Travel with DeGraaf Nature Center in 2016 - Tours for Everyone


Trips for 2016

Great Smoky Mountain National Park Tour - April 12-16, 2016 The Great Smoky Mountains, the majestic climax of the Appalachian Highlands, are a wildlands sanctuary preserving the world's finest examples of temperate deciduous forest.  The name Smoky comes from the smoke-like haze enveloping the mountains, which stretch in sweeping troughs and mighty billows to the horizon. The park boasts unspoiled forests similar to those that early pioneers found.  Restored log cabins and barns stand as reminders of those who carved a living from this wilderness.  Fertile soils and abundant rain have encouraged the development of a world-renowned variety of flora, including more than 1,500 kinds of flowering plants.  In the coves, broadleaf trees predominate.  Along the crest- at more than 6,000 feet elevation- are conifer forests like those of central Canada.  Wildflowers and migrating birds abound in mid- April to early May. Go to tours for a compete itinerary.  Sign up has begun.

Women’s Wilderness Weekend – June 17-19 at the Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore. Join naturalists Lisa McKellips and Amber Ross for a fun-filled weekend with the girls! We will explore this scenic and unique national Lakeshore, full of rich history and abundant wildlife sightings.  Experience camping, hiking, kayaking and more while still enjoying the luxuries of running water and a hot shower.

Manistee River Kayak Trip – July 8-10   Join the DeGraaf Nature Center for a two day adventure on the Manistee River west of Grayling, MI.  The river rises in the sandy hills in SE Antrim County which provides the river with a remarkably stable flow of clean cold water year-round.  The trip includes transportation throughout the trip, use of kayak equipment (kayak, paddle, PFD), meals while on the water and a naturalist guide.  You will need to provide your own camping gear, suggested packing list will be provided.

Isle Royale National Park Tour Early August.   Wolves and moose, the wild north woods forest, ever changing weather and a cool climate, and the crystal clear waters and rugged shoreline of Lake Superior characterize Isle Royale National Park.  Ninety nine percent of the land mass is federally designated wilderness - 45 miles long and nine miles wide at its widest point. There is excellent fishing, historic lighthouses and shipwrecks, ancient copper mining sites, and plenty of spots to observe wildlife. The group will stay in the Rock Harbor Lodge, w/private bath, comfortable beds with all meals included.

Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness – Early September. Like no other wilderness anywhere in the world, the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness is over 1 million acres of unparalleled beauty accessible only to canoeists.  Your Boundary Waters escape will take you to the heart of Canoe Country; Ely, Minnesota on a 5-day wilderness experience that will change your life forever.  Your trip includes transportation throughout the trip, pre- and post-trip lodging, all canoe equipment, camping gear if needed (additional cost), food while in the BWCAW, route planning, and a naturalist guide.  Meals during travel and while in Ely will be on your own. 

Canyonlands of southern Utah – Late September-Early October. This weeklong journey will highlight some of the dramatic formations that make up the Colorado Plateau.  Beginning at Zion National Park and the Zion Lodge, the group will take in the fascinating geologic stories of Bryce Canyon, Arches and Canyonlands National Parks as well as Monument Valley and the north rim of the Grand Canyon.  Wrought by Water – It’s ironic that in a seemingly unending desert, that water creates most of what we will see as rain runs from the 11,000 foot start of the Colorado plateau down through the lower canyons.  This tour includes all transportation from DeGraaf including shuttle to the airport, flights and travel by 15 passenger vans, all lodging and park entrance fees as well as your tour escorts/naturalist guides