Hiking & Biking Trails
Whether you explore the unpaved trails, travel along the Historic Men’s and Women’s Walk or venture to the Botanic Gardens, these supreme parks are open to the public from dawn til dusk.
The Grand Traverse Commons Natural Area is the largest park in the group, including 140-acres of unpaved trails wandering though the hills behind Building 50. Beautiful streams, wooded areas and clear panoramic views make the Commons Natural Area a favorite of many.
No matter the season, visitors frequent the area for hiking, biking and cross-country skiing. In addition to the natural appeal, a man-made attraction can be found within this trail system as well. The Traverse City State Hospital built a reservoir in 1894 to help support the hospital’s fresh-water needs. Today, the concrete structure remains up in the hillside trails covered in brightly colored graffiti, visually stark in contrast to its natural surroundings.
The Village at Grand Traverse Commons is surrounded by beauty and vitality in many forms. The preserved parkland, trail systems and community gardens are blessings that will allow many people and generations to reap their benefits.
The Front Lawn & Historic Arboretum
Building 50’s expansive front lawn hosts a variety of events, including weddings and private parties, the Traverse City Wine & Art Festival, the Traverse City Microbrew & Music Festival and our own annual Bocce Tournament!
When there’s not a big event taking place, Village residents and neighbors enjoy the serenity and walk-ability of the lawn. On any given day, you may see outdoor yoga, a lunchtime picnic, a game of frisbee, or someone taking a break with a relaxing cup of coffee under a shady tree.
The Village campus is abundant with a wide array of trees from all over the world with most of them located on our front lawn. Part of Dr. James Decker Munson’s “Beauty is Therapy” ideal, was to surround the hospital with beautiful trees for the patients and their families to enjoy. In fact, there is such a variety of trees, many local schools advise their students to visit our lawn for their Leaf Collection assignments. Imagine…finding a Gingko Biloba tree, right in Traverse City! Click HERE for our tree map.
With the historic lawn located in front of Building 50, the area bustling with activity behind Building 50 is called The Backyard. This area is alive from morning to night. From the early smells of fresh baked bread and delicious cups of coffee to decadent afternoon lunches and glasses of wine with an evening meal. The Piazza is located right in the heart of The Backyard and is home to many community activities.
In Italy it’s very typical that each small town and city have a centrally located Piazza where the community gathers together to talk, stroll and enjoy one another’s company. Modeled after a European lifestyle, The Village at Grand Traverse Commons has park-like area central to The Backyard that we affectionately call The Piazza.
The Village Piazza is home to bocce ball courts, live music, a weekly farmers market, community events and family picnics. It is a public space for the community to enjoy and provides a beautiful space to sit and relax.