Submitted by Denise Semion
As the seasons change, and carpets of beautifully painted leaves become blanketed by sweeps of windblown snow, the metroparks go through a fascinating transformation that must be experienced first-hand to truly appreciate.
Though some wildlife may have taken a trip south, many residents are year-round, and in many cases even easier to catch a glimpse of, whether by their delicate prints left in fallen snow, or the stark contrast of their silhouettes against the crystalline, white landscape.
During the winter months, witness the resilience and beauty of the plants and animals that remain when the chill of winter sets in. Each of the 13 Huron-Clinton Metroparks in Southeast Michigan offers something different and exciting to aid you in this experience.
Most metroparks have interpretive centers or programs, with nature study areas nearby, that offer a variety of opportunities to learn about our world outdoors. Popular winter programs include guided hikes to view wildlife, identify tracks or learn about animals. Preregistration and a nominal fee are required for most programs. All interpretive center buildings are closed on Christmas; some are also closed New Year’s Day.
Why drive up north, when winter’s beauty can be discovered, close to home, at the Huron-Clinton Metroparks.
Hudson Mills Metropark near Dexter/Ann Arbor
- Nature trails and interpretive programs. The rapids near the North Territorial Road Bridge are popular for photography.
For more information, call Hudson Mills Metropark at 734-426-8211.
Kensington Metropark near Milford/Brighton
- Farm Center – sleigh rides or hayrides are offered, weather permitting, on weekends from noon to 4 p.m., and daily during Christmas vacation (Dec. 26 through Jan. 1). Open 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. daily; closed on Christmas.
- Nature Center and nature trails – popular for watching wildlife; some trails are known for friendly chickens. Open 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., Tuesday through Sunday; 1 to 5 p.m., Monday; closed on Christmas.
- For more information, call Kensington Metropark at 810-227-8910, or the Nature Center at 810-227-8917.
Lake Erie Metropark in Brownstown
- Marshlands Museum and Nature Center, and nature trails. Open Monday through Friday, 1 to 5 p.m., and Saturday and Sunday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.; closed on Christmas.
- For more information, call Lake Erie Metropark at 734-379-5020.
Lower Huron Metropark near Belleville
- Trails – two nature trails for walking and more than four miles of paved hike-bike trails.
- For more information, call Lower Huron Metropark at 734-697-9181.
Lake St. Clair Metropark near Mt. Clemens
- Nature Center with wildlife viewing station and nature trails. Open 1 to 5 p.m. weekdays, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. weekends; closed on Christmas and New Year’s Day.
- For more information, call Lake St. Clair Metropark Nature Center at 586-463-4332.
Oakwoods Metropark near Flat Rock
- Nature Center with wildlife viewing station and nature trails. Open 1 to 5 p.m. weekdays (closed on Mondays) and 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. weekends; closed on Christmas and New Year’s Day.
- For more information, call Oakwoods Metropark Nature Center at 734-782-3956 or Lower Huron Metropark at 734-697-9181.