Outdoor Winter Activities

Winter Activities map

Exercise increases endorphins, relieves stress, provides energy and brightens a bad mood. If you’re looking for a reason to get active this winter, Oakland County has tons of outdoor activities for the whole family. Let our interactive map help you find a trail, hill or park to get outdoors and shake off those winter blues. Don’t let the cold weather keep you inside, get up and get healthy this winter.

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Winter Survival of the White-Tailed Deer

The Wilder Side of Oakland County

A doe climbing Empire Bluff.

White-tailed deer, the largest wild mammal in Oakland County, are well adapted to life in the cold. They thrive in parklands, wildlands and suburban areas. Deer populations have endured harsh winters, ice storms and blizzards for thousands of years. The key to their survival is energy conservation and behavioral adaptations. White-tails of the “north country,” including Michigan, are significantly larger than their kin in the southern states. The Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife states,

Northern deer have larger body size than deer further south. This is true of all mammals, in that body size increases as we progress northward. Large body size conserves energy better because of a lower surface to mass ratio.

An adult white-tailed buck from the north may reach 300 pounds , while an adult buck from Florida weighs about 125 pounds.

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Winter: Live it. Love it.

The Wilder Side of Oakland County

Lead 2

Oakland County seasons do not always begin and end when the calendar says they should. The dawn of this winter was no exception as the temperature soared back into the sixties, leaving the landscape without snow, and lawns green. For those who appreciate winter’s subtleties and many moods, Winter remains a splendid time to embrace the great outdoor recreation opportunities found within our Oakland County Parks and around the county. Continue reading

Barred Owls: Ghostly Voice of the Swamp


“Who cooks for you? Who cooks for you-all?” That’s the classic ghostly call of the Barred Owl, an owl very much at home in Oakland County. The rising and falling melody with a hint of a southern drawl in the last few syllables reminds naturalists that the owl’s breeding season is here. Yet, others less admiring of the raucous chorus of barred owls hooting back and forth may describe the sounds as the music of a troop of rowdy monkeys. That description  is very close to the truth.

Follow the Cornell Lab of Ornithology link to hear the calls of barred owls: http://www.allaboutbirds.org/guide/barred_owl/sounds 

Every now and then, a hiker might hear or even see a barred owl perched on a tree limb in daylight. Oakland County Parks, Huron-Clinton Metroparks and the State Recreation Areas of the Michigan Department of Natural Resources (located in Oakland County) all host these beautiful raptors of the night. Barred owls favor wooded wetlands with nearby open areas for hunting; that means trailside swaths of Addison Oaks, Highland Oaks, Independence Oaks, Lyon Oaks, Rose Oaks and Springfield Oaks county parks are perfect barred owl habitats.img_9847

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Time to Shred! 2015 Downhill Skiing & Snowboarding List

Hey Michiganders! Winter is in full swing and now’s the time to get your skiing and snowboarding in. Whether you want to stay local or get away for a ski weekend, you’ll have no problem finding the perfect ski resort for you. Check out our list of Oakland County and Michigan Ski Resorts here.

If you want to stay local, Oakland County has three ski resorts just a short drive away. You can choose from Alpine Valley, Mt. Holly and Pine Knob. All three resorts offer student, child & senior discounts, school ski-clubs, rentals, lessons and terrain parks. In addition, if you’re just learning, you’ll be pleased to know that all three offer beginner hills with tow ropes and magic carpets.

Oakland County Ski Resorts

Alpine Valley Ski Area – White Lake Township

Mt. Holly Ski Area – Holly

Pine Knob Ski & Snowboard Resort – Clarkston

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