Exploration Guides

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Oakwoods Metropark Trails

Lower Huron, Willow, and Oakwoods Metroparks all have their own trail networks, but as those trails are all interconnected, the trail network is even larger, totalling nearly fifty kilometers.  For the Lower Huron/Willow/Oakwoods app, we have combined all three parks together, to make it easier to pass through the extensive trail network, independent of what park you start in.

Paved Trails (Hiking, Biking, Inline Skating)

1.  Lower Huron Paved Trail (14km – round trip) A linear, out and back trail, with connectors at the south end to New Boston and a long connector trail along the Huron River to Willow Metropark.  This trail has a few moderate hills, and traverses forests and mowed grass areas.  The wooden bridge over the Huron River can be dangerous for bikers and skaters.
2.  Willow Full Paved Loop (6km) The main loop trail around the entire park, through a mix of woods, prairie, and mowed grass parkland.
3.  Willow North Paved Loop (4km) The northern end of the main loop, cutting across via a shortcut in the middle.
4.  Willow South Paved Loop (4km) The southern end of the main loop, cutting across via a shortcut in the middle.
5.  Oakwoods Paved Trail (10km – round trip) An out and back paved trail, mostly through open prairie.  Some parts of this trail are prone to flooding in early spring and after heavy rains.  The railroad crossing in the middle of the trail is rough, so bikers and skaters are advised to be careful.
6.  Full Paved Trail (40km – round trip) The full, out and back trail, including the full loop around Willow Metropark.  This is an excellent trail for fitness enthusiasts, with no major hills and little competing traffic.  The trail traverses diverse combination of terrain, including dense forest, open prairie, wetlands, and mowed parkland.  There are several wooden bridges over the Huron River, as well as two railroad crossings on this route, which can be dangerous for in-line skaters and bikers.

Nature Trails (Hiking-only)

7.  Lower Huron Bob White Trail (1.5km) A short, mostly level trail through dense woodlands well above the river.
8.  Lower Huron PawPaw Trail (1km) A short trail through woods, starting on the bluffs above the Huron River before descending into the river’s floodplain.  An interesting contrast with the non-floodplain Bob White Trail.
9.  Oakwoods Big Tree Trail (no dogs allowed) (1.3km) A flat, wooded trail, adjacent to the Oakwoods Nature Center, with interpretative signs to help with plant identification.
10.  Oakwoods Sky-Come-Down Trail (no dogs allowed) (1.5km) Wandering through the edges of woods and meadows, and visiting the pond, as well, this trail gives a good variety of local ecosystems.  The trail is adjacent to the Oakwoods Nature Center, with interpretative signs to help with plant identification.
11.  Oakwoods Long Bark Trail (no dogs allowed) (3.1km)  A wooded trail, alongside the Huron River, with woods and wetlands.  The trail is adjacent to the Oakwoods Nature Center, with interpretative signs to help with plant identification.

Equestrian Trails (Hiking and Equestrian only)

12.  Oakwoods North Loop Trail (3.8km) From the horse staging area, this trail loops around the area north of the railroad tracks.  The wooded trail visits the scenic bluffs above the Huron River.
13.  Oakwoods South Loop Trail (2.8km) From the horse staging area, this trail loops around the area south of the railroad tracks.  The wooded trail visits the scenic bluffs above the Huron River.
14.  Oakwoods Big Loop Trail (5.2km) Encircling the entire equestrian area, this loop goes around the perimeter trails of the entire equestrian area.  The wooded trail visits the scenic bluffs above the Huron River.
15.  Oakwoods Long Loop Trail (7.6km) Designed for maximum length, this zig-zag trail hits all the features of the Equestrian area.  The route was designed for maximum distance and maximum variety of ecosystems without crossing over the same trail twice.  The wooded trail visits the scenic bluffs above the Huron River.

Return to the main Lower Huron Metropark page.

Return to the main Willow Metropark page.

Return to the main Oakwoods Metropark page.

This page is just a small part of the free Lower Huron/Willow/Oakwoods Metropark mobile app.

June 4, 2011 Posted by | | , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment

Oakwoods Metropark

Oakwoods Metropark lies at the south end of the 3-park chain, connected by an extensive trail system, which lies along the Huron River from Belleville to Flat Rock.  This chain, which also includes Willow Metropark and Lower Huron Metropark, provides a 25-mile round trip paved trail, and the park includes an extensive trail network of its own, as well, with nature trails adjacent to the Oakwoods Nature Center, and a network of Equestrian Trails located near the center of the park.

