The 13 individual Metroparks that comprise the Huron-Clinton Metroparks each offer a variety of acitivities that are tailored to families and individuals throughout the year.
For more information on the wide array of activities available at your local Metropark, please click the options below.
An 8.5 mile paved hike-bike trail traverses the picturesque landscapes that circle Kent Lake. A 3.4-mile trail extends north from the loop, connecting to the village of Milford. Kensington Metropark and Island Lake State Recreation Area is connected via a paved connector going underneath I-96. Pets on a six-foot leash are permitted.
A 2-mile connector trail extends from the North park entrance to Proud Lake State Recreation Area
From rolling meadows and deciduous woodlands to marshes, lakes and an ancient bog, the variety of habitats at Kensington Metropark attract more than 260 resident and migratory birds each year. Stroll along the boardwalk on Wildwing Lake and you may spy a colony of great blue herons in the rookery or a bald eagle flying above.
Experience the thrill of hand-feeding black-capped chickadees sunflower seeds in the winter. Volunteers help maintain bluebird nest boxes throughout the park. Interpreters offer seasonal birding programs year round including butterfly and hummingbird gardening, fall migration, bird walks, owl prowls and more. Celebrate majestic blue herons at the annual Heron Fest each spring. Interpreters maintain a bird species list. For more information contact 810-227-8917.
Navigate through open water in a paddleboat, glide past Martindale Beach in a kayak or fish near Labadie Island in a rowboat at Kensington Metropark. Paddleboats, canoes, kayaks, and rowboats are available at the boat rental building near Maple Beach. Special senior rates apply (weekdays only except holidays). Life jackets are provided and must be worn at all times by boat occupants. Only persons 18 years of age and older are permitted to rent a boat. Individuals under 18 years of age must be accompanied by an adult. A $30 deposit and driver’s license is required for rentals. The last boat rental of the day is one hour before closing.
Hours of Operation:
- May (Weekends Only) – 7 a.m. – 7 p.m.
- Memorial Day – Labor Day – 7 a.m. – 8 p.m.
- September (First Four Weekends Only) – 7 a.m. – 7 p.m.
Boat Rental Fees
|One Person Kayak||$8/hour|
|Two Person Kayak||$10/hour|
Senior: $5/hour (Maximum $20) – Weekdays Only (except holidays)
|Swan Pedal Boats||$17/hour – 4/5 passenger|
|Rubber Ducky Pedal Boats||$17/hour – 4/5 passengers|
|Cushions/Life Jackets||Price – $1, Deposit – $5|
Terms of Rental
- A $30 deposit, per boat, is required.
- Boat Rental accepts cash; Visa, MasterCard or Discover.
- A valid drivers license or State issued picture ID is required to rent a boat (school ID’s are not acceptable).
- Patrons must be 18 years old to rent a boat or to be in a boat alone.
- Life vests (PFDs) are provided for each boat rental user.
- No reservations are taken, boats are rented on a first come first served basis.
- Weekends are often very busy, waiting lists are used as needed.
- You may bring your own outboard motor; we do not rent them. Maximum 6 horsepower motor allowed on 12’ rowboat. Maximum 10 horsepower motor allowed on 14’ rowboat.
- Paddleboards, Swan, and Rubber Ducky Pedal Boats will not be rented if the wind speed is 10 mph or greater.
Get quick access to Kent Lake at Kensington Metropark with 10 ramps at the East Boat Launch and eight ramps at the West Boat Launch. A 10 M.P.H. speed limit is enforced. A Metropark Boat Launch Permit, in addition to your vehicle permit, is required for boats that are trailered in and can be purchased at the Metropark toll booth or Park Office. If your boat (canoe, kayak, or rowboat) is transported into the park in or on your vehicle you do not have to purchase a Boat Launch Permit. Boats are not permitted on Wildwing Lake or Kingfisher Lagoon.
Boat Launch Permit
- Annual – $35 – Purchase Online
- Seniors – $21
- Daily – $10
There are 93 slips available for rent each season. Slips are located in three separate areas; East Boat Launch, Mitten Bay, and the Boat Rental. Boats may be docked beginning May 1 (unless inadequate rainfall postpones this date – you will be notified in advance if this occurs). Dockage decals expire October 31. Boats must be removed on or before this date so that the water level can be lowered to the winter level. Metropark Vehicle and Boat Launching Permits are required all year. Park and lake hours are 6 a.m. to 10 p.m.; renters are required to be off the lake and out of the park by 10 p.m. Contact the Park Office for availability at (810) 227-8910.
