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, stand up paddleboards 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. To rent boats, you must be 18 years of age or older and one of the users at all times. A parent or guardian renter may rent additional watercraft for children under their care. All additional users must remain under direct supervision of the parent or guardian renter at all times. The last boat rental of the day is one hour before closing. Failure to adhere to terms of rental, abandonment or failure to check your rental back in with the Rental Center may require the return of the boat and the holding of any and all deposits.
All school and camp groups wishing to rent boats, must make prior arrangements with the Park Operations Supervisor and have a Metropark release and waiver from liability completed in advance by the parent or guardian of each child. There must also be an appropriate adult to child ratio. Please call (810) 227-8910 to make arrangements.
Hours of Operation:
- Opening May 1 on Saturdays and Sunday ONLY from 8 a.m. – 8 p.m. (last rental at 7 p.m.)
- Memorial Day Weekend Boat Rental will open daily from 8 a.m. – 8 p.m. (last rental at 7 p.m.)
- Last rental of the day occurs 1 hour prior to closing.
- Boat rentals may be suspended during periods of high winds for the safety of our guests.
Boat Rental Fees
|One Person Kayak||$10/hour|
|Two Person Kayak||$15/hour|
Senior: $8/hour (Maximum $20) – Monday thru Thursday (except holidays)
|Swan Pedal Boats||$17/hour – 4/5 passenger|
|Rubber Ducky Pedal Boats||$17/hour – 4/5 passengers|
|Dragon Pedal Boats||$17/hour – 4/5 passengers|
|Cushions/Life Jackets||Price – $1, Deposit – $5|
Terms of Rental
- Boat Rental accepts Cash, Visa, MasterCard, Discover, and American Express accepted.
- Motor HP, number of persons, and weight shown on Waterways Capacity Tag may not be exceeded.
- Life vests (PFDs) are provided for each boat rental user.
- No swimming or diving off boat.
- No alcoholic beverages allowed on rental boats/paddleboards.
- 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, Dragon Pedal Boats, and Rubber Ducky Pedal Boats will not be rented if the wind speed is 12 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 Pass, in addition to your vehicle pass, is required. It can be purchased at a Metropark toll booth or online by clicking here. 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 Pass. Boats are not permitted on Wildwing Lake or Kingfisher Lagoon.
There are 93 slips available for rent each season. Slips are located in three separate areas; East Boat Launch, Mitten Bay, and 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 Passes 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. Slip rental is done through an online lottery, held in February each year.
Boat Slip Lottery – LOTTERY IS NOW CLOSED FOR THE 2021 SEASON
An annual boat slip lottery is help each year. Kensington Metropark has a limited number of slips available on Kent Lake. Interested boaters have an opportunity to rent each season, running May 1 through October 15, via an online lottery.
Here is how it works:
- To enter the lottery is free.
- Registration for the online lottery will start Monday, February 1, 2021 and run through Sunday, February 14, 2021.
- To participate in the lottery, create an account in our new online reservations system and then complete the online registration form. The form will capture your contact and boat information.
- Remember, signing up for the lottery DOES NOT guarantee a slip for the 2021 season.
- On Monday, February 15, the lottery drawing will occur, and winners will begin being contacted by on Tuesday, February 16, 2021 at 8 a.m., in the order they were drawn. Please be sure to enter your correct contact information on the form.
- Winners will be asked to select their preferred boat slip, and once selected will not be able to exchange for a different slip.
Learn more by clicking on the boat slip lottery information packet, including park map and dockage map – Boat Slip Lottery Info Packet
Review boat slip rules and regulations – Boat Slip Rules and Regulations
Boat Slip Rental – 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′ – $500
If you have questions, please call the Kensington Metropark Office at (810) 227-8910.
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.
For up to date hours, trips and pricing, visit https://heavnercanoe.com/.
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: $35 for 1st night ($15/night after)
- Camporees/Jamborees per Troop/Group – $40
- Firewood: $25
- Canoe Camp: $5/canoe (max. 10 canoes per night)
Challenge yourself on Kensington Metropark’s disc golf courses.
