Orion Oaks: An Easy Autumn Meander

Fallen leaves cover a dirt path leading through trees. The rising sun can be seen through the trees where the end of the path opens up to a meadow.

WILDER SIDE OF OAKLAND COUNTY

Hiking can be daunting for those that never wandered off pavement or experienced any trail adventures; and at times it can be discouraging for those that have. Weather conditions change. Darkness comes early. Trails can be narrow and slippery. The visuals, perhaps comforting cues of sidewalks, buildings, road signs and urban activity are also absent. And then there is the matter of time. “My life is so busy, I only have an hour to hike and I don’t know where or how to start?”

Start now.

I’m not talking about planning an all day hike, nor suggesting a hike that takes significant planning. And I’m certainly not suggesting you do what I did a few weeks ago and set off on a 40 mile trek on the Appalachian Trail in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia. A trek that included total elevation changes of 8,650 feet over steep rocky terrain while keeping an eye out for sunning Timber Rattlesnakes, and then before darkness fell, hanging food bags high enough between trees to make things tough for hiker-savvy black bears. “Why am I doing this?” I experienced that feeling momentarily on day two, but I trekked on, for I am hopelessly addicted to outdoor adventure. Continue reading

Check Out Oakland County’s Crowdsourced Halloween Displays Map

Lit Jack O' Lanterns lined up on a stone wall and in another line on the ground on a dark night. The white Van Hoosen Museum stands in the background next to a tree with orange foliage.

H-A-L-L-O-W-E-E-N is coming! Get into the spooky spirit of the season with a visit to the best Halloween Light Displays in Oakland County, Michigan and beyond. Whether you want to show off your own Halloween decor, or take a drive to check out other displays, Oakland County’s Crowdsourced Halloween Light Displays Map can help.

Submitting is Easy!

How does it work? You can submit festive displays from your home or business to the Oakland County Crowdsourced Halloween Displays Map and once approved, the homes and businesses will show up on the map for users to visit in person.

A screen shot of Oakland County's 2018 Holiday LIght Displays Map. The map is dark gray and the cities are listed in white text. Purple pinpoints indicate which cities have a display. The right side of the page opens up with a photo of the display that's being clicked on. It shows a photo of pumpkins lined up on stone wall at night with text about the location. Continue reading

Halloween Candy and More at Doc Sweets’ in Oakland County

Halloween is just around the corner, making it the perfect time to visit Doc Sweets’ Candy Company. Doc Sweets’ is Michigan’s largest retail candy store, and they have the stock to prove it. Familiar favorites like Sanders and Wonka sit alongside classics like Zagnut and Jujubes. Fully prepared for the Halloween season, they offer a wide variety of candy fit for this time of year, from bulk containers filled with Candy Corn, Jelly Pumpkins, and Mellowcreme Harvest Mix, to wrapped chocolates meant to look like happy pumpkins or spooky skeletons. They even have treats like real bugs that are farm raised and seasoned like potato chips.

Take a look at our preview of this huge candy shop in Clawson:

Continue reading

Our Wilderness of Little Things

A photo taken from the edge of a swamp on a cloudless day. Tall trees surround the swamp. Foliage is just starting to turn from green to fall colors.

WILDER SIDE OF OAKLAND COUNTY

Three weeks have raced by since the position of Planet Earth in relation to the sun signaled the autumn equinox; except during much of this week, we have been bathed in sultry summer-style heat with the mercury soaring into the 80s. Some of nature’s creatures became briefly “confused” and were stirred into off-season activity, with spring peepers sounding off from the edge of wetlands and well camouflaged gray treefrogs calling from moist foliage. A walk in the woods to the edge of my marsh reminded me of the timeless words of John Muir, “The clearest way into the Universe is through a forest wilderness” and got me thinking. Continue reading

Autumn Beauty on an Oakland County Trail

A cement path winds down through a heavily wooded area. Foliage is turning from green to shades of yellow and orange. A deer stands near a tree and is almost hidden as its color blends in with the foliage around it.

As the leaves transition to shades of red, orange, and yellow, and the air gains a crisp autumn edge, there is no better time to venture along one of Oakland County’s many scenic trails. To find the best place to take a walk in nature, check out our list by clicking on the button below:

List of Nature Trails in Oakland County

You can also check out the Oakland County Trail Viewer, an interactive map developed by Oakland County’s award-winning GIS team. Each trail is marked using 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 park icon, its name, size, website, and other helpful information will appear.

From the paved paths at Groveland Oaks in Holly to the expansive trails at Waterford Oaks, you are sure to find the perfect nature trail for you using our list and interactive map.

Do you have a favorite trail in the Oakland County area? Let us know via Facebook or Twitter, by contacting us at socialmedia@oakgov.com, or leaving a comment below.


Visit the Oakland County website, and follow along us on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube, Instagram, and Pinterest for more news and fun year round. Join the conversation using #OaklandCounty.