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Ultimate Guide to Hidden Lake Gardens and Canopy Walk in Tipton, MI

hidden lake gardens in tipton michigan

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Hidden Lake Gardens

Address: 6214 W Monroe Road (Hwy M-50) Tipton, MI 49287
Main Phone: 517-431-2060
Admission Fees beginning March 2023
$10 Adults; $8 Seniors; $8 Military & Veterans; $5 Students; 4 and Under Free

Visitors Guide to Hidden Lake Gardens in Tipton MI: 2023  Travel Guide 

Longing to escape into nature? Look no farther than Michigan’s Irish Hills, where you’ll find the lush beauty of Hidden Lake Gardens horticulture gardens.

One of the true hidden gems in southeast Michigan,  Hidden Lake Gardens in Tipton, MI is a sprawling botanical garden that includes more than 750 acres stunning natural beauty in the way of marked hiking trails, an arboretum, lush horticulture gardens and a towering canopy walk.

You’ll also find year-round events and activities both indoors and outdoors for all ages at Hidden Lake Gardens. 

hidden lake gardens in tipton mi

Plan a Day Trip Hidden Lake Gardens and Canopy Walk

It’s a perfect spot for a pure Michigan day trip, and this is one spot you’re going to want to add to your Michigan bucket list. If you’re planning a longer stay in this peaceful area of rolling hills, you can find some ideas for vacation rentals at the bottom of this post. 

Read on for a complete travel guide to Hidden Lake Gardens in Tipton Michigan and plan your visit now. 

PRO-TIP: Be sure to stop by the Visitors Center for a map of Hidden Lake Gardens walking tours and more. 

Interactive Map of Hidden Lake Gardens in Tipton MI

map of hidden lake gardens in tipton michigan

About Hidden Lake Gardens: A Lenawee County Gem 

Started by successful industrialist Harry Fee on more than 200 acres of land in Tipton, MI, the gardens began as a farm in the early 1920’s.

When Harry Fee discovered that the land was not as hospitable to farming as he thought, he began developing gardens throughout the sprawling property. He frequently consulted horticulturists at Michigan State University and the MSU Extension service. 

Michigan State University’s Hidden Lake Gardens in the Irish Hills 

In 1945, Harry Fee donated Hidden Lake Gardens to Michigan State University, as a laboratory for horticulture students. 

Thanks to his generous financial endowment to keep the gardens going, the gardens are visited by more than 45,000 annually.

Hidden Lake Gardens development continues, as evidenced by the the new Canopy Walk funded by Michigan State University. This East Lansing university manages this amazing garden and arboretum, overseeing the plant collections, marked hiking trails, visitors center and more.

treetop canopy walk -hidden lake gardens

Treetop Canopy Walk at Hidden Lake Gardens

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

Opening in April 2023, the project is 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.

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” feel along with the rest of the Hidden Gardens.

hiking trails in hidden lake gardens

Marked Hiking Trails at Hidden Lake Gardens

With more than six miles of one-way paved drives, there are twelve miles of marked 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 are some of the best in southeast Michigan.

hidden lake gardens conservatory in tipton michigan
Hidden Lake Gardens Conservatory by TA ShariL476

Hidden Lake Gardens Conservatory

Comprising three different environments — Tropical Dome, Arid Dome and Temperate House — the Conservatory is an essential part of these stunning botanical gardens.

Visitors can indulge in Conservatory events such as the Spring Flower Bulb Show. 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.

Bonsai Gardens at Hidden lake gardens

Bonsai Courtyard

Arguably one of the most beautiful spots at Hidden Lake, you have to visit the Bonsai Courtyard.

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.

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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 Michigan 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.

Demonstration Garden at Hidden Lake Gardens

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.

Hostas in hidden lake gardens in tipton mi

Hosta Hillside

Along the shore, the hillside garden is a must-visit spot here. 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 are 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.

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An Abundance of Trees: Harper Collection and Arboretum

Making up the largest section of the gardens is 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.

Plan Your Visit

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.

Vacation Rentals Near Hidden Lake Gardens

Island Cottage on Evans Lake

This sprawling lakefront home is a natural paradise of its own. You’ll find a flat-screen TV with cable channels and a fully-equipped kitchen that provides guests with a fridge, an oven, a washing machine, a dishwasher and a microwave. 

Irish Hills Farmhouse with Furnished Deck and Fire Pit in Tipton

Located in Tipton, this vacation home comes with 3 bedrooms, a well-equipped kitchen, a living room, and a flat-screen TV. Towels and bed linen are available in the vacation home. This is a very clean and comfortable spot.

Grand Escape with Deck, Game Room, Nature View

The is a really beautiful home with three bedrooms, a flat-screen TV with cable channels and a fully equipped kitchen that provides guests with a fridge, an oven, a washing machine, a dishwasher and a microwave.

Located just six miles from the gardens, you’ll find a giant deck providing great views of the private yard and woods beyond. Inside, you find a pool table, foosball table, board games and more.

Are dogs allowed at Hidden Lake Gardens?

Yes, leashed dogs are allowed on the trails at Hidden Lake Gardens. They are not allowed inside of the buildings.

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About The Author

SaMya Overall is a Content Writer at . She is a fourth-year graduating senior at Michigan State University. She currently works as Editor-in-Chief of The State News, Michigan State’s award-winning student media company. Prior to becoming EIC, she worked as a campus reporter and copy chief at The State News. She’s passionate about Detroit and its surrounding area, and is a low-key collegiate sports lover on her free time.