When it comes to warm weather and sunshine Michiganders don’t mess around. From wearing shorts at the first sight of sun in the spring (sometimes still winter) to being ever reluctant to take the boat out of the water or pull out the winter clothes at the end of fall, we wring out every last drop of warm weather this state has to offer. Summertime in Michigan is a luxury, and the precious time should not be wasted indoors.
One of the best places to enjoy a beautiful Michigan summer is at one of the many metro and state parks located all around the state. These gorgeous parks not only offer the obvious ways to enjoy the summer i.e. – lying by the pool or lake, golfing, barbecuing, etc, they are a mecca for outdoor recreation. And what better way to stay fit and healthy than by taking advantage of all the outdoor activities at your disposal. If you really want to make the most of the delightful climate try hitting some of the local parks around town and checking out the following activities that are available.
Most parks have miles of trails that are just begging for you to pay them a visit. Winding through beautiful meadows and up and down hills in the forest, these trails are perfect for hiking, biking, rollerblading (when the paths are paved) and more. There are usually a few choices between the routes, often with both dirt and paved paths available. Whether you’re looking to take a pretty stroll with the family or go all out on your mountain bike, the nature/fitness trails are where it’s at. Some of the parks, like Kensington Metro Park and Maybury State Park, have trails for horseback riding as well. If you’re heading to Kensington you will need to bring your own four-footed friend but if you are short one lovable equine, Maybury has horses that you can pay to ride (call for details).
In addition to the miles of amazing trails, the parks are riddled with beautiful lakes which make for prime fishing destinations (permit required) along with great places to canoe, kayak and paddleboat. Don’t worry if you don’t have your own equipment, almost every park will have a canoe/kayak livery where you can rent equipment for the day at affordable prices.
The parks are still good for the summertime classics too. Many have volleyball courts available and you will be hard pressed to find a park that doesn’t have plenty of barbecues for everyone to grill out on. If you’re looking for a nice outdoor location for a family reunion or another type of get together, Michigan parks provide the best party scenery you could imagine. The spaces typically need to be reserved through the park office so make sure you give them a call ahead of time and don’t forget to find out what their policy on adult beverages is.
You can buy a daily park pass or if you’re good with commitment, an annual pass good for 365 days, rain or shine. Annual passes to state and/or metroparks will also grant the permit holder access to all other respective parks.
After you fall in love with Michigan’s parks – because you undoubtedly will – don’t be too sad when the warm weather comes to an end. There are plenty of things to do in the parks during the colder months as well… but who wants to think about that right now?
Check out this list of several Michigan parks for more information and to find one near you!
Delhi Metropark – Ann Arbor
Dexter-Huron Metropark – Dexter
Hudson Mills Metropark – Dexter
Huron Meadows Metropark – Brighton
Indian Springs Metropark – White Lake
Kensington Metropark – Milford
Lake Erie Metropark – Brownstown
Lake St. Clair Metropark – Harrison Twp.
Lower Huron Metropark – Belleville
Oakwood Metropark – Belleville
Stony Creek Metropark – Shelby Twp.
Willow Metropark – Belleville
Wolcott Mill Metropark – Ray