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.
Summer is the time to get outside and sweat! All across Oakland County, organizations, and charities are hosting summer running events for folks of all ages to participate in. Jog alongside pristine lakes in the Holly Triathlon, sprint through scenic neighborhoods in Bloomfield Hill’s signature running event, Heart of the Hills, or join the 8th Annual Strides for SOUL in Walled Lake.
Whether you’re darting down a paved nature trail or zooming through a bustling downtown area, if you participate in any of these running events, you’re spending time under Oakland County sun, and that’s a great thing!
With so many things to love about spring, runners and walkers can all agree that it’s a wonderful time to get back outside. Fresh air, added sunlight, and the beauty of spring blooms all make a positive impact on our moods.
Take a look at our list of Spring Running Events and sign up for a race today! You’ll find events for every ability, including full marathons, mile walks, fun runs, and more. Setting a goal now can be a great motivation as you begin the season. If you need help getting started, check out the Brooksie Way Training program which kicks off on March 22nd and is suited for all levels of ability.
Are you ready to set out for a walk, jog, or long distance run? Spring temperatures can fluctuate quickly and don’t forget about precipitation. Be sure to follow these simple tips for safe running.
- Check the weather before you head out
- Warm up – especially when temps are cooler
- Invest in proper footwear
- Run during daylight hours when possible
- Use a running light, like an illuminated vest, headlamp, or waist light when dark
- Dress in layers
We’re so happy that a new season is around the corner and can’t wait to hit the ground running this spring in Oakland County!
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.
The 10th annual Brooksie Way was undoubtedly a hot one, but that didn’t stop over 4,500 runners and walkers from completing last Sunday’s race. Temps hovered in the mid to high 80s, but 5k, 10k, and half marathon racers were brimming with energy and excitement!
5,000 volunteers and about 10,000 spectators lined the beautiful course that began at Oakland University. Half marathon walkers and runners continued through the city of Rochester Hills, Downtown Rochester, along the Paint Creek and Clinton River Trails, and ended back at the university.
Check out our video to see all of the race day fun! If you were a runner, walker, volunteer, or supporter, you just may find yourself in it!