The hours during which Saginaw Forest is open to the public is 6am to 6pm, every day of the year. This means that once it reaches 6pm, the facility is closed to the public. It's strange how many people don't seem to understand this principle, and I continue to be amazed that visitors don't think about searching for information about a property before walking into it. After all, you might be walking into a private property, you might be walking in to a public park, you might be walking into a research facility, you might be walking into a nature preserve, and each of these types of properties have different expectations about public use of the property.
I understand why people might want to come out to the facility during an evening like this one: the weather's finally become nice again, it's on the way home (or relatively close to home), you're itching to go out, etc. However, you wouldn't expect that the public library stay open for you when you have a hankering to read a book, that the bar will stay open for you to get your late-night drink at 2:30am, that the deli would serve you a sandwich at 10pm, that a metropark will permit you to enter after dusk, ... and I think you get the picture.
The other thing that I notice is that the "wildlife" becomes significantly more active when people aren't walking through the facility, and - hey - they've got to get a break in their day, too, right? Frogs gotta mate, swans gotta nest, squirrels gotta forage, and coyotes gotta yip and howl.
Use of the Forest
Public use of Saginaw Forest is encouraged. Rules for the public's use include (but are not limited to):
- No parking in front of the access gate.
- Public use hours are from 6am to 6pm only; no camping on the site!
- No vehicles or bicycles are permitted on the site except those for approved research and teaching use (bike parking available at the main gate).
- Dogs with owners are welcome to visit, but they must be on a leash. (Also see here.)
- Dog owners must carry out all pet waste; please bring your own doggie bag to do so.
- No cutting or collecting of plant material; no hunting or harming vertebrates (this includes no fishing).
- No smoking.