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Hidden Lake Gardens

Visitors Guide to Hidden Lake Gardens in Tipton MI

The Ultimate Guide to Hidden Lake Gardens and the New Canopy Walk

Did you know you can become one with nature at  Hidden Lake Gardens in Tipton, Michigan? 

The Hidden Lake Gardens  in Michigan’s Irish Hills recently opened this spring, along with the new Canopy Walk funded by Michigan State University. This East Lansing University manages this amazing garden and arboretum, overseeing the plant collections, visitors center and more. 

Home to 775 acres of horticulture gardens, you’ll also find an arboretum, marked hiking trails, a canopy walk, year-round events and activities indoors and outdoors. 

Hidden Lake Gardens is unique, and a popular travel destination for visitors to the Lenawee, Jackson, Hillsdale and Washtenaw County communities in southern Michigan.

Use our Ultimate Travel Guide to Hidden Lake Gardens to plan your visit and learn everything to see at this amazing Michigan botanical garden. 

Treetop Canopy Walk

Visitors can reach for the sky at this tree-level walk in the Hidden Lake Gardens.

Opening in April, the project was designed to provide education, outreach, research, visitor experience, tourism and economic development opportunities. As the newest outdoorsy attraction, the new Canopy Walk is a must-see in this ultimate guide to Hidden Lake Gardens and the new Canopy Walk.

The bridge runs over a valley to give visitors an up-close view of the surrounding forestry without the climb. It blends in with the surrounding growth, giving the canopy walk a “one with nature”-esque feel along with the rest of the Hidden Gardens.

Want to visit the Gardens while waiting on the canopy walk to open? Here’s more things to do in this ultimate guide to Hidden Lake Gardens and the new Canopy Walk.

Hiking Trails

With more than six miles of one-way paved drives, there are twelve miles of hiking trails in the Gardens.

Trails include the Kettle Hole Trail (.6 miles), All Access Trail (.3 miles), Sassafras Trail (.4 miles) Pine Tree Trail (one mile), Hiker’s Trail (3.1 miles), Munger North East Trail (one mile), Munger North West Trail (1.3 miles) and the Munger South Trail (two miles). With varying levels of difficulty for family fun, the hiking trails easily made this ultimate guide to the Hidden Gardens and the new Canopy Walk.


Comprising three different environments — Tropical Dome, Arid Dome and Temperate House — the Hidden Lake Gardens Conservatory is essential for this ultimate guide to Hidden Lake Gardens and the new Canopy Walk. 

Visitors can indulge in Conservatory events such as the Spring Flower Bulb Show, displaying plants through March 26 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., closed Mondays. This show highlights a spectacular showing of daffodils, hyacinths, tulips, amaryllis and other spring flowers inside the conservatory, bringing warmth back into the soul at the end of a cold Michigan winter.

Other events at the conservatory include an Earth Day Celebration, where families can learn about the benefits of trees and observe a planting ceremony, and the opening of the Bonsai Courtyard on April 28.

Speaking of…

Bonsai Courtyard

Arguably one of the most beautiful spots at Hidden Lake, you have to visit the Bonsai Courtyard during this ultimate guide to Hidden Lake Gardens and the new Canopy Walk. 

After spending the winter in the new bonsai storage facility, the bonsai return to Hidden Lakes for the spring and summer. The Elise MacCready Bonsai Collection features several evergreen and deciduous bonsai tee species, ranging from 40 to 100 years old. Many of the plants are native Michigan tree species.

This beautiful collection is supported financially through the Elise MacCready Memorial Bonsai Collection Endowment.

Hidden Lake & Pond

Staying true to the brand of a natural green space, a large portion of Hidden Lake Gardens remains underdeveloped natural areas.

As seen in this ultimate guide to Hidden Lake Gardens and the new Canopy Walk, visitors can explore oak-hickory forests, open fields, glacial kettle holes and wetlands. Decorated by spring wildflowers and autumn foliage, white-tail deer, wild turkey, songbirds and other wildlife can be seen frolicking in nature.

If you really want to immerse in nature, this underdeveloped area is the place to visit from this ultimate guide to Hidden Lake Gardens and the new Canopy Walk.

Demonstration Garden

As the name hints, this area is dedicated to demonstrating how plants can be combined in attractive grouping, with annuals, perennials, ornamental grasses, conifers, flowering trees and shrubs all being on display.

Demonstration Garden is also home to the new award-winning All-America Selections of flowering annuals! No matter what time of year, this garden within a garden has earned its spot in this ultimate guide to Hidden Lake Gardens and the new Canopy Walk.

Hosta Hillside

Along the shore, the hillside garden is a must-visit place for those following the ultimate guide to Hidden Lake Gardens and the new Canopy Walk. This  hillside garden was officially named and dedicated as the Ralph H. (Herb) and Dorothy Benedict Hosta Hillside in 1995.

Shade loving plants such as hostas and intermingled along the stream and pond, with daffodils providing an early spring display of flowers. More than 700 cultivars are displayed with a variety of colors, textures, and sizes, making this an essential place to visit at Hidden Lake.

And finally…

An Abundance of Trees: Harper Collection and Arboretum

Making up the largest section of Hidden Lake Gardens, you can’t make an ultimate guide to Hidden Lake Gardens and the new Canopy Walk without including both the Harper Collection of Rare & Dwarf Conifers and the famed Arboretum.

The Harper Collection contains around 600 specimens of conifers such as pines, firs, spruces, larches, hemlocks, false cypress, arborvitae and junipers in a five-acre garden setting. These conifers were donated to Hidden Lake Gardens in 1980 by Justin (Chub) Harper.

In the arboretum, visitors can wander in a variety of flowering crabapples, beeches, lindens, maples, oaks, lilacs and other trees and shrubs.

Visiting the Hidden Lakes Gardens and the new Canopy Walk is a guaranteed way to renew your love for the great outdoors. When you plan your trip, make sure to take this ultimate guide to the Hidden Lakes Gardens and the new Canopy Walk to make sure you don’t miss an inch of that beautiful greenery.