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Lifestyle Guides

Outdoors

Wolcott Mill

Pontiac Lake Recreation Area

Groveland Beach

Rouge Park

Metro Detroit is full of beautiful parks with plenty of opportunities for outdoor recreation. From waterfront parkland to serene wooded areas, metro Detroit is full of natural beauty to explore through hiking, biking, and a variety of other outdoor activities.
Oakland County
 
Addison Oaks
Addison Oaks is a scenic 1,140-acre park in northeast Oakland County with two lakes and spring-fed ponds.  

Catalpa Oaks
Catalpa Oaks has 24 acres of open space nestled in Southfield, just west of Greenfield Road.
 
Groveland Oaks
Groveland Oaks County Park is a summer family favorite, with picnicking, swimming and family camping on 362 acres near Holly.
 
Highland Oaks
Highland Oaks offers 302 acres of picturesque rolling hills, wetlands and old pastures. Located within the headwaters of the Shiawassee River, Highland Oaks preserves sensitive habitat while providing recreational experiences in a natural setting.

Independence Oaks
Enjoy year-round recreation in this naturally-maintained 1,276-acre park near Clarkston.
 
Lyon Oaks
Lyon Oaks in Wixom, preserves 800 acres of environmentally-sensitive wetlands within a 1,041-acre park.
 
Orion Oaks
Orion Oaks County Park preserves more than 916 acres of environmentally-sensitive green space. 
 
Pontiac Lake State Park
Pontiac Lake Recreation Area (a state park) has 3,745 acres of a mixture of marshes, ponds, heavy forests, old farm fields, river bottom and lakes that support a variety of animals and excellent hunting. Designated trails throughout the recreation area are available for horseback riding, hiking and mountain biking.
 
Red Oaks
Action is the name of the game at Red Oaks County Park! At this 163-acre park built on the Red Run Drain, golfers, splashers, dog lovers and sports enthusiasts will find clean, safe facilities and opportunities to enjoy the outdoors with family and friends.
 
Rose Oaks
Rose Oaks Park preserves 640 acres of gently rolling open meadows and wooded uplands, including approximately 200 acres of valuable wetlands and frontage on several glacial lakes within the site.
 
Springfield Oaks
Springfield Oaks County Park's 332 acres is home to the annual Oakland County Fair, the historic Ellis Barn, the Springfield Oaks Golf Course and a Community Service Garden.
 
Waterford Oaks
Waterford Oaks is a 185-acre park near Pontiac, headquarters of the Oakland County Parks and Recreation Commission.
 
Macomb County

Freedom Hill County Park
Freedom Hill County Park is 100 acres of spacious grounds with two outdoor pavilions, picnic areas, a playscape, a nature trail and an outdoor Amphitheatre. Many folks visit the park to picnic, play at the playscape, enjoy the open space, or connect to the Freedom Trail.
 
Macomb Orchard Trail
This up and coming hike and bike path is a 24-mile linear park that starts at 24 Mile Road and Dequindre in Shelby Township and travels northeast to the City of Richmond. Phase I consists of 7.5 miles through Shelby and Washington Townships is now open and once completed the trail will link to 180 miles of trails in southeast Michigan.
 
Metro Beach Metropark
The 770-acre Metro Beach offers 1.25 miles of Lake St. Clair frontage. Facilities include a large lake beach area, swimming pool with water slides, “Squirt Zone” spray park, tot lot and play areas, picnic areas and shelters, three marinas, day sail area, nature center, a nature interpretive area, a paved hike/bike trail, boat launch, an 18-hole par 3 golf course and an 18-hole adventure golf course. An open-air pavilion offers day and evening concerts during the summer months. In the winter, park users enjoy ice-fishing, ice skating, and cross-country skiing, weather permitting.
 
Stony Creek Metropark
Built around the 500-acre Stony Creek Lake in gently rolling terrain, this 4,461-acre metropark offers many recreational activities, including nine large picnic areas, an 18-hole championship golf course, nature center, a nature interpretive area, 24-hole disc golf course, two swimming beaches, play areas, boat launch, and boat rentals. Ten miles of paved roads and over six miles of hike/bike trails provide scenic tours. Winter visitors can enjoy cross-country skiing, sledding, and ice-skating.
 
Wolcott Mill Metropark
Here you can visit farm animals, step back in time at a historic grist mill or play 18 holes of golf. This 2,625 acre park, which also includes Camp Rotary, is located along the banks of the North Branch of the Clinton River in Ray Township, in north central Macomb County.
 
