Exploration Guides

We're all explorers. You just need the right guide.

Welcome, Explorers!

Welcome to Exploration Guides!

The first day of spring, March 20, 2011, was the day of our Grand Opening. We now have thirteen free Android apps covering 14 parks in southeast Michigan, which have been downloaded  thousands of times and our first two Destination apps, Destination: Lighthouse – North America and Destination: Waterfall – North America.

Our first book, Dayhiking, is now available worldwide from Amazon, and soon from Barnes & Noble, as well.  You can get Dayhiking at http://www.amazon.com/Dayhiking-Exploration-Guides-Hiking-ebook/dp/B00CQOP7K6

We have a lot more data, and more books and apps are coming.  Feel free to look around, download the free apps, make suggestions for new features, and, most importantly, go outside and explore!

Read our blog for info on new apps, trip reports, and more.

Check out our free apps.

May 12, 2013 Posted by | | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment

Kensington Metropark Equestrian Area

The hidden trails at Kensington Metropark are the Equestrian Trails running around the northern and eastern edges of the park.  With a total of 26.6 km of trails, not counting the connected trails in Proud Lake State Recreation Area, this extensive network offers lots of options, all starting at the Equestrian Staging Area.

This page is just a small part of the Kensington Metropark mobile app.

Return to the main Kensington Metropark page.

Return to the main Huron Clinton Metropark page.

February 15, 2012 Posted by | | , , , , , | Leave a Comment

Kensington Metropark

Kensington Metropark, one of the largest in the Huron Clinton Metropark System, is located just off I-96 in Milford Michigan, between Brighton and Novi.  Built around Kent Lake, a man-made lake on the Huron River, Kensington is very popular, but spread out enough to rarely appear crowded.

Like all metroparks, of course there’s plenty of open, grassy area, but Kensington also has a lot else to do.

This page is just a small part of the Kensington Metropark mobile app.

Visit the official Kensington Metropark page.

Return to the main Huron Clinton Metropark page.

February 5, 2012 Posted by | | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Willow 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 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