Lyon Oaks County Park
The naturalists say plenty.
When the area was destined to become a trailer park, Oakland County began acquiring the land in 1992 and 10 years later opened the Lyon Oaks Golf Course. In 2003, the 1,043-acre park added the first phase of a trail system, a small nature center and a 13-acre bark park, an off-leased area for dogs. Despite the bark park and the manicured fairways, the vast majority of Lyon Oaks is a low-lying woods, dotted by pools of standing waters, small ponds and bogs that are bug-infested in the summer but beautiful in the spring. There is only 50 feet of elevation from one end of the park to the other, the reason for so many wetlands here.
And wildlife loves wetlands. This oasis lodged between an interstate and a industrial park is home to coyote, red and gray fox, mink and Michigan's only venomous snake, the massasauga rattler. Deer are so plentiful that the park stages a limited archery hunt beginning in October.
But the best reason to visit the park is to enjoy the spring migration of birds. Along with sandhill cranes, wood ducks and other waterfowl, Lyon Oaks is a showcase for warblers whose migration peaks in early May. Arrive with your binoculars and bird book and then take to the woods via 3.6 miles of hiking trails.
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