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Best Metro Detroit Parks for a Summertime Picnic

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One of the best aspects of living in southeast Michigan is that there is always a park nearby. Kicking back and relaxing with drinks, food, and friends at the best metro Detroit parks is a favorite pastime around here. In fact, you have so many options that you can picnic at a different park nearly every week of the summer.

Best Metro Detroit Parks in the Local Area

If you’re a new renter of one of our local apartments or are looking to mix things up with a new park, here are some of our favorite spots where you can barbecue, toss around a ball or Frisbee, take a long walk, sit and talk, and maybe even take a nap on a blanket on the grass until the sun sets.

Auburn Hills

● River Woods Park, 300 River Woods Drive

● Riverside Park, 3311 Squirrel Court

● Civic Center Park, 1827 N. Squirrel Road

Each of these parks includes play structures, picnic shelters, and barbecue grills in season. Among other additional features, Civic Center Park also has a fishing pond and a softball field. Riverside and River Woods are set along the Clinton River, providing even more aesthetic appeal.

Canton Township

Canton Township offers many athletic fields and parks with beautiful pond views, but the best park for a summertime picnic here has to be Heritage Park. Located at Canton Center Road near Cherry Hill, it features a splash playground, athletic fields, an amphitheater, a pond, and a play structure. 

Commerce Township

The Proud Lake State Recreation Area, 2700 Glengary Road, is more than 4,700 acres and is located on the Huron River in Oakland County. In addition to a picnic area and picnic shelter, it features a boat launch, boat rental, paddlesports, hiking trails, biking trails, and even some camping sites.

Northville

Northville has many quaint parks, several of which feature small rivers, ponds, and streams. Among them is Millenium Park, a 34-acre park located at 45769 Six Mile Road that includes athletic fields, two playgrounds, and picnic pavilions with grills.

Novi

Lakeshore Park, 601 S. Lake Drive

Pavilion Shore Park, 43390 13 Mile Road

Lakeshore Park features many recreational opportunities, including swimming in Walled Lake, biking and walking trails, play structures, and three picnic shelters. Only a short walk away from the Lake Shore Park entrance, Pavilion Shore Park offers lake front seating, a picnic plaza, and a fishing pier.

Rochester Hills

Thelma G. Spencer Park, 3701 John R. Road

Bloomer Park, 345 John R. Road (located within the Rochester, Rochester Hills, and West Bloomfield area)

Yates Park, 1991 E. Avon Road

Rochester Hills is full of parks, and these three are among the largest. They all feature picnicking, hiking, horseshoe pits, and volleyball nets. You can go fishing in the Clinton River at Yates Park, and go swimming in the beach area of the 38-acre lake at Spencer Park.

West Bloomfield

In addition to Bloomer Park and several quaint neighborhood parks, West Bloomfield features Marshbank Park at 2805 Hiller Road. It includes a canoe/kayak launch and fishing pier at Cass Lake, sand volleyball courts, trails, playgrounds, and picnic shelters.

Also Worth Mentioning

These are a little farther out, but still only a short distance away. Besides, we couldn’t talk about the best metro Detroit parks for a summertime picnic without mentioning these top destinations.

● Lower Huron Metropark in Belleville

Lower Huron Metropark, 40151 E. Huron River Drive, is one of the most popular parks for a picnic in the local area. Located only about 11 miles away from Canton Township, it features 1,258 acres of woodlands, grassy meadows, and the Huron River, as well as a hike-bike trail, shoreline fishing, the Turtle Cove Family Aquatic Center, ice ponds, picnic areas, and basketball, volleyball, and tennis courts.

Kensington Metropark in Milford

Many people who have lived in metro Detroit their entire lives would tell you they spent their summers swimming in the lake, Kent Lake, and playing in the sand here. Whether you enjoy sunbathing or boating, you can find almost every recreational feature at this 4,500-acre park. It even includes an 18-hole regulation golf course, 27-hole disc course, nature center, and farm center in addition to picnic areas, scenic trails, and more. It’s only about 15 minutes away from Novi and a half hour away from West Bloomfield.

● Hines Drive/Park

Hines Drive is a winding road that meanders through several communities in Wayne County – including Dearborn, Westland, Plymouth, and Northville – that features roadside parks with picnic areas, pavilions, trails, and athletic fields. A single walking and biking path can be found along the route. Hines Drive is easy to get to and get around for an easygoing kind of afternoon.