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Top 8 Nature Spots in and Around Detroit

Nature Spots Detroit
Image via Flickr by Bonnie Moreland | License

Most people know Detroit as the Motor City but fail to understand that there is much more to this city beyond the industries. The city features natural scenery that allows you to enjoy some quality time with nature. The region has a variety of public gardens and nature reserves with well-maintained hiking trails that make for wonderful family-friendly activities. If you are looking for a perfect nature getaway when in Detroit, check out these places.

Paint Creek Trail

Paint Creek Trail is located in Oakland County and extends about 8.9 miles. The trail was the first non-motorized rail-to-trail to be built in the state. It extends from Rochester to Lake Orion and features a variety of hiking activities for all visitors, including fishing. You will come across several rest areas along the way where you can catch your breath before continuing with your hike.

Stony Creek Metropark

The Stony Creek Metropark is a collection of trails in four different locations around the park. It runs through Washington, Oakland, and Shelby townships. There is a 6-mile concrete trail that circles Stony Creek Lake and is popular with skaters and runners. An 8.5-mile hiking trail is found near the nature center, and visitors can take advantage of another 14 miles of mountain hiking/biking near the former estate. Moreover, you’ll find over 6 miles of foot trails close to Inwood Lake.

Stony Creek has a lot to offer to people of all ages and interests. The park features two beaches, picnic areas, an ice skating rink, a golf course, a water slide, and a nature center. Regardless of what you are looking for, Stony Creek Metropark can provide a memorable outdoor experience.

Detroit River International Wildlife Refuge

The Detroit River International Wildlife Refuge is found in Grosse Isle Township along the western shoreline of Lake Erie. The refuge includes almost 6,000 acres of habitat and features wetlands, islands, waterfronts, and marshes. It is the only refuge of its kind in America and has succeeded in maintaining the almost endangered animal, fish, and plant species that are native to this area. A visit to this refuge is worth your time, as you will see all types of fish and animals in their natural environment.

Macomb Orchard Trail

The 24-mile concrete trail extends from the suburbs of Rochester to Richmond. It offers a great outdoor experience, as you will come across a variety of scenery along the way. You can pick some apples, cherries, and peaches on the orchards that sit about half a mile from the trail. Further on, you will come across the town’s historic district, where you’ll find all manner of shopping outlets, including antique shops and restaurants.

Whether you’re exploring on foot, riding your bicycle, or skateboarding, Macomb Orchard Trail offers you an out-of-the-world experience. The paved trail with its numerous habitats makes it a good option for those who wish to explore the Motor City on foot.

West Bloomfield Woods Nature Trail

West Bloomfield Woods Nature Trail is a 2.1-mile trail located near West Bloomfield. It is a great hiking trail for anyone who loves flora and fauna. If you visit during the warm months, you will likely enjoy the bloom of wildflowers along the path. You can also enjoy the views of the trifling pools, the tall trees, and the vegetation. The trail is ideal for walking, hiking, and bird watching. Visitors of all skill levels can enjoy a hike on this nature trail.

Blue Heron Lagoon Trail

Located on Belle Isle, the Blue Heron Lagoon Trail is a 2.2-mile trail that offers intriguing views of the Detroit River. The trail is ideal for all people of all skill levels. It starts at Lakeside Drive, where you can enjoy views of the lake before soaking in the amazing views and scenery around the Detroit River.

This trail also offers visitors the chance to view the William Livingstone Memorial Lighthouse. Undoubtedly, the Blue Heron Lagoon Trail is an amazing trail to explore. However, you are likely to enjoy the view more if you take a leisurely stroll.

Belle Isle Park

A few steps away from the heart of the city, you will find Belle Isle State Park. The park offers a concrete hiking trail with views of the downtown skyline and the forest. You can explore the park on your own, but the zoo offers guided tours. The state park features three lakes that offer visitors the chance to take part in water sports. Other attractions suitable for all ages include the James Scott Memorial Fountain and the Belle Isle Nature Zoo.

Proud Lake Recreation Area

Proud Lake Recreation Area features over 20 miles of hiking trails. Two of these rails run along the Huron River. The area features 130 campsites and two mini cabins that overlook the lake. This recreation area is ideal for several activities for all skill levels. You can opt to go swimming, boating/canoeing, or fishing. If you are more interested in skiing or hiking, you can follow the trails that run along the Huron River or the one that is around the marsh.

If you are more adventurous, you can follow the long trail, which runs north of the river and move through the pine forest and wetlands. You’ll also find around 10 miles of trails preserved for mountain hiking. The trails on the western side are the most common with riders.

Detroit is a great city with numerous nature reserves and parks that offer great hiking trails, besides being an industrial city. If you ever find yourself in the Motor City, you can spend some time away from the hustle and bustles of the city and have some quiet time enjoying nature. We have listed some of the areas you can go hiking in here. If you feel that there are more spots, you can leave a comment. If you acquire any injuries during a hike in any of the listed locations, you can contact Goodman Acker for help.

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