Which Is Best: Potter Park Zoo Or Wilderness Trails Zoo. A Guide To Which Is The Best Zoo In Michigan, USA

Discover the unique wonders of two of Michigan's prized zoos - Potter Park Zoo in Lansing and Wilderness Trails Zoo in Saginaw.

Both offering a lively mixture of wildlife, educational opportunities, and family-oriented fun.

Compare the contrasting experiences of these two parks, from their defining characteristics to the diverse animals calling them home.

Explore accessibility features, cost-efficiency, and the overall crafted zoo experience.

Set forth on this comparative journey that will help plan your own expedition into the wondrous world of wildlife and nature.

Which Is Best: Potter Park Zoo Or Wilderness Trails Zoo. A Guide To Which Is The Best Zoo In Michigan, USA

At A Glance

Potter Park Zoo and Wilderness Trails Zoo are both animal sanctuaries located in the state of Michigan, USA.

Situated in Lansing, Potter Park Zoo is a family-friendly destination spanning 102 acres and boasts an array of animals including tigers, penguins, and lions.

The park emphasizes conservation, education, and offers a full day of fun activities.

Disabled access is strong with accessible and rentable equipment for easy navigation.

It is slightly less expensive than its counterpart, with an average family cost of $40 and children under 3 entering for free.

On the other hand, the Wilderness Trails Zoo located in Saginaw encompasses 56 acres and is home to a diverse range of wildlife including capybaras, bears, and lions.

While the zoo describes itself as ‘natural’, it also allows close encounters with exotic creatures.

Similar to Potter Park Zoo, Wilderness Trails Zoo has trails suitable for wheelchairs and is an excellent fit for families with older children.

The average family cost is slightly higher at $60, however, children under 2 get free entry.

Both zoos offer parking, though only Wilderness Trails Zoo offers free parking, and they both prohibit pets, except service dogs.


Covering a spacious 102 acres, the Potter Park Zoo in Lansing, Michigan, provides a great setting for a family day out, offering plenty of ground for visitors to explore within a 2-3 hour timeframe.

In contrast, the Wilderness Trails Zoo in Saginaw, Michigan is nearly half the size, stretching over 56 acres.

Despite the difference in size, visitors can expect to spend approximately the same amount of time exploring here as the Potter Park Zoo.

Both establishments are expansive enough to offer a broad range of attractions whilst perfectly manageable for a fun, fulfilling day trip.

More About Potter Park Zoo

About Potter Park Zoo

Size (acres) 102
Time To Walk Around 2-3 Hours
Adult Price $8-15
Child Price $5
Infant Price Free Under 3 Years Old
Price For Family Of 4 $40
Parking $3-5
Can Bring Your Own Food? Yes

Information from https://potterparkzoo.org/


When comparing the prices of the Potter Park Zoo and the Wilderness Trails Zoo, there’s an observable difference.

Potter Park Zoo offers a relatively affordable adult ticket ranging from $8-15, while Wilderness Trails Zoo has a flat rate for adult tickets at $16.

For children, Potter Park Zoo offers their ticket at a steal of $5, whereas Wilderness Trails Zoo child tickets are priced significantly higher at $14.

For concessions, Potter Park Zoo’s ticket price ranges from $6-13.

In comparison, Wilderness Trails Zoo offers their concession tickets slightly higher at $13.

As for children’s free access, Wilderness Trails grants free entry to children under age 2, whereas Potter Park Zoo allows children under the age of 3 to enter for free.

Looking at the total cost for an average family of four, the expenditure at Potter Park Zoo would be around $40, while at Wilderness Trails Zoo, it would cost approximately $60, making Potter Park Zoo a more cost-effective option.

The cost of an average family of 4 at Potter Park Zoo is $40 compared to 60 at Wilderness Trails Zoo.

Potter Park Zoo and Wilderness Trails Zoo in Michigan, USA, both offer a diverse range of animals, although they differ in their distinctive showcases.

Potter Park Zoo enthralls visitors with tigers and penguins along with traditional lions, providing a range of species from different continents.

On the other hand, Wilderness Trails Zoo strikes a balance between exotic and indigenous, housing unusual creatures such as capybaras alongside bears and lions.

Nevertheless, both zoos place a shared emphasis on lions, enabling comparisons between the lion exhibits at both locations.

Although it’s not mentioned how many species reside in Potter Park Zoo, Wilderness Trails Zoo is home to over 200 animals, suggesting a potentially wider range of animals to observe.

Regardless of your preference, both zoos provide a suitable habitat for a variety of species, contributing to an enriching and educational animal-viewing experience. <div class=”overview” markdown=”1”id=”wyntk-wilderness-trails-zoo”>

More About Wilderness Trails Zoo

About Wilderness Trails Zoo

Size (acres) 56
Time To Walk Around 2-3 Hours
Adult Price $16
Child Price $14
Infant Price Free Under 2 Years Old
Price For Family Of 4 $60
Parking Free
Number Of Animals Over 200 animals
Can Bring Your Own Food? Yes

Information from https://wildernesstrailszoo.org/



When comparing the accessibility of Potter Park Zoo and Wilderness Trails Zoo for visitors who utilize wheelchairs or have difficulty walking, both zoos have made commendable efforts to cater for their needs.

Potter Park Zoo provides accessible facilities and even offers the option to rent necessary equipment for those who need extra assistance navigating the 102-acre park.

This demonstrates their thoughtful concern to ensure every visitor finds ease and convenience during their visit.

On the other hand, Wilderness Trails Zoo, although smaller with 56 acres, has made great strides by ensuring their trails are wheelchair-friendly.

This natural zoo has been mindfully designed to ensure disabled visitors can comfortably explore the park.

Despite their different approaches, both zoos are well-prepared to welcome visitors with mobility issues.

Pefect For

For a family-friendly trip, either the Potter Park Zoo in Lansing or the Wilderness Trails Zoo in Saginaw can provide an engaging and educational day out in the state of Michigan.

Both zoos cater to families with older children, and offer disability access options - Potter Park with rentable equipment and Wilderness Trails with wheelchair suitable trails.

Both sites also encourage learning with a focus on conservation at Potter Park, while Wilderness Trails offers exotic encounters in a more natural setting.

However, the two differ regarding affordability and size - Potter Park is more suitable for those on a budget with 4 family tickets costing only $40, plus it is nearly double the size of Wilderness Trails, covering 102 acres for extended exploration.

Regardless, each zoo creates engaging environments with a variety of animals and comprehensive educational resources, making either one a viable choice for a family outing.

Repeat visitors might appreciate alternating between the two to leverage their distinct features.


In conclusion, both Potter Park Zoo and Wilderness Trails Zoo deliver unique and immersive experiences to all visitors.

Potter Park’s focus on conservation and education, and a roster of animals that includes tigers and penguins, make it a fascinating visit for families with older children and an excellent opportunity to learn about various species.

The consideration towards disability access also makes it accessible to all.

On the other hand, Wilderness Trails Zoo offers a closer encounter with nature and its diverse range of species including capybaras and bears.

Also suitable for families with older children and with disability-friendly trails, this zoo delivers an exotic wildlife experience at a slightly higher cost.

However, it compensates by offering free parking.

Both zoos are off-grid in terms of public transport, so driving or organizing private transport is necessary.

They allow self-catering and maintain an animal-free policy for visitors.

Either zoo provides an enjoyable day out, with distinct strengths that cater to visitors’ different interests.

Ultimately, the choice between Potter Park Zoo and Wilderness Trails Zoo will depend on personal preferences and specific interests in wildlife.

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