Wandering Lyon Oaks on a Winter’s Day

A man walks along a winding trail in the woods on a gloomy winter day.

WILDER SIDE OF OAKLAND COUNTY

Lyon Oaks County Park is tucked away in Lyon Township in the far southwestern corner of Oakland County. It’s best known perhaps for its Arthur Hills-designed 18-hole golf course and a very popular 13-acre fenced dog park. The busy I-96 Freeway parallels the southern property line. An industrial park saddles up to a large section of its eastern perimeter, and a major underground natural gas pipeline bisects the park almost straight down the middle in a north-south orientation. With those thoughts in mind I decided to wrap up my weekly 2018 “wilder side” trail treks with a slow-paced 5.8 mile “discovery” meander at Lyon Oaks to see what secrets of nature would be exposed on a cold and heavily overcast end of December winter’s day, my first time at Lyon Oaks in over four years. Continue reading

West Bloomfield Woods: Natural, Wild and Free

WILDER SIDE OF OAKLAND COUNTY

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“Like winds and sunsets, wild things were taken for granted until progress began to do away with them. Now we face the question whether a still higher ‘standard of living’ is worth its cost in things natural, wild and free.” Aldo Leopold, 1948. His words hold equally true today for those that cherish the West Bloomfield Woods Nature Preserve, a 162 acre, heavily wooded natural gem nestled between hills and palatial homes in highly developed, suburban West Bloomfield Township. The heron rookery that drew so much attention and praise in the 1990s is gone, and now exists just in old photos and memories. Jennifer Tucker, the new Executive Director of West Bloomfield Parks and Recreation, is correct when she states, “The West Bloomfield Woods Nature Preserve is our own little bit of Up North right here in West Bloomfield. We are very lucky to have a place that our patrons can get active in and enjoy right here in their community.” Thousands would agree with her. Continue reading