Trails, Walks & Paths: Hiking in the D


Let’s pretend that one day we put our cell phones down, get up from the couch, step away from the computer and see what Mother Nature has to offer. I know what you’re thinking: “Put my cell phone down? I might miss how many likes my fifth selfie of the day gets.” I’m just kidding, but seriously, we can go a few hours without it. That is coming from somebody that is extremely guilty of excessive cell phone use. But think about all the things you miss when you’re always looking down at your electronic objects.

When Mother Nature graces us with a beautiful day, I have a suggestion as to how you should enjoy it. Take a hike. And I mean that in the literal sense. Obviously southeast Michigan is not exactly rich in mountain ranges, but there are several hiking trails, river walks and paths around.

Paint Creek Trail travels through Rochester, Rochester Hills, Oakland Township, Lake Orion and Orion Township within its 8.9-mile-long path. The majority of the trail’s surface consists of crushed limestone. Interesting fact: It is recognized as a National Recreation Trail by the U.S. Department of the Interior.

Crosswinds Marsh Park is a 1,000-acre wetland preserve, and the good news is that it offers seven miles worth of hiking trails. A boardwalk and several hiking trails allow for easy travels along the marsh. Crosswinds is a wildlife preserve with over 200 species of birds and several other animals. Perhaps you want to take a break from hiking and are interested in alternative activities. Luckily for you the park also offers horseback riding and canoeing, along with skiing in the winter.

Huron-Clinton MetroParks are abundant with places to hike. Within the 13 parks are more than 55 miles worth of paved hiking/biking trails. You could get a lot accomplished with that much room to work. Kensington Park offers eight hiking trails alone, and if you haven’t been there it is full of wildlife and beautiful scenery. Each park offers a new adventure.

Macomb Orchard Trail is quite a site. How does a 24-mile linear park that links 180 miles worth of trails around southeast Michigan sound? It starts in Shelby Township and finishes in the city of Richmond. There are benches and pavilions along the way when you need break, as well as some gorgeous scenery! Check out the first ever Tri-Rails to Trails event on Saturday, Aug. 10.

Addison Oaks Park is one of Oakland County’s most scenic parks. The 1,140-acre park was named one of the “Top 10 best family-friendly places to hike” by MetroParent Magazine, so bring the little tikes. Six different trails make this a place to check out for your next hiking opportunity. Plus, there are trails just for bikes. You can also swim, boat, fish, picnic, and play disc golf. Whatever your heart desires.

The Detroit RiverWalk is a beautiful trail along the waterfront. It stretches from the Ambassador Bridge to Belle Isle. Within the path, it connects several Detroit parks and landmarks such as Hart Plaza, Chene Park and Mt. Elliot Park. There are fewer prettier scenes in Detroit. There is almost always some kind of event going on around the Detroit RiverWalk.

Yes, I am indeed challenging you to a day outdoors. I am asking you for a day off of the grid, if you will. Think of all of these hiking trails and walks as a way to escape reality for a little bit. Plus, it is a great way to exercise. You’ll thank me later.