Play Outside This Winter in Oakland County!

four cross country skiers

There’s so much fun to be had this winter in Oakland County. From skiing and snowboarding, to skating and more, the opportunities for outdoor recreation are endless!

Bundle up, grab your gear, and head out to an Oakland County Park, trail, hill, or lake to stay active and enjoy the winter season. Check out our full list of outdoor winter activities below, or scroll down to use our interactive map.

Continue reading

 A New Year for the Birds

cedar waxwing bird on branch

WILDER SIDE OF OAKLAND COUNTY

“Everyone likes birds. What wild creature is more accessible to our eyes and ears, as close to us and everyone in the world, as universal as a bird?”Nature historian David Attenborough

January 5th was more than the first Thursday of the month. It was National Bird Day, an annual event I was totally unaware of until a few days after the event. After that date passed by, I was politely chastised by a friend of mine who is an avid birder for missing that day as a blog topic. I decided late is better than never, especially after reading the words of David Attenborough’s.

I’ve already made a notation in my 2024 calendar to promote National Bird Day next year; before the fact, not afterwards, and am enthusiastically thinking about birds now with my feeders exploding with activity. Hearing the deep hooting of a Great Horned Owl last night sealed the deal, and so now with a cup of coffee in my hand I sit down and write as the morning sun casts its glow.

Continue reading

Flurries of Fun All Winter Long with Oakland County Parks and Recreation

family sledding

Oakland County Parks and Recreation (OCPR) provides opportunities for you to stay active and enjoy nature all year – so don’t let the cold weather keep you indoors this winter! From cross-country skiing to fat tire biking, and birdwatching to participating in a hands-on program at one of the nature centers, there is always a reason to get outside and enjoy the crisp air, beautiful scenery, and fresh snow.

For a list of winter recreation opportunities by park, click here.

Continue reading

Knocking on Winter’s Door

snow-covered trees in the woods

WILDER SIDE OF OAKLAND COUNTY

December 21st brought us the Winter Solstice, the first day of winter. Perhaps you heard winter knocking at your door? That moment in time officially arrived at 4:48 p.m. EST. It was the shortest day of the year with only 8 hours and 46 minutes of daylight. Hours of daylight are now slowly increasing as we creep towards the dawn of spring; just three months away but still well-hidden over the horizon. The dawn of winter, however, is an exciting time. It reminds me to get my cross country skis out of hibernation to be ready for winter adventure in our parks and to plan northern adventures.

Continue reading

Be Thankful – Opt Outside!

lake with some snow on it with snow-covered trees on the shore

WILDER SIDE OF OAKLAND COUNTY

Fall and winter hiking is an exhilarating experience, especially after a blanket of fresh snow. Don’t let the chilly weather hold you back; unless perhaps you are visiting snowbound Buffalo. The important thing is to be thankful that you have the opportunity to “Opt OutSide.” Make the day after Thanksgiving, a day to embrace the concept of Opt Outside! I’ll be out there too, not long after sunrise. I might even have a turkey sandwich stashed in my day pack along with a mug of hot cocoa.

The #OptOutside movement was started in 2015 by the outdoor retail company REI. The basic meaning of Opt Outside is to enjoy the outdoors on Black Friday instead of a crowded shopping frenzy. Since 2015, REI has closed its doors on Black Friday—inviting employees and members to spend time outside rather than shopping. This year, REI just announced their Opt Outside movement will be permanent for all their employees.

Many other retailers have joined a similar movement to close their doors on Thanksgiving Day to encourage employees and early bird shoppers to stay at home with their loved ones. In addition, Oakland County Parks and Recreation also hosts one of their Park Appreciation Days on Thanksgiving, when visitors can enjoy free daily park entry with access to natural areas, trails, playgrounds, dog parks and all park amenities.

There are plenty of adventures on the wilder side of Oakland County this season, whether you are taking advantage of Oakland County Parks Appreciation Day on Thursday, or Opting Outside on Friday (or both)!

Continue reading