Return to the main Huron-Clinton Metropark page.

Visit the official Oakwoods Metropark page.

This page is just a small part of the free Lower Huron/Willow/Oakwoods Metroparks mobile app.

June 4, 2011 Posted by | | , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment

Willow Metropark

Located in the middle of a 3-park chain running from Belleville and Flat Rock, Michigan, Willow Metropark is an urban-feel park, composed largely of open, mowed parkland, fringed with woodlands.  The Huron River separates the main park from the golf course and driving range, and is a great river for canoeing and kayaking.  A paved trail network loops around the park, and connects to the north to Lower Huron Metropark, and to the south to Oakwoods Metropark to create a 25-mile round trip, paved trail network.  The park also includes a pool and a small skatepark, boat and bike rental at Washago Pond, and a disc golf course.

During the summers at Willow Metropark, near the pool, the Metroparks host various events, including car shows, fireworks, evening movies, concerts, and more.  Check with the park to see what’s scheduled.

Return to the main Huron-Clinton Metropark page.

Visit the official Willow Metropark page.

This page just a small part of the free Lower Huron/Willow/Oakwoods Metroparks mobile app.

June 4, 2011 Posted by | | , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment

Lower Huron Metropark

Lower Huron Metropark, part of the Huron Clinton Metropark chain, is located on the Huron River, just south of I-94, from the outlet of Belleville Lake and following the river south about four miles to New Boston, Michigan.  Home to a par-3 golf course, the Turtle Cove Family Aquatic Center, a group camp, skating ponds, and two small nature trails, Lower Huron Metropark also has the northern trailhead for the 25-mile round trip paved trail system extending from Lower Huron Metropark, alongside the Huron River into Willow Metropark, then continuing into Oakwoods Metropark, in Flat Rock, Michigan.

Return to the main Huron-Clinton Metropark page.

Visit the official Lower Huron Metropark page.

This page is just a small part of the free Lower Huron/Willow/Oakwoods mobile app.

June 4, 2011 Posted by | | , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment

Seven Lakes State Park

Seven Lakes State Park is located north of Pontiac Michigan, just east of the Dauner Martin Nature Sanctuary.  Home to around 17km of trails encircling two, main lakes (and many smaller ones), Seven Lakes State Park is also home to a number of uncommon fens, a large massasauga rattlesnake population, and the closest thing we get to a waterfall in southeast Michigan.  The two main lakes, Big Seven and Dickenson, both have boat launches, and are undeveloped, aside from the launches, and the beach on man-made Big Seven Lake.  A developed campground is available at Sand Lake.

Visit the official Seven Lakes State Park page.

This page is just a small part of the Seven Lakes State Park mobile app.

June 1, 2011 Posted by | | , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment

Huron Meadows Metropark

Huron Meadows Metropark is a little-known, little-visited Huron-Clinton Metropark located between Ann Arbor and Brighton, Michigan.  With 13 km of trails through woods and restoration prairie, this park offers some of the best bluff views overlooking the Huron River in the south and a full golf course in the northeast corner of the park.  In the winter, all trails are groomed for cross-country skiing, and they’re all open for hiking the rest of the year.

Trails:

  • Big Loop Trail: Encompassing the entire park, the Big Loop Trail is about 9 km long and encircles both the north and south parts of the park.
  • North Loop Trail: A 4.7 km loop trail through the northern part of the park.  This trail is varied, traversing woodland, lake, and prairie.
  • Northwest Loop Trail: This 3.3 km trail is in the same are as the North Loop Trail, but skips the more developed eastern side of the lake, returning instead on the wooded western side.
  • South Loop Trail: At 3.7 km, this trail travels through the woodlands on the north side of the Huron River, and includes a number of great views from the bluffs atop the Huron River.
  • River Loop Trail: This short, 1 km trail is perhaps one of the nicest in the park, with its views over the river.  The trail is short, but you can easily add it to either the South Loop Trail or the Big Loop Trail.
  • Southwest Trails: There are a number of trail segments in the southern part of the park, west of the park entrance road.  These trails aren’t currently included in the app, and the maps available are inaccurate.  Unfortunately, these trails have generally remained unused, and are badly overgrown and difficult, if not impossible, to follow.  It’s not a bad way to try out bushwhacking-lite, though, if you are looking for a way to get started with off-trail hiking.

This page is just a small part of the Huron Meadows Metropark app.

April 17, 2011 Posted by | | , , , , , , | Leave a Comment