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Best Picnic Spots In Detroit

Ants and cartoon bears aside, picnics combine two great things about life, food and nature. Whether you're looking for a romantic date or just trying to eat your lunch in some fresh air … learn about Detroit's scenic locales including Belle Isle, Rolling Hills County Park, Kensington Metropark and others in our list.
Belle Isle Beach
(credit: Bill Pugliano/Getty Images)

Belle Isle

E Jefferson Ave
Detroit, MI 48207
(313) 852-4075
Cost: Free

Despite recent budget cuts, the 982-acre island remains one of Detroit's premier attractions.  Belle Isle has an incredible range of things to see and do, including 5 miles of scenic shoreline, cultural institutions, historical monuments, sports facilities, and outdoor recreation.  During your visit, consider packing a lunch and enjoy great views of the Detroit skyline, Windsor (Canada), freighter traffic, and the Ambassador Bridge from the beach or shoreline picnic areas.  There are dozens of great attractions to see on Belle Isle while enjoying a picnic.

Kensington Metropark

Kensington Metropark

2240 W. Buno Road
Milford, MI 48380
(800) 477-3178
Cost:   Daily Park Pass $4, Annual Car Pass $20

Kensington is most popular for its eight-mile paved path that circles Kent Lake. The pavement is smooth and the hills are just challenging enough to work up a good sweat - and it's a terrific place for the kids to practice on their own bikes or blades. This park is loaded with beautiful, scenic spots. The Island Queen II, a 39-passenger pontoon boat makes hourly trips from 12n-6pm for just a few bucks/person. Rowboats and kayaks can be rented as well. Fishing is allowed year-round. A surprisingly large indoor/outdoor farm center is worth the trip alone. Hayrides and sleigh rides are offered. Take a self-guided tour of the park's Nature Center and take a chance at spotting fish, heron, swans, deer, and many species of birds. In the winter months, there's ice skating, and some really great sledding hills, with separate areas for your little ones (snowboarding is not allowed). Two toboggan runs are located in the Orchard Picnic area. Shush for hours on the 12 miles of groomed cross-country ski trails that loop around the park.

Rolling Hills County Park

Rolling Hills County Park

7660 Stony Creek Road
Ypsilanti, MI 48197-6611
(734) 484-9676
Cost: $5 residents; $9 nonresidents

The 363-acre park offers nearly two miles of paved trails, three miles of nature trails, an 18-hole disc golf course, picnic tables, and grills located throughout the park.

Heritage Park

Heritage Park

Between 10 & 11 Mile
Farmington Hills, MI 48331
Cost: Free

Included within this 211-acre park are more than four miles of trails for hiking and cross-country skiing, a large picnic area, playground, sand volleyball courts, and an in-line hockey rink. Heritage Park is home to the Nature Discovery Center and has an amphitheater that hosts summer concerts.

Independence Oaks County Park

Independence Oaks County Park

9501 Shasabaw Road
Clarkston, MI  48348
(248) 625-0877
Cost: Daily Rate $10 non-residents $5 Residents

At Independence Oaks, families can enjoy picnicking, hiking, fishing, camping, swimming, and nature study. The park has nearly 10 miles of marked nature, bike/blade, and ski trails, as well as ball fields, sand volleyball courts, playground equipment, and horseshoes pits. Picnicking, hiking, fishing, swimming, nature study and youth group camping. Picnic areas and rental shelters for group rental include ball field, sand volleyball courts, playground equipment, horseshoes pits. Picturesque Tony Filippis Memorial Garden and wheelchair-accessible gazebo shelter adjacent to Twin Chimneys area with view of Crooked Lake. In the winter, the park offers cross-country skiing, ski rental, ice skating, ice fishing, and warming shelters.

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