Seasonal Highlights at Merry Lea

View our trail map for specific locations on what to explore and where, as described below.

Happy trails!


Bird migration: Visit any of the wetlands and lakes to see waterfowl. At Onion Bottom, an observation tower (between points N and J) provides excellent viewing of birds arriving for the summer and those passing through.

Wildflowers: Spring ephemeral wildflowers are abundant in the woods.

Aquatic life: The vernal pond (close to point F) is teeming with life in the spring. Visitors may use the dippers but need to return them to the storage cabinet by the dock. Organisms may not be taken away front the vernal pond area.


The coolness of the woods: Far from the heat island effect of built environments, enjoy the shaded coolness of the wooded trails.

Refreshing water: Dip your toes into High Lake at Luckey’s Landing.

Flowers: Meadows and prairies are in full bloom in late summer.


Colorful leaves: Maple, sassafras, and sumac leaves turn bright colors.

Tree skeletons: In late autumn after leaves have fallen, observe the distinctive shapes formed by tree branches.

Lively hikes: Fall hikes can be filled with sound as newly fallen leaves crackle and crunch underfoot.

Expanded views: When the deciduous trees have shed their leaves, hikers can see across the landscapes and experience a feeling of openness in the woods.


Animal tracks: Observe animal tracks in the snow and find out what a busy place Merry Lea can be even in the winter’s cold.

Winter birds: See what birds are attracted to the bird feeders outside the Learning Center building.