NATURE•SCIENCE•EDUCATION – And a Cabin in the Woods

WILDER SIDE OF OAKLAND COUNTY

The morning was perfect for a winter exploration. Fresh snow fell much of the night and continued well into dawn. My trailhead greeting party consisted of cascades of accumulated snow sliding off the boughs of white pine trees, and what sounded like the excited warning chatter of an eastern fox squirrel. I stopped to assess the situation.

Squirrels don’t just sit on tree branches talking to themselves. I decided the squirrel’s concern was the motionless Cooper’s Hawk that I noted seconds earlier perched on a nearby tree. I trudged forward, the hawk flew off, and the squirrel scampered down about ten feet, leapt over to another branch and continued to watch me closely. Perhaps the chatter was a welcoming greeting for me after all. I chattered back and we shared pleasantries for a few moments.

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Stony Creek’s Habitat Trail: A Winter Wonderland

WILDER SIDE OF OAKLAND COUNTY

We only had three hours to hike and Stony Creek Metropark offers 27 miles of tempting trails. That made for the most pleasant dilemma on a bright, blue sky day on the wilder side of Oakland County. With those thoughts in mind, a fellow nature enthusiast and I headed to the 2.5-mile-long Habitat Trail in the northwest corner of the park, for a slow-paced journey into nature’s way in winter.

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See the Best of Fall on an Oakland County Trail

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.

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Pitch a Tent, Light the Bonfire

Spring is here, so it’s time to bring out your camping gear!

Oakland County’s natural splendor is on full display at the 16 campsites, 62 swimming spots, and 100 fishing holes. From Ortonville State Recreation Area down to Haas Lake Park RV Campground, the perfect wilderness getaway is always close at hand.

To find a campground or campsite near you use our interactive map or view a complete list of locations here.

camp screen2

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The Magic of May: A Time to Discover Nature’s Way

WILDER SIDE OF OAKLAND COUNTY

Rains on the first day of May accelerated the growth of delicate woodland wildflowers and the spring prize of the fungi world, morel mushrooms. It sent frogs to every puddle and pond, and skunks meandering for grubs at dusk. May sees Sandhill Cranes and Osprey back on their nests. Turkey Vultures now perch on rural barn roofs to catch the morning sun. Turtles bask on logs and goslings explore their shoreline world. Snapping turtles and northern water snakes swim through the shallows. Fawns wobble in dappled sunlight, and beavers come on shore in the cover of darkness to fell trees for their home improvement projects. This is the way of the magical month of growth and birth and renewal, a month we call May, a time to discover and share nature’s way. Continue reading