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 Boating

Kensington Metropark surrounds Kent Lake, a shallow, man-made lake built along the Huron River.  There are two large boat launches in the park, with East Boat Launch located just inside the park from the Kent Lake Road entrance, and West Boat Launch, located near the Kensington Road entrance, just past the golf course.

There is also a hand launch, suitable for only canoes and kayaks, located on the north side of the park, where Dawson Road crosses the river, and, when it’s open, there’s also a rental canoe launch inside the group campground which can be used.

Note: Unlike other Metroparks, Kensington often charges people entering the park with canoes and kayaks a “launch fee,” which is separate from the general park admission fee.  Annual permits do not cover this fee.  Although published park policy states that boats carried into the park “in or on vehicles” are not charged this fee, every time I’ve attempted to enter the park with kayaks on top of my car, they wanted to charge this fee.  This launch fee is used to cover construction and maintenance of the two large boat launches used by much larger boats.  Canoes and kayaks rarely, if ever, would want to use them.  For hand-carried boats that are usually launched from a grassy bank, while published park policy says you will not be charged, either due to lack of staff training or some other factor, you will likely either be charged the fee, or have to argue about it.  Neither option is especially fun.  Canoes and kayaks can avoid this fee by simply using the Dawson Road launch, or launching from Island Lake State Park, just to the south of Kensington, across I-96.  Don’t let this discourage you from visiting the park, as it is a great lake for canoes and kayaks, with small islands and plenty of little bays to explore.  If you are charged the fee, and choose to just pay it, please request a receipt and file a complaint with the Huron-Clinton Metroparks office.

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 8, 2012 Posted by | | , , , , , | Leave a Comment

Kensington Metropark Beaches

Kensington Metropark has three swimming opportunities.  Both beaches at Kensington are located on Kent Lake, a man-made lake created by a dam on the Huron River, just south of the park, in Island Lake State Park.

The main beach is Martindale Beach located on the southeast side of Kent Lake, just inside the Kent Lake Road entrance.  This is the largest beach, and is always open (within reason).  There’s plenty of parking, plenty of sand, and lifeguards, in season.

The second beach, which is only open occasionally, and when Martindale Beach is packed, is Maple Beach.  Located almost directly across Kent Lake from Martindale Beach, Maple Beach is smaller than Martindale Beach, and more grass than sand, but also quieter, when it’s open.

The third opportunity to cool off in summer heat is at Splash ‘n’ Blast, Kensington’s waterpark.

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 8, 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

Indian Springs Metropark

Indian Springs Metropark is a medium-sized park in the Huron Clinton Metropark chain.  Located at the headwaters of the Huron River, this park includes interpretive nature trails, with plenty of old farm and sawmill equipment, a paved trail for biking and in-line skaters, an equestrian trail, the Environmental Discovery Center (with underwater dome), a small sugar bush, a golf course, and a hilltop picnic area, complete with eco-maze, “tot lot,” and water-based playground.

Visit the official Indian Springs Metropark page.

Return to the main Huron Clinton Metroparks page.

This page is just a small part of the Indian Springs Metropark app.

May 12, 2011 Posted by | | , , , , , , , , , , | 1 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.


  • 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