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Indian Springs Metropark: Pondside Trail

Trail Details

County
Oakland
Regions
Southeast
Latitude
N 42° 41' 35.16"
Longitude
W 083° 30' 45.00"
Distance
0.3-mile loop
Trail Type
Paved trail
Terrain
Pond
Difficulty
Easy
Nearest City or Town
White Lake
(map loads here)
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This short trail begins on the south side of the nature center and skirts a small pond with observation areas. Its surface is asphalt, capable of handling wheelchairs. At one point you cross a bridge where often frogs can be seen in the quiet edges of the ponds. Other wildlife that can be spotted are turtles, usually sunning themselves, and occasionally water snakes.
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Description

This short trail begins on the south side of the nature center and skirts a small pond with observation areas. It’s surface is asphalt, capable of handling wheelchairs. At one point you cross a bridge where often frogs can be seen in the quiet edges of the ponds. Other wildlife that can be spotted are turtles, usually sunning themselves, and occasionally water snakes.

Amenities & Services
Difficulty - Easy
Paved Trail
Facilities

The Meadowlark Picnic Area has two shelters that can be rented along with tables, grills, a wood playscape, volleyball court and horseshoe pit. Adjacent to picnic area is Spray N’ Play which children can get soaked in the water spray area, climb a rock wall or a cargo net, or find their way through a maze. The toddler area includes a painted labyrinth and a sand pit with oversized scoopers for digging. Indian Springs also features a 6,707 yard, par-71, 18-hole course 18-hole regulation golf course (248-625-7870) with a driving range and club rental.

Nature Center

Completed in 2005 at a cost of more than $12 million (which included the Spray n’ Play park), the Environmental Discovery Center is a showcase interpretive area with a flaw. The facility overlooks a man-made pond and it most notable feature is a tunnel and glass viewing room that was designed to provide visitors a below-the-water view of pond life, including native Michigan fish and plants. But an algae problem in the pond has resulted in visibility of usually less than a foot and most people leave the room seeing little if anything. Still the wetland exhibits on the top two floors are interesting and make for a good place to start for families with young children.

The Indian Spring Nature Center is also an attractive building that uses solar energy for heat and has natural lighting. Along with bathrooms, lounge, and a classroom, there are interesting exhibits, both hands-on and live animal displays. One, entitled “The Huron River from Ice to Erie,” traces the history of the river and diagrams its 115-mile route from its mouth in Lake Erie to its headwaters, the Huron Swamp that lies just outside.

Hours & Fees

Indian Springs is open from 8 a.m. to dusk daily and the Environmental Discovery Center is open from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. Memorial Day to Labor Day and 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. the rest of the year. The nature center is open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.. daily in the summer and 1-5 p.m. on weekdays and 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on weekends during the school year. The Spray N' Play is open year round, with the water spray area open Memorial Day to Labor Day. A vehicle permit fee is required to enter the park.

Directions

The park can be reached from M-24 (Dixie Highway) in Clarkston by heading west on White Lake Road and following the park signs 5 miles to the posted entrance along White Lake Road. It can also be reached from M-59 by turning north on Ormond Road and then east on White Lake Road.

Information

Contact the Environmental Discovery Center (248-625-6640), the park office (800-477-3192) or the Metroparks Authority at 800-477-2757 or (www.metroparks.com).

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