The Huron–Clinton Metroparks system is a regional park system in Metro Detroit in the U.S. state of Michigan. The park system includes 13 parks totaling more than 24,000 acres (97 km2) arranged along the Huron River and Clinton River forming a partial ring around the metro area. Plans are in development to finish the ring by building hike/bike trails to connect all the parks as a green belt. The parks draw about 9.5 million visitors a year. The rivers are prime fishing and canoeing streams with Delhi Metropark including a short rapids, which while runnable, is the only point other than dams on either stream normally portaged.
The park district encompasses Wayne, Oakland, Macomb, Washtenaw and Livingston counties. The park system was authorized in 1939 and funding began in 1942 with local property taxes providing for most of the budget. Additional funding comes from vehicle admission fees and fees for golf, boat launching, bike and boat rentals, swimming pools and other activities. The Huron-Clinton Metropolitan Authority (HCMA) is the body that administers the Metropark system and is governed by a seven-member Board of Commissioners. Two members are selected by the state governor and the other five members are selected, one from each of the five member counties. The Metropark system exists independent from other park systems in the area which include city, township, county and state parks.
- Delhi Metropark, 81 acres (0.33 km2), opened 1957
- Dexter-Huron Metropark, 122 acres (0.5 km2), opened 1952
- Hudson Mills Metropark, 1,549 acres (6 km2), opened 1957
- Huron Meadows Metropark, 1,576 acres (6 km2), opened 1984
- Indian Springs Metropark, 2,547 acres (10 km2), opened 1982
- Kensington Metropark, 4,543 acres (18 km2),opened 1947
- Lake Erie Metropark, 1,607 acres (7 km2), opened 1980
- Lower Huron Metropark, 1,258 acres (5 km2), opened 1947
- Lake St. Clair Metropark, 770 acres (3.1 km2), opened 1950
- Oakwoods Metropark, 1,756 acres (7 km2), opened 1975
- Stony Creek Metropark, 4,461 acres (18 km2), opened 1964
- Willow Metropark, about 1,700 acres (7 km2), opened 1970
- Wolcott Mill Metropark, 2,625 acres (11 km2), opened 1989
The park system features 84 miles (135 km) of paved hike/bike trails at nine Metroparks for walking, bicycling and in-line skating. Activities in the parks include picnicking, swimming, hiking, golf and disc golf, horseback riding, canoeing and boating, biking, geocaching and fishing. Winter activities include cross-country skiing, sledding and toboggan runs, ice skating and ice fishing. Lake Erie Metropark has a wave pool. A couple of the parks have youth group camping or canoe camping areas. Ten parks have historical interpretive centers, farm learning centers or nature centers. Lake St. Clair Metropark has 320 boat slips available for stays of up to 5 days. Kensington has a boat launch and 108 boat slips which are rented on a year-long basis as well as a 49-passenger excursion boat on 1,200-acre (5 km2) Kent Lake, an impoundment of the Huron River. The park system has seven 18-hole golf courses and one par-3 course.
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References and further reading
- Cantor, George (2005). Detroit: An Insiders Guide to Michigan. University of Michigan Press. ISBN 0-472-03092-2.