Downtown Detroit has towering buildings, venues and arenas, but you might be surprised to know that the city is quite committed to keeping its natural habitats clean and safe. Both residents and visitors alike are able to enjoy beautiful nature reserves because the city makes them a priority, rather than an afterthought. Here are two ideas for some fun and healthy outdoor recreation.
Belle Isle is one of the city’s most well-known parks with nature trails, an aquarium, a zoo and a conservatory. The Nature Center features about four acres of undisturbed forested wetland perfect for hiking and observing wildlife. Visitors can also rent kayaks through RKC Adventures. With a kayak you’ll be able to paddle your way down the river, taking in the wetlands and the overhanging willows above. Be sure to bring a cooler and some snacks for a picnic. There’s plenty of space to spread a blanket on the grass and gaze at the Detroit river and Detroit skyline.
The Detroit International RiverWalk is one of Detroit’s greatest attractions. It spans several miles, and while the Detroit River is a gorgeous sight, the Riverwalk itself offers some beautiful natural habitats as well. Just near Cullen Plaza is Milliken State Park Wetlands, an area where you can both observe and learn about how wetlands “act as nature’s filtration system” (Detroit Riverfront Conservancy). It’s a rarity to enjoy 32 acres of greenery in a downtown area. On a sunny day, there is no better place to go for a stroll and take in the beautiful sights of this state park.
For information about other attractions in the Detroit area or assistance to plan a trip, check the website visitdetroit.com.