Easy Hiking at Crooked Lake

WILDER SIDE OF OAKLAND COUNTY

October is not the time to stay indoors and wish you were outside. In the past few weeks I’ve had inquiries from folks that are new to the world of hiking and want to start the hiking experience on trails that are “easy to hike” while enjoying the splendor of October. Easy can be interpreted in different ways by different people. It’s been ten years this month since I hiked up what was billed as the “easy” side approach of Mount Kilimanjaro. I struggled at times in the thin air, but made it to the 19,340 foot high summit. It was not easy. Let’s forget the word easy for now; if you are looking for a trail that’s family-friendly, embraces nature, and perhaps most importantly, won’t get you lost, I have one for you. It’s a real gem with great lakeshore views, and if you hike on the weekend you will never be alone.
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Seven Trails for May

WILDER SIDE OF OAKLAND COUNTY

“In every walk with nature one receives far more than he seeks.” That often quoted sentence from John Muir takes on a special meaning for me in May, for May is the month that I am most often asked, “Where should I hike?” There is no easy answer, but May is the perfect season to enter the world of hiking for pleasure, and if the word “hiking” sounds too rigorous, just call it “meandering.” The results will be the same; for hiking is fun, healthful and there are bonuses in May: The beauty of ephemeral woodland wildflowers, the delightful songs of birds, and the choruses of frogs and trilling of toads will be your trail companions. Meander along slowly on your new adventure, stop often, look and listen and you will find more than you seek.

Today I share snippets of seven trails that are perfect for Oakland County trail meanderers, trails where the magic and music of nature’s way in May unfolds. Continue reading

Oakland County Skiing and Snowboarding at Pine Knob

Pine Knob's lodge sits at the bottom of the slopes.

One of three ski areas in Oakland County, Pine Knob welcomes skiers and snowboarders of all skill levels with 14 trail runs, six chairlifts, four rope tows, three terrain parks, and two wonder carpets. Brave the well-groomed 300 foot vertical, attend a lesson, or relax in the lodge. Pine Knob, “Motor City’s closest ski resort,” is a short drive away for hours of outdoor fun and excitement!

Located in Independence Township, Pine Knob is open from 10:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m. Monday to Friday, 9:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m. Saturdays, and 9:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m. Sundays. Check out this video of their slopes before you visit:

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Ski and Snowboard in Oakland County!

A snowboarder cuts in front of the camera

Winter weather is here to stay and that means it’s a great time to have some fun at the ski and snowboard resorts in Oakland County. With all three being just a short drive away, you can choose from Alpine Valley in White Lake Township, Mt. Holly in Groveland Township, and Pine Knob in Clarkston. The resorts offer student, child and senior discounts, school ski-clubs, rentals, lessons, and terrain parks. If you’re just starting out on the slopes, have no fear! All three offer beginner hills with tow ropes and magic/wonder carpets to make things easy for you.

Check out our video and see all of the winter fun there is to be had on the slopes in Oakland County!

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Shop Small at Oakland County Independent Toy Stores

Shopping small is a great way to support local businesses and find the perfect gift for anyone on your list this holiday season and throughout the year. Oakland County is home to several independent toy stores that offer a variety of specialty toys and gifts. Check out our full list of independently owned toy and gift stores:

Independent Toy Stores in Oakland County

Surprise the little ones in your life with something they’ll treasure from a local toy store. Find classic kid favorites as well as the latest and greatest toys at Adventures in Toys in Birmingham, The Village Toy Shoppe in Milford, and Funky Monkey Toys in Oxford.

For the hard to shop for on your list, check out unique stores featuring Michigan-made, whimsical, and lifestyle gifts at Catching Fireflies in Berkley or Rochester, Green Hippo Gifts in Lake Orion, or Leon and Lulu in Clawson.

Looking for something specific? Check out our interactive map of toy stores and use the legend to sort by different types of specialty shops: Collectibles; Comics; Dolls; Games; Hobby; Magic; Anime, Manga & Kawaii; Blocks & Robots; Toys; and Toys & Gifts.

Map of many different toy stores across Oakland County.

Do you know of any other independent toy or gift stores in the Oakland County area? Let us know via Facebook or Twitter, by contacting us at socialmedia@oakgov.com, or leaving a comment below.


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