Students seeking a break from being cooped up on wintry days need to look no further than Mount Pleasant’s parks and ice skating arena.
One of the most popular parks in the county is Deerfield Nature Park, 2425 W. Remus Road, which features a covered bridge and is a well-known stop for hikers, year-round disc-golfers and those in search of sledding hills.
Sue Ann Kopmeyer, the director of Isabella County Parks and Recreation, said the county’s parks offer something for everybody.
“We have avid avid users, from people who are hikers to cross-country skiers, and (we offer activities) from sledding to disc-golf,” Kopmeyer said.
She said people like to take their dogs for hikes in designated areas, making the parks very family-friendly.
Mount Pleasant’s city parks, including Mission Creek Woodland Park, 1458 N. Harris St., and Nelson Park, 714 W. Broadway St., are hot spots for sledding and scenic walks along the Chippewa River.
Director of Parks and Public Spaces Chris Bundy said the parks have a unique draw to locals.
“We get a lot of people who walk the trails and follow the Chippewa River through five of our parks,” Bundy said. “We get a lot of people who do walking and nature viewing on the trails.”
Mount Pleasant resident Laura Crawford said she enjoys sledding at Mission Creek Woodland Park’s Leonard’s Hill and taking in the scenery of Nelson Park.
“(I like the) ice skating rink and Leonard’s Hill. I have (gone) ice skating since I was little, and sledding is a fun way to pass time out of the house during the winter,” Crawford said. “Nelson Park is my favorite because I like to take my dog there for walks and swim in the summer and spring”.
Residents wishing to ice skate often visit the Mount Pleasant Ice Arena, 5165 East Remus Road. According to manager Tom Westman, the public skate sessions are one of the most popular events for all ages. He also said there are sessions that teach children how to skate and play hockey.
“(It’s) a mix of everybody from little kids on up,” Westman said. “There are different programs for young kids all the way up to high school, and then we have all the college students (who) have set play. We have adult hockey starting up this week, and that’s (mainly) college-age students.”