WILDER SIDE OF OAKLAND COUNTY
Oakland County Parks are impressive on so many fronts. The year-round recreational opportunities are endless and provide tons of family fun. Yet, for the month of April, it’s the natural resources, abundant wildlife and incredible beauty that are at the top of my list. All of these things can be easy to find along the nearly 70 miles of trails that embrace the lakes, meadows, woodlands and glacially sculpted hills of the 13 Oakland County Parks. There are trails for every ability and age and even trails for equestrians. Some trails are hill-huggers, where those that dream of the Appalachian Trail can get leg muscles into shape. There are even paved looped trails that are perfect for a family walk with a baby stroller and grandparents. You’ll definitely want to consider April to be your month to reconnect with nature.
I’ll share a secret here: The quiet walker sees the most. Although wildlife is abundant, most species along the trails, except perhaps for squirrels, are people wary. If you walk quietly, early in the day, stop often and perhaps sit on a log and just listen, a world of wildlife unfolds. What might you see? How about Sandhill Cranes, Wild Turkey, Eastern Bluebirds, Canada Geese on nests or defending their territory, Turkey Vultures and Red-tailed Hawks soaring, Great Blue Heron and American Egrets fishing, Osprey diving for fish, Red-winged Blackbirds flashing their colors, migrating Vireos and Warblers. You may even catch a fleeting glimpse of a Pileated Woodpecker.