Summer 2023 in Mt. Pleasant is filled with ample activities and events

Summer is known to be a time for travel but is also a period that provides ample opportunities for adventure and exploration of the local scene. The warm months of the year can be utilized to enjoy local amenities and can serve to further endear the surrounding areas to the hearts and minds of residents. Mt. Pleasant and the surrounding areas of Isabella County are no exception, as there are plenty of events to participate in and places to explore. 

Outdoor Recreation Opportunities

Isabella County provides many avenues of recreation for its residents. For hiking, residents can explore the nearly 600-acre expanse of Deerfield Nature Park, or the smaller, but less trafficked, Meridian County Park. Also available for hiking are the Chippewa Watershed Conservancy’s nine preserves with trails. Hikers can briefly become the tallest resident of Isabella County by hiking the CWC’s Bundy Hill, of which the peak marks the highest point in the county. Many of these parks and preserves also provide river access, allowing recreationists to fish, float, and boat the Chippewa River. 

For a change of pace, the City of Mt. Pleasant has several miles of paved trails which connect its many parks. It is possible to hike from end-to-end of the parks system in one day – starting at Island Park and ending at Veit’s Woods (owned by CMU). Also owned by the university is an 18-hole disc golf course. Deerfield Nature Park has an additional two 18-hole disc golf courses that provide great scenery in addition to the challenge.

Local Events to Attend

There are an abundance of local events for residents to participate in and enjoy for the remainder of the summer. An extensive list can be found here. Highlights include the Music in the Park concert series, of which there are three more events to come; the Beat the Heat series, of which there are also three more editions of; and several events catering to children, organized by the Mt. Pleasant Discovery Museum. If it is larger events that are desired, the Soaring Eagle Casino and Resort’s outdoor concert series is ongoing and brings in multiple high-profile headliners each year.

There is also the option of an event almost entirely composed of local talent and resources. The end of July is perennially known as the time for the Isabella County Fair, and this year is no different. From July 23 to 29, the county fair will offer residents an array of different activities and opportunities, ranging from a rodeo to a demolition derby. 

Summer-Specific Activities

Summer offers a platform for many activities that are not available year-round. Opportunities to camp can be found at three of Isabella County Parks and Recreation’s parks, as Deerfield Nature Park, Coldwater Lake Family Park, and Herrick Recreation Area all host campsites that can be rented for a fee. Additionally, Buckley’s Mountainside Canoes and Chippewa River Outfitters provide canoe, kayak, and tube rental services all summer long, giving residents and visitors alike the opportunity to enjoy the waters of the Chippewa River. In addition to the river, the Island Park Spray Park is another option to escape the heat of the day.

A sure sign of summer is the peak growing season for many fruit and vegetable crops. Local farmers’ markets display the bounty of the summer harvest, which can be purchased at the Mt. Pleasant Farmers’ Market and the Native Farmers’ Market. After the markets, downtown Mt. Pleasant is a great place to get food, and Broadway Street even has an expanded outdoor dining area along storefronts during the summer months.
Enjoy this story? Sign up for free solutions-based reporting in your inbox each week.

Read more articles by Owen Howard.

Owen Howard is an Isabella County native with a deep appreciation for all it has to offer, in both people and places. He is a current graduate student at Central Michigan University, with a bachelor's degree in biology. He was a collegiate cross country athlete for CMU and currently assists the team as a volunteer coach. In his free time, Owen could be described as 'chronically outdoors.' Owen has a passion for telling stories and for listening to other people tell theirs. He loves getting the chance to allow people to share their passions and stories with a larger audience.