Boat Slip Rental – Space Per Season
- Class A 78-96” width, length up to 22′ – $800
- Class B 66-77” width, length up to 20′ – $725
- Class C 54-65” width, length up to 18′ – $650
Canoeing and Kayaking
There’s a lot to take in as you explore beautiful Kent Lake and the surrounding islands and tributaries at Kensington Metropark. Paddle across Kent Lake or take a tranquil trip along the Huron River to see wildlife and waterfowl. Kayaks and canoes are rented at the Boat Rental (no overnight rentals of canoes or kayaks). Heavner’s Canoe and Kayak will bring canoes to the Metropark for group rental by calling (248) 685-2379. Canoe into the group camp for an overnight excursion with advance reservation. Contact the Park Office at (810) 227-8910 for more information.
Heavner Nature Connection & Canoe Rental
Heavner Nature Connection offers unique outdoor educational and Recreational Programs for everyone. From preschool to high school students, Boy and Girl Scout troops, social groups, churches, individuals and corporate events. Heavner Nature Connection has a unique wilderness experience for you. For more information on building a program call (248) 685-2379.
Downriver Trip #1 – Kensington Group Camp to Kensington Farm Center
- Duration 1 – 1.5 hrs
- Price: $25.00 per boat
- Heavner shuttle to Kensington Group Camp Provided
- Customer Paddles into the Kensington Farm Center
Downriver Trip #2
- Shuttle drop off at Central Park in Milford
- Duration 2 – 2.5 hrs
- Price: $30 per boat
- Heavner shuttle to Central Park in Milford
- Customer Paddles into the Kensington Farm Center
Downriver Trip #3
- Shuttle drop off at Proud Lake
- Duration 3.5 – 4 hrs
- Price: $35.00 per boat
- Heavner shuttle to Proud Lake
- Customer Paddles into the Kensington Farm Center
Properly sponsored and supervised youth groups may use the 380-acre rustic tent camping area, complete with wells and pit toilets. Campsites are available year-round for daily outings and overnight stays. A permit is required. No alcoholic beverages permitted in the area. Swimming is permitted only at park beaches on Kent Lake. Full details are available by contacting the Kensington Park Office at (810) 227-8910. A camping permit is required.
Firewood will no longer be available at the Group Camp for your use. You may bring in your own firewood or purchase firewood from the Kensington Park Office during office hours. To help stop the spread of forest pests and diseases, we strongly encourage campers to purchase campfire wood at the park.
Group Campsite Rates (Youth Groups Only)
- Permit: $40
- Camporees/Jamborees per Troop/Group – $40
- Firewood: $25
- Canoe Camp: $5/canoe (max. 10 canoes per night)
Challenge yourself on Kensington Metropark’s Black Locust disc golf course, named for the Black Locust trees found along the property near Martindale Beach. Similar to the traditional game of golf, players attempt to throw their disc into each “hole,” or chained basket, along the route with the minimum number of shots. Enjoy the 27-hole fairways lined with rolling meadows and thick woods. The 18th hole features a basket in a tree stump for added fun.
The Black Locust is located off of a gravel lot across from the Martindale Beach parking lot. The course is open year ’round 6 a.m. – 10 p.m. Please keep in mind that the course is not lit at night and the tee pads are not cleared of snow during the winter.
An annual bag tag, which gives unlimited play at all Metropark courses, or a daily wristband is required to play.
- Annual Bag Tag – $55
- Senior/Junior (senior 62+, junior 20 & under) Annual Bag Tag – $35
- Daily Wristband – $3
- Children age 6 and under are free.
The Annual Bag Tag is available for purchase at the Kensington Park Office. Annual Bag Tags are also valid for the disc golf courses at Hudson Mills, Willow, and Stony Creek Metroparks. Please contact the Kensington Park Office if you should have any questions at (810) 227-8910.
