Time for a Picnic! Parks of Southeast Michigan

By: Amber Ogden | May 27, 2015
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When the weather is warm, there’s nothing like spending as much time outdoors as humanly possible. If the sun is shining, it’s guaranteed that most of us want to eat, sleep and breathe outside. Speaking of eating outside, when you’ve been hitting up patio restaurants all week and want to enjoy the fresh air but take a load off your wallet, what can you do? Have a picnic, of course!

While there’s nothing wrong with picnicking in your own backyard, it’s a little more exciting to actually pack yourself a lunch and take it elsewhere. Metro Detroit is full of parks where you can enjoy a leisurely afternoon picnic with your beau, best friend or family. Get ready to pack your blanket and head to one of the following parks in southeast Michigan:

Plymouth Township Park, 46640 W. Ann Arbor Trail, Plymouth, is an 80-acre park with sheltered gathering places and plenty of green grass to throw down a checkered blanket. There are a few outdoor grills scattered about if you plan on doing your cooking at the park, too.

There are several walking paths, along with a fishpond and deck, so you can burn a few calories and work off your lunch after you eat. During the summer months, the park is open from 8 a.m. to 9:30 p.m.

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If you bring the kids, they’ll enjoy cooling off at the Sprayscape, which includes water cannons, a dozen ground sprays and more H2O fun.

Heritage Park, 24915 Farmington Rd., Farmington Hills, spans a vast 211 acres, and you’ll find a designated picnic area on the park’s north side. Along with the picnic shelter, the same area of the park includes a playground, sand volleyball courts and horseshoe pits. There are also in-ground grills so you don’t have to prepare everything before you go, as well as designated picnic areas.

The park consists of 4.5 miles of hiking and nature trails, so if you feel like taking a stroll during your afternoon outing, there are plenty of places to go. Enjoy your picnic during the park’s open hours from 8 a.m. to dusk.

Pavilion Shore Park, 43390 13 Mile Rd., Novi, is situated on Walled Lake and has a picnic plaza along with waterfront seating. If you’re looking for a scenic picnic spot, then what’s more breathtaking than enjoying a meal by a lake? The park spans 11 acres, and also includes a fishing pier and walking paths.

If you find yourself wandering a little ways, you’ll make it to Lakeshore Park, where there are barbecue grills, even more picnic shelters, a beach and 10 plus miles of trails.

Gallup Park can be found along the Huron River and Geddes Pond in Ann Arbor. The 69-acre park has two picnic shelters, along with designated picnic areas and grills throughout.

While you’re there, take advantage of one of two playgrounds, the canoe livery and over three miles of trails.

The Gallup Park Canoe Livery, located at 3000 Fuller Rd., is open from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. every day, where you can rent canoes, kayaks, paddleboats and rowboats. Turn your picnic lunch into an afternoon of adventure and head down the river!

Boulan Park, 3671 Crooks Rd., Troy, is heavy on sports, but also includes two picnic shelters and concession stands when in season. That way if you forget a bag of chips or are still hungry after eating what you packed, you’re in luck!

If you want to play while you’re there, take advantage of the baseball diamonds, tennis courts, soccer fields or volleyball courts. Should you be picnicking with the family, take the kids to the play structure or go for a stroll along the paved walking path. Boulan Park spans 63 acres, so there is plenty to explore while you’re there!

Another one of Troy’s major city parks is Firefighters Park, 1300 W. Square Lake Rd., where you’ll find another picnic shelter. This park is slightly larger, and also features shore fishing, a disc golf course, soccer fields and sand volleyball.

Municipal Park, 400 6th St., Rochester, is located along the banks of the Paint Creek Trail, where you’ll find two picnic structures: the open-air Kiwanis Shelter and enclosed Lion’s Shelter. If you’re a Rochester resident and have a large picnic party planned, you can reserve the shelter by calling the City Council at 248-651-9061.

During your afternoon of picnicking, you can also take advantage of the sand volleyball court, tennis court and over a mile of paved walking paths.

The park is open from dawn to dusk, and if you want to plan a nighttime picnic, take advantage of the summer series Music in the Park, which begins on Thursday, June 18. Every Thursday through July 23, you can enjoy free music in the park from 7:30 p.m. to 9 p.m. Don’t forget to pack your sandwiches!

No matter where you decide to have your picnic, make sure to keep your food cold and bring a cozy blanket or a few lawn chairs. Enjoy!