The best ways to enjoy the outdoors in and around Detroit

Guest post by Katie Marie

Yep, you read that right! Detroit, Michigan.

Whether you’re a Detroit native or just in town for a visit, the city has so many green spaces to enjoy, including parks, conservancies, public gardens, and then some.

The Detroit Riverfront Conservancy hosts various programs throughout the year including special events and weekly programs.

Detroit Riverfront

The Detroit Riverfront is a draw in spring, summer, fall, and winter. Enjoy a scenic walk, jog, or run, and take your dog along for company.  Bike, kayak, canoe, fish, or ride a paddleboat to get your blood circulating. Nearby parks are enticing to hikers, and you can set up your picnic under the trees. You’ll find parks, plazas, pavilions, and pathways on both sides of the river.

Greenfield Village

Greenfield Village features more than 80 acres of historical exhibits — all outdoors! —celebrating 300 years of American ingenuity. The Henry Ford Museum of American Innovation is also onsite, and it’s pretty neat, too. Greenfield Village is located on Oakwood Boulevard in Dearborn, about 20 minutes from Downtown Detroit.

Belle Isle Park is a 2.5-mile-long, 982-acre island park, located in the international waters of the Detroit River.

Belle Isle Park

Golfing, paddle boating, and swimming are just a few ways to enjoy the charms of Belle Isle Park. Attractions include a zoo, aquarium, conservatory, nature center, golf range, beach — even a giant slide! The bridge to Belle Isle Park sits at the intersection of East Brand Boulevard and Jefferson Avenue in Downtown Detroit.

Cranbrook Gardens

Looking for a nice walk in the park? Check out the Cranbrook House and Gardens between May and October. View sculptures and water fountains as you wind through wildflower and herb gardens, or take a break in one of the oldest Japanese Gardens in North America. Chances are Cranbrook House and Gardens’ 40 acres have something for you.

You Pick It

Have you ever wandered through a large garden and picked your own strawberries? Maybe you’ve wanted to select the perfect apple to enjoy? The Detroit area has several “you pick” farms, where you can choose your own apples, raspberries, strawberries, and blueberries. Depending on the season and especially in summer, “you pick” farms have plenty of fresh produce. You’ve heard the phrase “from farm to table” — it applies here!

Lakeport State Park, with its 250 campsites, is about an hour northeast of Detroit, on the southern tip of Lake Huron.

Lakeport State Park

Lakeport State Park, with its 250 campsites, is about an hour northeast of Detroit, on the southern tip of Lake Huron. Check out the beaches, have a picnic, or sit around a campfire, take a walk with your kids or just enjoy the quiet ambiance. Lakeport State Park is easily accessible, has modern amenities (bathrooms!), and is near several convenience stores.

It’s always hard to set time aside for recreation, but remember: taking a day off is not only OK, it’s a necessity for your physical and mental health. Go ahead, visit a nearby green space — it doesn’t have to be wild! — and breathe in the fresh air.

Katie Marie is a writer for LawnStarter, avid yogi, and outdoor explorer. She spends most of her time practicing meditation and wellness using organic elements within nature.

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