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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Donate to the Oakland County Sheriff’s Office Coats for the Cold

Four young girls bundled up in winter coats drinking hot chocolate.

The Oakland County Sheriff’s Office is accepting donations for the 31st annual “Coats for the Cold” coat drive from November 1st to November 30th. Clean, gently-used or new coats can be dropped off at one of their drop-off sites around Oakland County. All Oakland County locations of Real Estate One HQ and Genisys Credit Union are drop-off sites. Additionally, donors will receive up to $50 off the cost of a pet adoption ($10 per donated coat, up to five coats) at the Oakland County Pet Adoption Center.

For a list of all drop-off sites, click the button below:

Coats for the Cold Drop-Off Sites

Donated coats will be sent to various local charitable organizations who distribute the coats to community members in need.

Continue reading

Fungi, Flowers, Glaciers & Yoga: A Lost Lake Nature Park Adventure

A group of people walk along a trail foraging for mushrooms on an overcast day.

The woodlands of Oakland County are a sensory delight after a rainy September day. The forest floor takes on a richer scent, flowers smell sweeter, fungi flourishes and a very fortune few have chance to sniff chanterelles. The cherished funnel-shaped fungus has a slight apricot-like aroma and is one of the most sought after and delectable mushrooms in these waning days of summer. Searching for chanterelles almost makes me forget about morels, that is until next spring. It was a public program last Sunday morning titled “Fall Mushrooms of Michigan” that lured me back to Lost Lake Nature Park, a 56-acre park administered by Oakland Township Parks and Recreation Commission. I wanted to find a chanterelle. Continue reading

Saddle Up Your Horse with Oakland County’s Equestrian Map

A woman smiles at the camera while she snuggles up against a white horse's neck. In the background, leaves are beginning to turn fall colors.

Oakland County equestrian enthusiasts of all abilities, from beginners to professionals, can find a number of local resources to support their love of horses. Oakland County is just the place with more than 40 locations for boarding, training, lessons, equine therapy, or group outings. Several stables and ranches are located in and around the county; see the list below to learn more.

List of Equestrian Locations in Oakland County

This interactive map, created by Oakland County’s award-winning GIS team, also provides locations such as equestrian trails, feed and supply stores, saddlery locations, and veterinary care. Click on the map below to find a location near you, or discover a new equestrian destination to visit.

Equestrian Map

Looking for a trail to take a horseback ride? Check out an equestrian trail at one of the horse-friendly Oakland County Parks locations: Addison Oaks, Highland Oaks, and Rose Oaks. Or plan a trip along the popular Paint Creek Trail or Polly Ann Trail. Click on the map below to find even more trails and zoom in to find an equestrian trail near you.

Equestrian Map in Oakland County zoomed in to show horse-friendly trails.

Do you know of any other equestrian locations in the Oakland County area? Let us know via Facebook or Twitter, contact us at socialmedia@oakgov.com, or leave a comment below.


Visit the Oakland County website, and follow us on FacebookTwitterInstagram and Pinterest for more news and fun year round. Join the conversation using #OaklandCounty.