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4.0
518 votes

Oswald's Bear Ranch

13814 County Road 407, Newberry, Michigan 49868 USA

$$
$$$$
Reasonable
Closed Now
Opens Thu 9:30a
  • Independent
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“a sanctuary for several black bears that visitors can see up close”

This is a sanctuary for several black bears that visitors can see up close. Everybody can go around the outdoor habitats, fenced-in and situated on a lake in the woods - a perfect place for bears. It's a large preserve for the orphaned, abused, and last-chance bears in their natural setting. There are usually cubs here too, small enough to touch and take a picture with. Come check it out this summer - it's open daily from late May through September.

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Reviewed by
weesiegirl

  • 1 Review
  • 0 Helpful
August 25, 2014
Rated 1.0

At $20 per car to enter and another $10 to have your picture taken feeding a cub with a spoon inside a cage, this place is not worth the time spent to get there from other nearby attractions. Bears are all behinds 2 layers of chain link fence and after 10 minutes, you have seen all there is to see.

1 person found this review helpful

Reviewed by
farynmacmillan

  • 3 Reviews
  • 0 Helpful
September 10, 2019
Rated 5.0

We enjoyed seeing the bears and even got to feed them. Family fun!

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Reviewed by
krisanne

  • 5 Reviews
  • 0 Helpful
July 31, 2018
Rated 3.0

While I liked this place, I wouldn’t make it a point to visit again. The bears are behind 2 chain link fences which makes it really difficult to see them. I tried to view inside a bear den and got so dizzy from trying to focus. The b are weren’t really in their “natural” habitat (although they have huge habitats to move around in) as they just sat near the fence, waiting for humans to throw apples. We paid $10 extra for the picture with the cub. It says you get 1 minute in there to take the pic, ask questions, and pet the bear. If felt so rushed and worthless.

Overall, the bears appeared healthy and well taken care of, which makes my heart happy. But not being able to really see them due to the fence was a bummer. I’d recommend a visit if you’re nearby but I wouldn’t make this my point of interest.

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Reviewed by
wehler9601

  • 13 Reviews
  • 1 Helpful
June 18, 2016
Rated 5.0

Kids LOVED this. Really enjoyed watching the cubs. Paid $10 extra to pet and get picture with a cub. That was the best part for the kids.

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Reviewed by
Pianotrippers

  • 1 Review
  • 0 Helpful
July 30, 2015
Rated 5.0

This was such a fun side trip on our way driving to Canada. It was amazing to see the bears close up even though they were behind fences. They have a special place where you can go in an area with bear cubs and actually pet them which was very cool. All the bears are rescued and the money is used to take care of them. They also have a small store where you can get really unique gifts. It was a memorable part of our trip and definitely worth stopping.

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Reviewed by
KestrelBlackfeather

  • 5 Reviews
  • 1 Helpful
June 30, 2015

If you're a lover of nature and wild critters, this is a fantastic place to stop. The bears are behind 2 fences, but you can still get pretty close to them. The bears are segregated - there's an area for the adult males, the adult females, the yearlings, and the cubs.

When I visited in late June, the yearlings were super playful, running all over the place and having a great time. The ladies were more shy, but the big guys wandered right up to the fence lines to come see you.

You can buy bags of apples to toss to the critters. Sometimes the bears will go for them, sometimes not. They're so darn pudgy that they don't always care, but I think that's a great thing.

The areas are pretty big, with lots of room for the bears to wander around and get away from the humans if they want to. It's a fantastic facility and I felt that the bears are very well taken care of.

Then there's the cubs. They're the cutest things in the world. You can pay to enter the cage with one of the cubs, scratch its back, feed it fruit loops, have your picture taken - and you should.

There are several raised platforms where you can take pictures without the fence getting in the way, but there's no good way to get ground level pictures.

I was told that bears have a bad odor, but it really wasn't bad (but I grew up around farms, so your experience may vary). The bloodhounds on the premises (I imagine for emergency tracking in case a bear somehow gets loose) smelled way worse!

I spent about an hour and a half here watching the bears and taking pictures. I talked to the bears. They mostly ignored me. I didn't care and had a great time anyway. Most people will probably hang out for 30-45 minutes, maybe an hour.

The Bear Ranch is definitely out of the way, but it's hard to beat the experience. It's $20 for a car ($10 if you're alone) - if you are a really grumpy person you will complain about that, but for everyone it's it's a great deal.

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Reviewed by
denise.crapse.7

  • 1 Review
  • 0 Helpful
November 14, 2014
Rated 5.0

I absolutely love Oswalds' Bear Ranch...been their a number of times; and even though some may complain about the cost, you have to remember that they rely solely on the funds from visitors to feed the bears...I have met and spoken to both husband and wife....they are wonderful people....

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Oswald's Bear Ranch

13814 County Road 407
Newberry, Michigan
49868 USA

Hours

Closed Now
  • Sun - Sat: 9:30 am - 5:00 pm

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  • Parking
  • Pets Allowed
  • Restrooms
  • Wifi
  • Wheelchair Accessible
  • Credit Cards Accepted
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