Kensington Metropark Farm Center
Meet farm animals and get a glimpse of rural life at Kensington Metropark’s Farm Center. Take in the sights, smells and sounds of life on the farm and see live farm animals like chickens, sheep, cattle and draft horses. Visit a 150-year old restored barn (winner of the MBPN 2012 Barn of the Year), the poultry house or the barn exhibit room and kids’ area. Take a short walk to the riverside where a one-of-a kind “green” building (made exclusively of natural materials), a stone labyrinth, a grass maze and the new early skills area including a blacksmith shop and brick oven can all be found. An herb garden, field crops, and old-fashioned farm equipment are also on display. Special programs on the animals, historic techniques, and other farm-related topics are held throughout the year
For more information on the educational opportunities at the Kensington Farm Center, please click here.
Kensington Metropark Nature Center
A complement to Kensington Metropark’s seven miles of nature trails, the Nature Center offers exhibits to help explore the wildlife of the park. Park Interpreters are on hand to answer questions as you visit live animals such as turtles, snakes, fish, and Ranger the Red-tailed hawk. Hand-feed small songbirds like chickadees and titmice or the fish in Kingfisher Lagoon. Shop for gifts, snacks, or a hot drink at the gift shop. Then head out to explore the over 700 acres of forests, fields, fens, and swamps, on trails that vary in length from half-mile to two miles and can be combined to hike for as long or as short a walk as your time allows.
For more information on the educational opportunities at the Kensington Nature Center, please click here.
Bring your horse to ride along 19 miles of marked equestrian trails. Pass through wooded, hilly terrain, open fields and scenic views of the Huron River and Kent Lake as you observe wildlife and waterfowl along the path. Various terrain accommodates all skill levels. A staging area is located off Dawson Road on Martindale Road. A release waiver and bridle tag from the Park Office is required in advance. Dogs and biking are not permitted on the trails. Trails are not lit. Contact the Kensington Park Office for details at (810) 227-8910.
Whether shore-fishing along the east shore or in a boat on the lake, Kensington Metropark is a popular fishing location in Southeastern Michigan. Fish Kent Lake and the connecting tributaries for bass, bluegill, northern pike, black crappie, and yellow perch. The Huron River toward the north end of the Metropark provides shady, secluded locations for casting your line. The maximum depth of the lake is 36 feet with water depth maps available at the Boat Rental or Kensington Park Office. There is no fishing allowed on Kingfisher Lagoon or at posted areas of Wildwing Lake.
Bundle up and enjoy a few hours ice-fishing on Kent Lake at Kensington Metropark. Designated areas of Wildwing Lake are also available for ice fishing. Popular access points to Kent Lake include the West Boat Launch and Turtlehead picnic area. A valid Michigan Fishing License or Sportsperson’s License is required. Winter catches include bluegill, black crappies, yellow perch and the occasional northern pike. Fishing is prohibited in ice skating areas.
Shanties must be registered (no charge) with the Park Office if they are to be left overnight. Shanties must also comply with all Michigan regulations and are to be removed before the ice becomes unsafe or by March 1st.
Geocaching is a high-tech treasure hunting game played throughout the world by adventure seekers equipped with GPS devices. The basic idea is to locate hidden containers, called geocaches, outdoors and then share your experiences online. Geocaching is enjoyed by people from all age groups, with a strong sense of community and support for the environment.
Geocaches are located throughout the Huron-Clinton Metroparks. If you wish to place a cache within a Metropark, see the rules, regulations, and site permit application.
Opened in 1961, this 6,624-yard, par-71 course boasts varied terrain, tree-lined fairways, and abundant wildlife. Open fairways and fast greens allow both novice and experienced golfers the opportunity to challenge and improve their games. Senior rates are available for guests age 55 and older. Junior rates are available for guests age 20 and younger. Kensington Metropark golf course is one of eight Huron-Clinton Metropark courses in southeast Michigan.
An 8.5 mile paved hike-bike trail traverses the picturesque landscapes that circle Kent Lake. The variety of trees and shrubs make this one of Southeastern Michigan’s finest autumn color tours. The hike-bike trail is kept clear of snow in the winter months. Please note that some portions of the trail (going clockwise around the lake it would be west of the East Boat Launch to just past the Nature Center) are not salted due to protected natural resources. The trail is cleared after roads, lots, and sidewalks.
