What to See on Your Visit to Shepherd, Michigan

For as long as I can remember, I have anticipated Spring in Shepherd, Michigan! The Maple Syrup Festival always seemed to signify Spring’s actual arrival, time to get out and celebrate the last weekend of April!

See why the Village of Shepherd is the sweetest little town anywhere around. What may be surprising is Shepherd’s History, it’s rich and interesting.

Fun fact: The village was actually named known as Salt River through the 1800’s, then changed to Shepherd, after a notable man in town. So keep reading to see why you should stop by Salt River Park!

A drive through Shepherd in early Spring, you will see signs of Maple Syrup all around town! Maple Bush trees are tapped around every corner! It’s a village wide event.

Maple Syrup Festival – April 21-24, 2022

The earliest Shepherd Maple Syrup Festival was held in 1958, and just like today trees were tapped, sap was gathered by volunteers, and the public is invited to a community wide pancake dinner topped with Sugar Bush Pure Maple Syrup!

The tradition lives on, Maple Syrup Festival activities includes amusement rides, parades, classic cars show, tractor pulls, horses & much more! Be sure to try some maple candy and maple sugar. All scheduled events for 2022:

Little Salt River Park

This is a two-part park, with the Salt River running right through the middle. One side has a children’s playscape, picnic areas, ball field and Shepherd’s Buck Pole.

During Maple Syrup Festival, Little Salt River Park is the home to horse and tractor pulls as well as helicopter rides.


Located on the exterior wall, on the east side of Eight2Eight Rental Hall. This bright colorful mural reflects the root of the Shepherd community, featuring the Ann Arbor train, Maple Syrup buckets on the trees, and farming.

Train Depot Museum

Tours of the Train Depot are available during Maple Syrup Festival, on Saturday and Sunday, April 23 & 24, from 10 am – 2 pm. Located at 402 W. Wright Ave.

Formally known as The Ann Arbor Rail Depot and originally built in the early 1890’s. This train depot was used until the early 1960’s when rail shipping was taken over by the trucking industry and passenger travel by train was long gone.

Little Red Schoolhouse Museum

Built in 1874, to serve the Number 2 Chippewa School District. Currently standing in the middle of Shepherd Public School parking lot, a relic to remember the “old school days.

The Little Red Schoolhouse Museum is open for visitors during the Maple Syrup Festival. Special student tours are available by contacting molly48883@yahoo.com.

Cones N’ Candy

This cute, small ice cream shop is located right downtown with murals and art decorating the little alley.

Shepherd Bar

There is one sit-down restaurant in downtown Shepherd, the Shepherd Bar! Currently serving Lunch from 11am and Dinner, as well as Sunday Brunch. With an American meu and several different dinner specials each week. However, there was not a kids menu when we visited.

Directly across the street from Shepherd Bar is a park which is unnamed on my Google map, but we visited in early Spring and there were sap buckets on all the trees. My son and I loved peeping in the buckets to see how much has been collected to turn into Pure Maple Syrup!

This park will also be home to a Splash Pad, spray park very soon! See the progress photo below here from March 2022.

splash pad park Shepherd Michigan

Jack-o-lantern Pumpkin Halloween Display

See 1,000+ carved pumpkins on display during October, in the Village of Shepherd, Michigan.

This small Mid Michigan village comes to life each Halloween, drawing spectators from near and far. For nearly a decade, Shepherd Michigan’s Jack-O-Lantern Pumpkin display, has been lighting up the night on the corner of Second Street and Orchard.

The annual pumpkin carving event is scheduled in October, the Sunday before Halloween. Homeowner and Halloween display mastermind, Kent Roth, invites the public to participate by helping carve and prepare the pumpkins for the spotlight. Interested carving volunteers can meet on Sunday, in the driveway of Roth’s Home at 109 N Second Street, Shepherd, MI 48883.

Shepherd Community Library

We also popped in the library to see what unique things we could find! A maple tree replica in the kids book section, as well as cozy reading areas by the fireplace and big wall mural in the vestibule!

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Visit Saginaw Chippewa Indian Tribe – Mt. Pleasant, Michigan

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