Wayne County
 
Rouge Park
This roughly 1,200-acre park is home to an 18-hole golf course, 14 regulation baseball diamonds, 12 playgrounds, 11 tennis courts, eight miles of bike trails, 200 picnic tables, a driving range, two Olympic-sized pools and a smaller pool, and the Alex Jefferson Model Airplane Field. The River Rouge also flows for two miles through the park.
 
Belle Isle
Belle Isle is undisputably Detroit's premier attraction. The 983-acre city-owned island park (the largest in the country) was designed by Frederick Law Olmstead, who also designed New York's Central Park. The Strand is a six-mile paved roadway that circles the outer perimeter of the island; take a leisurely drive or hop on your bike, run, or walk around the island and enjoy the views of Windsor, the Ambassador Bridge, and the Detroit River. There are also several hiking and nature trails that run through the center of the island through 200 acres of woodlands, not to mention the protected wetlands and hidden beaches. There are multiple large shelters for picnics and family events, piers for fishing, a giant slide, a water slide (enjoy all day for $3), mini golf, a petting zoo, a driving range and putting greens, tennis courts, soccer fields, baseball diamonds, basketball courts, paddle boats, the Dossin Great Lakes Historical Museum, the Anna Scripps Whitcomb Conservatory, the Scott Memorial Fountain, the Belle Isle Casino (for private events), and so much more.
 
Detroit RiverWalk
Second only to Belle Isle, the Detroit RiverWalk is one of Detroit's most impressive assets for tourism and recreation. Efforts have been underway since 2003 to develop a public-access walkway along Detroit's riverfront and serve as a catalyst for further economic development. The long-term goal is to have a paved RiverWalk that extends five and a half miles from the Ambassador Bridge to the MacArthur Bridge (the gateway to Belle Isle). The RiverWalk connects with the Dequindre Cut Greenway (which itself connects to Eastern Market, with long-term plans for a trail leading all the way to Midtown and connecting with other trails), the William G. Milliken State Park and Harbor, Michigan's only urban state park (construction is also underway for a new education and recreation center at the base of the park which will serve as an office for the Department of Natural Resources and event rental space). Three miles of the RiverWalk are already complete, running from Joe Louis Arena to the state park and including Rivard Plaza (which has a carousel, fountain, café with plenty of seating, and bike rental shop). Numerous group activities, fundraisers, and annual events are also held here.
 
Campus Martius Park
Located in the heart of downtown Detroit's commercial district and surrounded by some of the city's best architecture, the 2.5-acre Campus Martius Park is an urban green space and community gathering place that hosts concerts, festivals, and other events year-round on Detroit's official Point of Origin. The centerpiece of the park is the Woodward Fountain featuring 100 water jets that can shoot streams 100 feet into the air, all set to choreographed lights and music (it's Detroit's mini Bellagio). In the winter, Campus Martius displays a 60-foot Christmas tree on the covered fountain and has an ice skating rink. Fountain Bistro, located right next to the Woodward Fountain, offers some of the best bar/restaurant seats in Detroit.
 
Lafayette Greens
Steps away from Campus Martius Park at Michigan Avenue and Lafayette is Lafayette Greens, an urban garden built by Compuware in the footprint of the demolished Lafayette Building. This hybrid garden-park features raised beds, fruit trees, and a children's garden with a mindfulness towards design aesthetic, providing a peaceful green space in the midst of an urban environment. With a half acre of growing space, the organic produce grown at this community garden is donated to Gleaners Community Food Bank, Alternatives for Girls, and other community organizations and food distributors.
 
New Center Park
A unique green space located on the corner of Second Avenue and West Grand Boulevard across from the Fisher Building, New Center Park produces free concerts and outdoor events during the summer season (with the occasional ticketed event). Weekly events include Wednesday Night at the Movies, Alfresco Jazz & Blues on Thursdays, and the Saturday Showcase.
 
Gabriel Richard Park
Serving as the eastern-most point for the RiverWalk at the base of Belle Isle, Gabriel Richard Park has been enhanced with a plaza and pavilion, fountains, fishing outlooks, butterfly gardens and a labyrinth. There is also a RiverWalk Café.
 
Palmer Park
Donated by Senator Palmer in the 1800s, Palmer Park is comprised of 296 acres of lawns and historic woodlands, a public golf course, tennis courts, outdoor pool, hiking and biking trails, a lake, a historic log cabin, and more. It's like being "Up North" … in the city of Detroit. Some of the many events held in Palmer Park, organized by the People for Palmer Park, include children's tennis lessons, story time, bike rides, Little League, free Thai Chi, free yoga, and group walks. 

For more information and stories about cities in Oakland County, check out Oakland County Prosper
 
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