Wilder Side of Oakland County
“My early morning hike of solitude on a sultry summer day at Independence Oaks County Park – North was a magical experience. Wispy cirrus clouds added definition to the clear blue sky. Spider webs sparkled with diamonds of dew. Sandhill cranes trumpeted from a wet meadow. An American Goldfinch and an Eastern Kingbird perched in tree tops to bask in sunlight, as did a Red-tailed Hawk high up on a transmission line tower. The music of crickets, and the rustle of aspen leaves in the morning’s gentle breeze softened the rumble of traffic on nearby Sashabaw Road.” I wrote those words last August as an introduction to a “Wilder Side” blog about Independence Oaks County Park – North; a 188-acre addition to the main section of 1,285-acre Independence Oaks County Park, the largest of the 13 parks managed by Oakland County Parks. Independence Oaks – North is the only Southeast Michigan park with a catch and release special designation by the Michigan Department of Natural Resources. The park also includes natural features that helped the site be classified by the Michigan Natural Features Inventory as a Priority One Conservation Area.
Oakland County and its surrounding areas offer miles and miles of trails for your fitness and enjoyment! Now that the snow is gone for good (fingers crossed), it’s a splendid time to get outside and take in the much-needed sights and sounds of spring. Whether you want to take a quiet stroll, jog through a park, bike with friends, or saddle up on a horse, there’s a trail for you.
View a partial list below to find a trail in your area. If you love maps, visit our Trails Page for an interactive trail viewer map. The map will allow you to sort by parks and trails, take note of a trail’s surface area, and view a trail’s elevation by clicking on it.
WILDER SIDE OF OAKLAND COUNTY
Stony Creek Metropark extends from easternmost Oakland County well into Macomb County and entices hundreds of visitors on crisp autumn days. Some come for birding with hopes of seeing the resident Bald Eagles, others visit the nature center, while many just come to hike the trails, fish, or take photos of colorful leaves. Others have a late season picnic, or just jog, walk or bike around the scenic 6.1-mile paved trial that circles Stony Lake. The Stony Creek Metropark brochure, which may be viewed online, or acquired at the entrance contact station makes mention of the “heart pounding excitement of riding miles of mountain bike trails.” I tended to always ignore those words, but that is where this true life confession Wilder Side of Oakland County trail tale really begins. Continue reading
As the leaves transition from shades of green to amber and crimson, and the air takes on the crisp edge of autumn, there is no better time to venture along one of Oakland County’s many scenic trails.
Wilder Side | Walk Slowly, Stop Often, and Listen
Navigate your next trail adventure with the help of the Oakland County Trail Viewer: an interactive map developed by Oakland County’s award-winning GIS team. Each trail is marked by brown lines, while green icons represent parks. When a trail is selected, the map allows you to reference both its length and elevation. When users click on a green park icon, its name, size, website, and other helpful information appear.
Fall is the perfect time to experience the tranquil outdoors of Oakland County. Pitch a tent or rent a yurt at an Oakland County campground and witness the landscape’s picturesque autumnal transition.