4 Best Day Hikes Near Detroit
Although Detroit isn’t generally known for its natural beauty, the city and the surrounding area offer a surprising number of hiking trails, both in the surrounding countryside and in some of the urban areas. Within less than an hour’s drive, you can find yourself in beautiful surroundings to hike and enjoy a peaceful space for the health of your soul. You can also enjoy jogging, cycling, cross-country skiing, and horseback riding. Here are a few of the trails to explore.
Dequindre Cut is right in the city, starting at the Detroit RiverWalk, and is great for hiking, as well as bicycling and jogging. This urban recreational path was built over the old Grand Trunk Railway. The path is paved, and the view offers plenty of greenery and preserved graffiti artwork to enjoy. Dequindre Cut is mostly below street level and leads you into the center of Eastern Market, the largest outdoor farmers market in the country. The 20-foot-wide pathway, with sections for pedestrians and cyclists, is a great place to exercise outdoors.
Paint Creek Trail
The 9-mile Paint Creek Trail in Northern Oakland County runs from Rochester to Lake Orion. Paint Creek Trail is a linear park with a crushed limestone path that runs along the Clinton River through downtown Rochester. As Michigan’s first rail-to-trail project, the path is eight feet wide for a gentle, scenic hike for all to enjoy. Two events take place annually at Paint Creek Trail — National Trails Day and the Labor Day Bridge Walk and Run. The events are hosted by the Friends of the Paint Creek Trail group and are free.
Belle Isle Park
Belle Isle Park, a Michigan state park located in the Detroit River between Michigan and Ontario, is open all year and features pretty hikes and amazing views of the city. You may come across some wildlife on your hikes on the island park. The large park has almost 1,000 acres of tree-lined paths and a few beaches. The Anna Scripps Whitcomb Conservatory, the Belle Isle Aquarium, and the Dossin Great Lakes Museum are all found in the park. The park offers miles of trails, both paved and unpaved.
Stony Creek Metropark
With 27 miles of hiking trails, Stony Creek Metropark has a range of trails from paved pathways to non-paved trails and from flat rambles to hilly challenges. It’s 45 minutes north of Detroit surrounding Stony Creek Lake. You can enjoy over 4,000 acres of gorgeous scenery in an area that’s also the home of prime fishing. Within the Metropark, features include a nature center, a mountain bike skills course, a disc golf course, baseball diamonds, an 18-hole golf course, and other recreational activities. Picnic areas are also available throughout the park, with shelters that can be reserved, grills, and comfort stations.
Don’t forget to get a pass for the Metroparks and for Belle Isle Park if you drive there. These are just a few of the parks and trails available, but they’re certainly not the only ones, so get out your maps, put on your walking shoes, and start exploring the area.