips, Rail Trips and Private Trips. Our Trips are suitable for both solo travelers, couples and friends who want to explore the world together.
Culture Trips are deeply immersive 5 to 16 days itineraries, that combine authentic local experiences, exciting activities and 4-5* accommodation to look forward to at the end of each day. Our Rail Trips are our most planet-friendly itineraries that invite you to take the scenic route, relax whilst getting under the skin of a destination. Our Private Trips are fully tailored itineraries, curated by our Travel Experts specifically for you, your friends or your family.
We know that many of you worry about the environmental impact of travel and are looking for ways of expanding horizons in ways that do minimal harm - and may even bring benefits. We are committed to go as far as possible in curating our trips with care for the planet. That is why all of our trips are flightless in destination, fully carbon offset - and we have ambitious plans to be net zero in the very near future.