Exploration Guides

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

Kensington Metropark History

Kensington Metropark is full of history, although sometimes you might have to look around a bit to see it.

Certainly the most visible history at Kensington is the Farm Center, on the north side of Kent Lake.  At more than 150 years old, the barn, and (newer) adjacent buildings give you the opportunity to see how crops and livestock are raised, as well as some of the antique equipment which has been used for decades, or longer, to harvest those crops.

Behind the Nature Center, you can find a few of the remains of the village of Kensington.  With ruins of at least two houses, plus various other equipment, fences, and more spread throughout the area, you never know what you’ll find if you just keep your eyes open.

And no matter where you go in the park, on the trails or off, you’ll find sections of fencing still in place, and other artifacts, left when the park changed from residential and farmland to the park we enjoy today.

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

Stony Creek Metropark Ruins

Like most of the parks in the Huron Clinton Metropark chain, Stony Creek Metropark is located on land that once was something else.  In the case of Stony Creek, there were many things located here, and lots of signs remain.

  • At the far north end of the park, outside the main park area, is the Inwood Trails area.  This part of the park, until recently, was an active gravel pit.  The terrain of the this area of the park still shows signs of this history, in pits (now ponds), roads (now trails), and the ground itself (hard gravel).
  • The main mountain bike area is located on the former Sheldon Estate.  The most visible ruins of this estate are near the golf course, where the fenced tennis court and main stairs are still prominently visible.  The nearby stone altar wasn’t actually a part of the Sheldon Estate, but was brought in for a wedding, but was too heavy to remove, so was abandoned in place, where it’s since been used by countless others.  Also, in this area, you’ll find roads (now trails) and the remains of lots of high, barbed-wire-topped fencing.
  • Everywhere in the park you find old roads, fencing, and the occasional bit of foundation from the park’s history as both farmland and residential areas.

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

Return to the main Stony Creek Metropark page.

July 19, 2011 Posted by | | , , , | Leave a Comment

Indian Springs Metropark Farm and Sawmill Equipment

Spread throughout the park, along all the nature trails in the north end of the park, are pieces of equipment found in the park.  Farm equipment includes three plows, a cultivator, and a mower on the farm trail.

On the main nature trails, you can find a part of a woodburning stove and a blade assembly from a portable sawmill abandoned at some point during clear-cutting the park decades ago.

Scattered throughout the park are segments of old fencing, fire breaks, stone walls, and more.  Most of it is fairly subtly, but if you keep your eyes open, you may be surprised what you can find.

Return to the main park page.

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

May 12, 2011 Posted by | | , , | Leave a Comment

Pinckney State Recreation Area Ruins

As you walk around Pinckney State Recreation Area, you’ll see plenty of woods, wetlands, and lakes.  If you look a little deeper, though, you may notice that there’s plenty of traces of previous uses for the land in the park.

There are plenty of ruins visible to observant explorers, but the one near the center of the park, with an intact fireplace and root cellar, may be the only one most people notice.  There’s also other, less visible artifacts, including pieces of fencing and lots of former roads, and even the remains of at least one dam.

Return to the main park page.

This page is just a small piece of the Pinckney State Recreation Area app.

March 19, 2011 Posted by | | , , , , , | Leave a Comment

Hudson Mills Ruins

On the west side of the Hudson Mills Rapids lies the only ruins in the park.

There have actually been many mills on this part of the Huron River, beginning with a sawmill built by Cornelius Osterhaut in 1827.  In 1846, a gristmill was added, followed by a cider mill, plaster mill, and pulp mill.

We normally think of mills as needing a large water drop, often 5-10 meters or more, with the water flowing over the top of a single, huge wheel, sometimes called and overshot wheel.  While efficient, and capable of providing huge amounts of power, much of the world simply doesn’t have those large drops, so many mills used undershot wheels, with a large wheel suspended above rapidly moving water.  Smaller mills could also work using a much smaller side wheel.

It’s only a short walk across the bridge and down the hill to visit the ruins.  You also get another view of the Hudson Mills Rapids.  While you’re in the park, you should definitely take a few minutes to visit.

Return to the main park page.

This page is a part of the Hudson Mills Metropark App.

March 3, 2011 Posted by | | , , | Leave a Comment

Hudson Mills Metropark

Hudson Mills Metropark is one of thirteen parks in the Huron Clinton Metroparks chain.  Situated on the Huron River, just north of Dexter, Michigan, it encompasses 1,549 acres, including an 18-hole golf course, two disk golf courses, soccer fields, picnic areas, a nature/activity center, and about 16km (10 miles) of trails, mostly paved, on both sides of the river.

The paved trails are popular with bikes and in-line skaters when not snow-covered, and are partially cleared in winter.  Other trails are groomed for cross-country skiing in winter.

With the park located on two levels, the unpaved trails begin in forest, and drop into floodplain along the river, giving you an uncommon opportunity to experience a large number of ecosystems with only a short hike.

While there, be sure to visit the Hudson Mills Rapids, one of only two remaining sets of rapids along the Huron River, and the ruins of the park’s namesake, the original Hudson Mill, on the west side of the rapids.

Visit the official Hudson Mills Metropark page.

This page is a part of the Hudson Mills Metropark App

February 26, 2011 Posted by | | , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment