Here at your Huron-Clinton Metroparks, we’re proud that so many people across Southeast Michigan have chosen to visit their favorite Metroparks these past months. Keeping everyone healthy – physically and mentally – is a critical part of the state’s recovery plan and our commitment to the region.
First and foremost, the Governor’s orders allow us to keep all 13 Metroparks open. This gives you the opportunity to continue using the Metroparks for healthy activities like hiking, biking, running, walking your dog or just enjoying nature . . . all while practicing the social distancing necessary to keep you and others safe during this pandemic. We do follow all executive orders from the state as well as orders and recommendations from local health departments and will continue to update our operations as those change.
Of course, it’s important that you remember to give other visitors the recommended six feet of safe space. We’re committed to doing all we can to protect Michiganders against the coronavirus and keep the properties open and available for all to use.
Park Capacity Monitoring and Temporary Intermittent Closures
Our Metroparks team is actively monitoring attendance in the parks. Metroparks Police and park staff are now performing parking lot counts three times a day to ensure that total parking spaces within each park do not exceed 60% of their full capacity. When overcrowding occurs, we may use temporary closures to certain areas within the parks – or entire parks. Depending on the time of the day that capacity is reached, the park may reopen as visitors leave. Those visitors already in the park when a closure starts are welcome to enjoy the rest of their visit. Learn more about closing procedures.
Metroparks golf courses last day of service for the season will be Sunday, November 22, 2020.
All 13 Metroparks have begun winterizing some bathrooms and comfort stations, so you may find some closed for use until spring.
The boat launch at Lake Erie Metropark will be closed for two weeks beginning January 26 for a culvert replacement on the boat launch road. The marina boat launch will be available for use.
Additional Precautions to Expect During Your Visit
The staff at your Huron-Clinton Metroparks wants you to know what you can expect from us moving forward.
If you visit one of the Metroparks during this time, please be aware of a few important changes we’ve put in place at all of our parks:
- All indoor programming is canceled until further notice.
- Outdoor programming is opening back up beginning September 11, 2020. Face coverings are required for all outdoor programs and social distancing is required. Nature Center buildings remain closed.
- Volunteer events and community & scout projects are being phased in, with the necessary precautions and following CDC guidelines to lessen the spread of COVID-19. Currently, we are allowing for golf volunteers, Eagle Scout/Collaborative volunteer projects, Work Skills volunteers, and some scheduled Natural Resources volunteer days with limited numbers of participants (click here for Natural Resources volunteer days).
- Our playgrounds are open in all parks.
- Our park offices are closed.
- Our Farm Centers at Kensington and Wolcott Metroparks are now open. Visitors will see new safety guidelines and protocols while still allowing them time to visit the animals at their leisure.
- Enhanced cleaning and disinfecting efforts will be made throughout the centers
- Signage reminding visitors to sanitize their hands before and after interacting with the animals and to maintain social distance will be located around the farm centers
- Directional arrows will be placed to encourage one way flow if need be
- Hand sanitizing stations are located throughout both farm centers
- Face Masks are recommended for visitors when inside of a building
- Due to the most recent recommendations from MDHHS regarding gatherings in indoor spaces, the barns at the Farm Centers are temporarily closed through December 20. This includes the Diary Barn at Wolcott Mill Metropark Farm Center and the Baby Barn at Kensington Metropark Farm Center. Hayrides at Kensington Metropark Farm Center are also cancelled until further notice.
- Most bathrooms in the parks are open, but we are beginning the winterization process, so some bathrooms will begin closing for the season.
- Our drinking fountains are turned off due to proper disinfecting between uses being difficult. Please bring bottled water with you during your visit.
- Golf courses are now closed for the season.
- Pop-up programming is now happening at your Metroparks! We are working to continue to bring you educational opportunities and experiences as we move through the Covid-19 pandemic. That means our interpretive staff are offering free pop-up programs in our parks. Look for a Metroparks table and interpretive staff who are ready to answer your questions or take you on an educational adventure. You might just get a chance to be a bird watcher or feed chickadees right from your hand or learn about the trees that will be tapped come maple syrup season or experience a new trail in the park and more. So be on the look out for a pop-up program on your next visit to your Metroparks. Social distancing and face coverings required.
- You can download at-home activities and access videos and other content to stay engaged with the Metroparks at metroparks.com/virtual
- Winter activities will open as weather conditions allow. The following precautions are in place:
- Capacity limits in ski center buildings. No more than 20 persons in the building at one time.
- Social distancing must be followed. There will be designated markers indicating distance from group ahead of you.
- Face coverings are required.
- One-way traffic in ski centers will be utilized where appropriate.
- Equipment rental will be available. Proper handling and cleaning of equipment will be done between uses.
- No group bookings.
- No fixed seating will be provided in the ski centers.
- No personal items should be left in the ski center after checking in and being fitted for equipment.
- Restrooms will be open for use in ski centers.
We continue to encourage everyone to follow these important steps to prevent the spread of COVID-19:
• If you think you have been exposed to COVID-19, call your health care provider. If you do not have a health care provider, call the nearest hospital.
• Wash your hands often with soap and warm water for 20 seconds. If not available, use hand sanitizer.
• Avoid touching your eyes, nose, or mouth with unwashed hands.
• Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or upper sleeve when coughing or sneezing.
• Avoid contact with people who are sick.
• If you are sick, stay home, and avoid contact with others.
• Stay at least 6 feet away from others when in a public setting.
Patients with confirmed infection have reportedly had mild to severe respiratory illness with symptoms of:
• Shortness of breath
Information around this outbreak is changing rapidly. The latest information is available at Michigan.gov/Coronavirus and CDC.gov/Coronavirus.