Adventuring Up North at Stony Creek!

WILDER SIDE OF OAKLAND COUNTY

A dusting of Halloween night snow whitened the hills of northern Oakland County, confirming the duel between autumn and winter has accelerated. In anticipation of that forecasted seasonal change, I accepted the invitation of two outdoor adventuring ICU nurses that are avid hikers to join them for an “up north feeling” trek at Stony Creek Metropark, one of 13 parks in Southeast Michigan managed by Huron-Clinton Metroparks. Our destination for the last hike of October was the southwest corner of Stony Creek, the section that is located entirely within Oakland County and has thirteen miles of hilly trails dedicated to mountain bikers, hikers, and perhaps in a few more weeks, if Mother Nature is willing, and it looks that way, cross-country skiers. Continue reading

Gallagher Creek Park – A First Look

WILDER SIDE OF OAKLAND COUNTY

A skittish doe and her tiny fawn, a pair of killdeer, yellow-throated warblers, over a dozen robins, various vireos I could not identify, a northern oriole, a “chilly-appearing’” leopard frog, territory proclaiming red-winged blackbirds, a whole lot of crayfish and at least two human families could not wait for the upcoming grand opening of 15-acre Gallagher Creek Park next Thursday afternoon. Neither could I. And so last Saturday morning, under a clear blue sky that rapidly turned gray, I set out to explore this small creek-side, wetland embracing park that is located on the north side of Silverbell Road immediately east of Adams Road within one of the more densely populated areas of Oakland Township. Continue reading

 Polar Vortex Exploration at Draper Twin Lake Park

WILDER SIDE OF OAKLAND COUNTY

Henry David Thoreau wrote, “Live in each season as it passes; breathe the air, drink the drink, taste the fruit, and resign yourself to the influence of the earth.” That memorable quote of Thoreau applied perfectly late last Thursday afternoon as I set out to explore Draper Twin Lake Park during the Polar Vortex. The temperature hovered at zero degrees. I resigned myself to the influence of the earth and with situational awareness in mind, and a brave nature-loving friend in tow, it was time for my first nature exploration winter hike at Draper. Continue reading

Oakland County U-Cut Tree Farms

Cute baby girl in red Scandinavian dress at the Christmas tree farm.

Oakland County is home to seven “u-cut” tree farms. Enjoy the holiday tradition of cutting your own tree whether it’s your first adventure or an annual tradition. Check out our interactive map and full list to find the best tree farm for you:

Christmas Tree Farms in Oakland County

Before you head out to find your special tree, prepare yourself with these tree farm tips:

  • Dress for the weather, and be prepared for snow.
  • Check ahead for special events such as Santa visits, hayrides, hot cocoa and cider.
  • Some farms may not accept credit or debit cards; call ahead or bring cash or checks just in case.
  • Avoid tripping or falling by watching out for hidden stumps while walking on the farm.
  • Prepare your home ahead of time to make sure your tree’s path inside is obstruction-free.
  • Read through the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA)’s comprehensive list of tree and decoration safety precautions to avoid hazards to your safety and property.

For more tips visit the Michigan Christmas Tree Association website here. Stay warm and have fun!

Family stands beside a Christmas tree in a forest.

Do you have a favorite tree farm that’s missing from the list or map? Let us know via Facebook or Twitter, by contacting us at socialmedia@oakgov.com, or leaving a comment below.


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