Seven Ponds Nature Center, Dryden

#81 of 104 in Wildlife in Michigan
Must see · Wildlife Area · Educational Site

Seven Ponds is a place of extraordinary beauty and diversity. The scenery is spectacular with each season bringing a different experience. The center's 468 acres feature deep glacial lakes, marshes, swamps, fields, prairie and woodlands. Nature center lands also include the nearby Jonathan Woods Nature Preserve with a mature hard-forest, a leather-leaf bog and a cold water brook. Together, these areas provide habitat for many different plants and animals.

The nature center also has several areas of special interest. Earl's Prairie is a nine acre, reconstructed tall-grass prairie witch features a variety of native wildflowers. The Butterfly Garden provides food and host plants for butterflies and their larvae. An Herb Garden displays plants used by our ancestors for food, medicine and dyes. In spring, a wide variety of woodland wildflowers and ferns can be found in the protected Woodland Wildflower Area.

Miles of trails allow visitors to explore Seven Ponds' many natural features. Boardwalks and bridges make the center's wetland areas and shoreline accessible. Observation Towers provide scenic overlooks and places to observe wildlife. Together, these features create wonderful opportunities for a class of school children studying pond life, an adult interested in learning about natural history or those seeking an undisturbed setting for a peaceful retreat.


People are fascinated by nature, but many have little direct contact with it. Seven Ponds offers a variety of programs on natural history, ecology and local heritage. The nature center is an ideal outdoor classroom where people can experience the natural world. Our knowledgeable staff and volunteer naturalists guide visitors toward a greater understanding of their natural environment and humankind's inseparable role in it. We place special emphasis on connecting children to the out-of-doors and each year we provide programs to thousands of young people. We also provide to our members a quarterly newsletter, "Huron Tracks", featuring original natural history articles. Seven Ponds also answers hundreds of questions each year about the natural world from the media and general public. We invite the community to enjoy the many educational features and activities offered by the nature center listed below:

Schemm-Naish Interpretive Building -

The Interpretive Building serves as a starting point to any visit to Seven Ponds. It features a reception area, an auditorium and two classrooms for programs, library, offices, restrooms and a well-stocked gift shop featuring natural history books and gift items. Visitors may also enjoy the Discovery Room taking in a variety of exhibits including The Hall of Michigan Birds, a beaver lodge exhibit, touch table and observation bee hive, A favorite feature is the bird viewing area with large windows and well-supplied bird feeders. Casual visitors can obtain a trail map and suggestions for a self-guided walk before heading out on the trails.

School Programs -

School groups, ranging from pre-school to college, experience first-hand the wonders of nature through naturalist-led activities. Programs are coordinated with science objectives for the State of Michigan. Groups unable to visit the nature center can schedule one of our Traveling Naturalist Programs where we bring nature to you.

Scout Programs -

The center offers programs to help a variety of scouts meet badge and pin requirements.

Summer Field School -

These day camp programs incorporate walks, crafts, games and other activities to give children an extended exposure to nature.

Weekend Programs -

A wide variety of walks, presentations, classes and workshops are offered for members and the public.

Natural History Field Tours -

These tours allow participants to explore the natural features in other parts of Michigan, the county and the world.

Special Events -

These family-oriented events include Winterfest, Naturefest, Birdseed Saturday, and Heritage Harvest Days.

Interest Groups and Clubs -

We serve as a meeting place where people can share their common interests. Current groups are The Assistant Naturalists, Astronomy Club, Beekeepers Club, Birding Club, Easter Michigan Collectors, Friends of Herbs, Photography Club and The Stingers.


Seven ponds provides a wonderful, undisturbed setting for those looking to get away for a while from the complex, fast-paced world we all live in. A walk along the trail or reflection time spent on one of the center's numerous trailside benches can do a lot to relive the stress of everyday life. The day-to-day details of the workplace are replaced by calm. The sounds of traffic and electronic devices are replaced by the songs of birds and frogs. Such natural settings are becoming more and more difficult to find in today's world.
For travelers who use our international travel planner, Dryden holidays become easier to arrange, with trips to the Seven Ponds Nature Center and other attractions mapped out and timetabled.
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Seven Ponds Nature Center reviews

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TripAdvisor traveler rating 4.5
10 reviews
  • Easy trails, peaceful. Saw plenty of deer. Butterfly garden had plenty of Monarchs making the migration.  more »
  • I go to seven Ponds for the bee club meetings on the first Tuesday of every mounth and find its location and the effort by the staff to be outstanding. This is a jem of northern Macomb Co. Great...  more »
  • This place is just lovely! We visited one of their open houses and my child has a blast! There's a visitor center with a hands on learning area and a library and very nice nature trails as well as an herb garden and butterfly garden. I look forward to attending more of their activities.
  • Great trails and interpretive center and... Both restrooms have changing tables, so super family friendly! Kids 12 and under are free. 13 and up are $3 each

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