Black Locust Course
The 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 36-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 all year from 6 a.m. – 10 p.m. Please keep in mind that the course is not lit at night.
This course has been thrilling players and fans for decades. Originally a temp course for the 2000 Worlds, it has been the official course of the US Amateur Disc Golf Championship since 2002 and has been the site of the Great Lakes Open on the Disc Golf Pro Tour since 2018. The baskets are only in the ground for a short time each year. Try to get a round in when you can. At 10,210 feet, this champion level par 63 course has a mix of large elevation changes and tight fairways that will test every shot in your bag. Bring a spotter because it has long holes and punishing rough.
The Toboggan Course is located near the winter activities area across the road from the Maple Beach parking lot.
Hours of Operation
Toboggan Course Opening – Saturday, May 29, 2021
- Public play will take place the following dates:
- 5/28/21 – 6/6/21
- 6/14/21 – 7/18/21
- The course will close and baskets will be pulled following the DGLO for the remainder of the summer.
Please note, recent wet weather has impacted the two newest holes more than anticipated, creating a good amount of mud in areas throughout holes 5 and 6. Be advised to not wear your brand new shoes and be prepared to take precautions if wet conditions persist. Please follow signs to the footpath towards the basket at hole 6 and be conscientious of our employees and volunteers who are putting the finishing touches on improvements over the next couple of weeks.
An annual bag tag, which gives unlimited play at all Metropark courses, or a daily wristband is required to play.
- Black Locust Course Daily Wristband – $3
- Toboggan Course Daily Wristband – $5
- Annual Bag Tag – $60
- Senior/Junior (senior 62+, junior 20 & under) Annual Bag Tag – $40
- 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.
Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, all in-person educational programming (school, scout, homeschool, etc) is suspended until further notice. We are putting together virtual field trips and other online experiences for the 2020-21 school year so please follow the Metroparks Facebook page for upcoming announcements.
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.
This exercise trail is designed to provide a well-balanced routine of physical activity. The trail starts in the East Playfield Picnic Area.
At this time, we don’t have a forecast for when the Island Queen will reopen. Check back to our website or social media pages for future updates.
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.
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 $15 per hour to rent. To rent you must be 18 years of age or older and one of the users at all times. A parent or guardian renter may rent additional watercraft for children under their care. All additional users must remain under direct supervision of the parent or guardian renter at all times. 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.
Playgrounds are available in the following picnic areas: Martindale Beach, Maple Beach, Playfield, and West Boat Launch. A majority of the other picnic areas have a swing set and slide.
Enjoy a day in the water at Martindale Beach or Maple Beach all summer long. Swimming permitted at both beaches 10 a.m. – 8 p.m. 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.
Hours of Operations:
- Memorial Day Weekend to Labor Day Weekend
- Two Swimming Sessions:
- 11 a.m. – 2:30 p.m. (Wristbands go on sale at 11 a.m.)
- 3 p.m. – 6:30 p.m. (Wristbands go on sale when 11 a.m. sells out or at 2 p.m.)
- Adults and children – $4
Group Rates and Private Rental is Not Available for 2021.
**All winter activities are currently closed.**
Cross Country Skiing
Fasten your skis and glide across more than 12 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.
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.
Trail maps are available at the Ski Center and toll booths.
Cross-Country Ski Rentals
*NOTICE: Ski Center is currently closed. Ski Rentals are currently available online via the button below. *
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 available 90 minutes prior to ski center closing (trail conditions and weather permitting). Rental equipment must be returned by the time of ski center closing.
Equipment rentals must be reserved online no more than 5 days in advance. Limited reservations available. At this time we are not allowing group rentals. Read all of our Covid-19 precautions by clicking here. No refunds.
- Full Equip Pkg – $15
- Full Equip Pkg – $9 (youth under 16)
- Skis Only – $6
- Boots Only – $6
- Poles Only – $4
Bundle up and enjoy a few hours ice-fishing on Kent Lake at Kensington Metropark. 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.
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.