Additionally, the 7 miles of trails in the nature study area provide an excellent opportunity to observe animals and plants in their natural communities. The unpaved nature trails are your entry into a variety of habitats. As you walk, listen and look for the residents or signs of their activities. Jogging, bicycles, pets, motorized vehicles and horses are not permitted on the trails. The trails are not plowed in the winter.
- View Park Map [PDF]
- View Nature Trail Map [PDF]
- View Winter Activities Map [PDF]
- Park Conditions & Closure Info
This exercise trail is designed to provide a well-balanced routine of physical activity. The trail starts in the East Playfield Picnic Area.
Located at Kensington Metropark Boat Rental – Map Me
Enjoy a leisurely cruise on Kent Lake aboard the Island Queen III. You will be charmed by nature’s sights and sounds as you tour the picturesque lake on this 46-passenger pontoon boat. Capture panoramic vistas as the boat meanders around the lake, among islands and bays, and discover the interesting history of Kensington Metropark. Chance upon mute swans, Canada geese, mallard ducks and cormorants, and an occasional osprey. On a summer’s day, look for turtles basking in the sun.
Special rates apply for seniors and children 12 and under. Group charters may be arranged, with advance notice, by contacting the Kensington Park Office at (810) 227-8910. Pets are prohibited on the Island Queen.
Cash, Visa, MasterCard, and Discover are accepted.
Hours of Operation
- May (Weekends Only) – 12 p.m. to 6 p.m.
- Memorial Day through Labor Day – 12 p.m. to 6 p.m.
- September through October 15th (Weekends Only) – 12 p.m. to 6 p.m.
- Children (ages 3-12) and seniors: $4/ person
- Adults: $6/person
- Children two years and under: Free
Morning Private Charter – maximum 46 passengers
- 1-hour morning charters are offered at 10 a.m. or 11 a.m.: $100 per hour
Evening Private Charter – maximum 46 passengers
- 1-hour evening charters are offered at 7, 8 or 9 p.m.: $100 per hour
In more primitive times, people relied on neighbors and local resources to build their homes and related structures. At Kensington Metropark’s Farm Center, dozens of volunteers contributed their time and talent to build the Kids’ Cottage out of trees, rocks soil and plants found primarily at the park. Built by hand, this “green” building showcases sustainable building techniques while serving as a functional gathering space for interpretive programs. Wood milled from ash trees, along with straw bales, sticks and compressed earthen blocks were used to construct the building; phragmites, an invasive plant, was harvested and used to make the thatched roof. The project was initiated by the Strawbale Natural Building Project with a grant from the State of Michigan Energy Office and designed by Robert B. Prud’homme Design, LLC.
Metal detecting is permitted in many, but not all, areas of the Metroparks. A permit is required (no cost) which can be picked up at the park office. Please check with individual parks to see where detecting is prohibited.
Jump on board and try something new, as Stand Up Paddleboards (SUPS) are now available for rent at the Boat Rental.
No reservations are taken as SUPS are rented on a first come first served basis. The boards cost $12 per hour to rent with a $30 deposit. Cash only, no credit/debit cards accepted. Participants must be 18 years or older to rent a SUP, and provide a valid driver’s license or State issued picture ID (school ID’s are not acceptable). Life vests are provided for each SUP user.
Kensington Metropark provides the perfect setting for your next picnic with reservable picnic shelters, along with playgrounds, ball diamonds, comfort stations and tables throughout the Metropark. Picnic with friends or family amidst rolling hills, tree-lined lawns and beautiful vistas of Kent Lake. Or, celebrate a family reunion, birthday, or corporate event. All groups, regardless of size, are encouraged to register. Groups of 50 or more, those bringing in special equipment, or having a special event are required to register. Any vehicle driving off-road (approved reasons only) must produce an off-road permit; which is obtained at the Park Office on the day of the picnic. Park entry fees are not included in the shelter reservation fee. For shelter reservations or picnic area registrations, contact the Park Office at (810) 227-8910.
