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Activities

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.

Biking

Cycle along a three-mile, paved hike-bike trail that meanders through open fields as well as wooded areas. The Oakwoods Metropark trail has flat terrain and connects to twelve more miles of paved, hike/bike trails linking Oakwoods to Willow and Lower Huron Metropark creating a 30-mile round trip excursion within the Metroparks. Parking is recommended at the Oakwoods Nature Center.

If you are looking to extend your ride hop on the 11-mile trail connector that runs from Oakwoods Metropark through Flat Rock and all the way down to Lake Erie Metropark ending at Lee Road by the Lake Erie Metropark Marina.  This 11-mile trail segment begins one quarter mile west of the Oakwoods Nature Center parking lot.  This segment when combined with the other segments creates a 24.5-mile trail (49 miles out-and back) from Lower Huron Metropark to Lake Erie Metropark.  These trail segments are part of the Iron Belle Trail system that will span the state of Michigan.

View Park Map [PDF]

Biking

Birding

Search the mature woodlands, tallgrass prairies, and backwaters of the Huron River at Oakwoods Metropark for bald eagles, osprey and a variety of birds. Meet “Hawkeye,” the red-tailed hawk at the Nature Center. Look for a variety of waterfowl wading along river waters. Interpreters maintain a bird species list. Birding programs, including a woodcock watch and bird counts, are held at the park.

Birding

Boating / Voyageur Canoe

Paddle along the slow-moving waters of the Huron River in our 18 passenger Voyageur canoe as an interpreter shares a bit of history. Follow a 1-mile route past picturesque woodlands and tallgrass prairies with a chance to spot a white-tailed deer foraging near the shoreline. The tour is conducted on a 34-foot replica birchbark canoe. For more information, contact (734) 782-3956.

  • Individual rate – $5
  • Group Rate (hourly rate, minimum 12 ppl.) – $75

Canoeing and Kayaking

Ply the backwaters of the Huron River along the one-mile Walk-In-The-Water canoe trail.  This trail begins at the launch site located behind the Nature Center and takes paddlers among the islands and past scenic shorelines where you might spot ducks, muskrats, swans, mink, or white-tailed deer. A link to the Walk-In-Water canoe trail map is available below.  This launch site is not to be used when school programs are in process.  Launching is encouraged at the Cedar Knoll picnic area.

For those paddling longer trips on the Huron River National Water Trail, camping is available at the Walnut Grove Campground located in Lower Huron Metropark, permit required.  The Huron River has been designated as the 18th trail of the National Water Trail System, joining a network of nation exemplary water trails from Puget Sound to the Hudson River.

Please note that the Flat Rock Dam portage located downstream of Oakwoods is difficult and requires arrangements with Flat Rock Metal, Inc. to unlock the gates near the Flat Rock dam. Please plan and call ahead!  (734) 782-4454

Kayak

Education Opportunities

Nature Center

Participate in games, and view exhibits and live displays. Interpreters are available to assist you in your enjoyment and understanding.

The nature study area at Oakwoods Metropark is comprised of 400 acres featuring an ancient sandbar, backwater trail for canoeists, five nature trails, a butterfly garden, and a three-acre pond. Trees are also highlighted by means of informative labels. Call (734) 782-3956 for information.

Click Here to learn more about the nature center.

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Equestrian Trails

Bring your horse to ride more than 5-miles of trail at Oakwoods Metropark. The staging area is located a mile into the park just past the railroad tracks. Pass through mature hardwood trees, expansive meadows, and the scenic backwaters of the Huron River as you observe wildlife and waterfowl along the way. A release is required in advance and is available at the Oakwoods Nature Center, Lower Huron Park Office, or from any park police officer.

View Park Map [PDF]

OW-Horse

Fishing and Ice Fishing

Fish from your rowboat or along the shore of the Huron River at Oakwoods Metropark. Anglers will love the gentle current with numerous coves, sloughs, and inlets to catch bass, sunfish, steelhead, and coho salmon. Shoreline fishing is allowed in designated areas only.

Geocaching

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.

geocaching10

Hiking

Discover 5 miles of self-guided trails past mature hardwood trees, an ancient sandbar, scenic overlooks, and along the backwaters of the Huron River at Oakwoods Metropark. View a variety of wildlife as you meander along 5 nature trails including a butterfly garden and scenic, 3-acre pond. A 700 foot, hard-surface trail is ideal for those with disabilities or baby strollers.

If you are looking to extend your hike consider a couple of different options.  Hike along the three-mile, paved hike-bike trail within the park or continue on to Willow or Lower Huron Metropark on 12 more miles of trail creating a 30-mile (round trip) excursion within the Metroparks. Another option is to hike the 11-mile trail connector that runs from Oakwoods Metropark through Flat Rock and all the way down to Lake Erie Metropark ending at Lee Road by the Lake Erie Metropark Marina.  This 11-mile trail segment begins one quarter mile west of the Oakwoods Nature Center parking lot.  This segment when combined with the other segments creates a 24.5-mile trail (49 miles out-and back) from Lower Huron Metropark to Lake Erie Metropark.  These trail segments are part of the Iron Belle Trail system that will span the state of Michigan.

oakwoods1

Metal Detecting

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.

Contact Info

Picnicking

The scenic woodlands, open meadows, and backwaters of the Huron River provide a picturesque location for your picnic at the Cedar Knoll Picnic Area. Shoreline fishing is popular; picnic tables, grills, and vault latrines are available.

View Park Map [PDF]

Cross Country Skiing

Ski marked, classically groomed trails over mostly flat terrain at Oakwoods Metropark or nearby Willow Metropark, conditions permitting. Cross-country skiing is also allowed throughout nearby Lower Huron Metropark with the exception of the Group Camp area. Trails at Lower Huron are not marked or groomed.

View Winter Activities Map [PDF]

Events

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