Botanic Garden at Historic Barns Park Fairy Trail – Traverse City, Michigan - Atlas Obscura

Botanic Garden at Historic Barns Park Fairy Trail

This enchanting forest trail leads to ethereal abodes and a giant bird's nest.  


Dotting a winding dirt trail in an enchanted Northwoods forest is a magical trail of fairy houses and a giant bird’s nest.  

Each of the 40 or so fairy houses were created mostly out of natural materials by area residents to the delight of visitors of all age. The trail was the brainchild of Heather and Jay Harrington, who created it as a way to celebrate living life outdoors in Northern Michigan.  

Anyone from the area can participate in the Fairy House Trail, as the designer dwellings are created and placed along and near the dirt pathway throughout the summer and early fall. The following spring, the remnants of the prior year’s tiny homes are removed in time for a new season of designs to be added once again. 

At the start of this enchanted trail, or the end depending on which direction you’re walking, is an enormous bird’s nest fashioned from sticks and tree limbs. The nest was an Eagle Scout project created in 2015, and is annually repaired and rejuvenated each year after the long winter.   

Know Before You Go

The Fairy House Trail and giant bird nest are located in the Grand Traverse Commons behind (west of) the Botanical Gardens of Traverse City at Historic Barns Park. Parking is available at both Historic Barns Park and at the botanical gardens.

In partnership with KAYAK

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