Kosch Catering is the exclusive catering company used at Kensington Metropark. All groups and organizations that will be using a reserved shelter or utilizing a picnic area on a first come first served basis and having their event catered must use Kosch Catering. No other food service organizations will be permitted in the park. If you choose not to have your event catered, you are welcome to bring in your own food and prepare it (you just cannot have an outside company come into the park and provide your food for you). For additional information or to schedule food or beverage services contact Kosch Catering at (248) 608-0690.
The cost to reserve a shelter is $225; payment is due at the time of your reservation.
Enjoy a day in the water at Martindale Beach all summer long. NO LIFEGUARDS – SWIM AT YOUR OWN RISK. On the day of your event, if you have a medical emergency, please dial 911; if you have a maintenance issue or any other concern, please contact the Beach Attendants on site or the Park Office at (810) 227-8910. Please contact the Park Office if you should have any questions.
Water Facilities / Splash ‘n’ Blast
Find the ultimate relief from the warm, summer sun and loads of fun for the entire family at Kensington Metropark’s Splash ’n’ Blast. Coast down two, 240-foot twisted water slides or romp through the spray ground with palm trees, serpents and cannons that spray water. Waterslide riders must be 42” tall or higher. The last wristband sale of the day is 1/2 hour before closing.
Hours of Operation
- May 27th through September 4th – 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.
- 42” and taller – $6
- Under 42” – $5
- Children under 30” – Free
Twilight Rate (5 p.m. until closing)
- 42” and taller – $5
- Under 42” – $4
- Children under 30” – Free
After Hours Group Rate (75 or less) – $200
Private rental of the Splash ‘n’ Blast is available from 10 a.m. to 11 a.m. and from 7 p.m. to 8 p.m. Contact the Park Office at (810) 227-8910 to reserve.
Fasten your skis and glide across more than twelve miles of groomed trails at Kensington Metropark. Coast past snow-glazed fields, frozen ponds, and beautiful deciduous woods. Beginner and intermediate level trails traverse the park and golf course.
The Ski Center is located at the Golf Course. Rental equipment will be available Saturdays, Sundays and Holidays from 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. with the last rental at 4:30 p.m. (weather and trail conditions permitting). The Ski Center also offers public restrooms and limited food service. Special equipment rental rates are available for organized groups on weekdays. Please schedule a minimum of one week in advance and pre-payment is required.
Trail maps are available at the Ski Center, toll booths or the Kensington Park Office. Skiing is prohibited in the following areas: Nature Study Area and nature trails, sledding hills and toboggan runs, snowboarding hill, and on the golf course greens. Trails are open 6 a.m. to 10 p.m. and they are not lit. Please use only marked ski trails.
Cross-Country Ski Rental Rates
- Full Equip Pkg – $15
- Full Equip Pkg – $9 (youth under 16)
- Group Rate (M-F only); groups of 15+, advance reservation only – $8/person
- Skis Only – $6
- Boots Only – $6
- Poles Only – $4
To reserve call: (810) 227-8910
Sledding and Tobogganing
Take advantage of a snowy day by racing down the hills at Kensington Metropark’s winter sports area. Coast down a variety of hills, from beginner to advanced. A short “bunny hill” designated for younger sledders features padded trees for added safety. The toboggan runs, sledding, and beginner snowboarding hills are located at the Orchard picnic area. Saucers and inflatables are not permitted on the advanced and intermediate hills. Toboggans must be standard toboggans with attached padding on the seat. No sleds or snowboards are allowed on the toboggan runs. Please walk up the designated returns only and be cautious of others using the runs and hills. Sorry, we do not rent toboggans, snowboards or sleds. The Orchard picnic area also offers a nearby shelter with picnic tables and grills. Hours are 11 a.m. to dusk during the week and 10 a.m. to dusk on the weekends, weather and hill/run conditions permitting. Check for hill conditions by contacting the Park Office at (810) 227-8910.
The slopes at the Orchard picnic area offer beginning, intermediate, and advanced sledding hills. A special bunny hill is designated for young children. Snowboarding is allowed on a designated hill. A nearby shelter has picnic tables and grills. Saucers and inflatables are prohibited on the advanced and intermediate hills.
Hours are 11 a.m. to dusk during the week and 10 am to dusk on the weekends, weather and hill/run conditions permitting. For hill conditions contact the Park Office at (810) 227-8910.