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Oakwoods Metropark: Nature Trails
Besides Long Bark Nature Trail, Oakwoods Metropark has three other short interpretive paths that begin at the nature center; Big Tree Nature Trail (0.75-mile), Sky-Come-Down Nature Trail (1 mile) and Split Log Trail (700 feet).
Big Tree Nature Trail is a 0.75-mile loop through a woods that features a large number of hardwoods that have been identified. The interpretive brochure corresponds to 11 posts along the trail and halfway through the hike you cross a post-glacial sand bar.
Sky-Come-Down Nature Trail is a mile-long loop through woods, a field and the edge area that separates them. Along the way you skirt a three-acre pond that often attracts a variety of wildlife.
Split Log Trail is a short, 700-foot long, all-weather path designed to meet the needs of people with wheelchairs, other accessibility problems or even mothers with baby strollers.
Oakwoods has picnic areas with tables, grills and shelters and a Voyageur Canoe that is used for naturalist-led paddles on the Huron River.
Oakwoods Nature Center is a good introduction to any day in the park. There are several excellent hands-on displays inside as well as exhibits of live animals. One of the exhibits is a huge turtle pond where more than a dozen turtles will be lazily swimming through the water or climbing onto a large rock to sun themselves under a heat lamp. In addition to the live animals on display, you can peer into a wasp nest nearly three feet long or stop at the wildlife viewing room to watch birds at the birdfeeder.
The park is open from 8 a.m. to dusk daily and the nature center is open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.. daily in the summer. During the school year the hours at the center changes to 1-5 p.m. on weekdays and 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on weekends. There is a vehicle permit fee is required to enter the park.
The park is located in the southeast corner of Wayne County and is reached from I-275 by departing at exit 13 and heading east on Sibley Road. Turn south (right) on Huron River Drive and follow it 4 miles to Willow Drive. The park entrance is just west on Willow Drive. It’s a 2-mile drive along the park road to the parking lot and nature center.
Contact the Oakwoods Nature Center (734-72-3956), the park headquarters (800-477-3182) or the Metroparks Authority at (800-477-2757) or www.metroparks.com.
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