Outdoor Activities » Detroit, MI

Outdoor Activities in Detroit, MI

From outdoor markets to guided boat tours, Detroit allows its residents and visitors to access nature while staying connected to urban culture and community.
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Eastern Market

Maybe you’d like to experience the great outdoors without leaving the city. Or maybe you’ve only got a few hours to explore Detroit. Either way, you need not go farther than Eastern Market on a Saturday morning or afternoon.   

Each week thousands of city residents and visitors convene at the market to see what’s cooking in Detroit. The vendors, who offer up everything from fresh flowers to fresh rabbit, represent the area’s finest cooks, farmers, and artisans as well as the city’s rich cultural diversity. You’ll find authentic pierogis, fresh herbs, and locally grown meats and produce.

Not hungry? Grab a table and past the time people watching.

Nichols Arboretum

You can’t get more outdoorsy than a walk in the woods. And you can’t get more woodsy than Nichols Arboretum. Located 45-miles from Detroit in Ann Arbor, “the Arb” is a 123-acre park operated by the University of Michigan.

A popular study and gathering spot among area students, Nichol’s Arboretum is more than a collection of trees. It’s a tiny wilderness tucked into the rolling hills of Ann Arbor’s east side. Lose yourself on one of the many trails that wind through wooded wetlands, across open prairies, and along the Huron River. With its varied landscape of valleys and vistas, the views at Nichols Arboretum are worth the drive anytime of year.

Detroit Zoo

One of the area's main attractions, the 125-acre Detroit Zoo boasts over 3,300 animals that account for close to 300 species. Grab a group of girlfriends or go solo and take a walk around the world without having to leave Detroit's backyard. Organized by habitat, the zoo's main attractions showcase everything from apes and penguins to butterflies and newts. And the resident list is always changing. New animals arrive or are born each season. A brood of tiger cubs are expected to join the zoo family in summer 2012. Open year round, Detroit Zoo is a great place to experience the great outdoors in any season.      

Hines Drive Park

Bust out those dusty, worn in, or brand new runners. It’s time get your jog on while taking in some scenery and Detroit history. One of the area’s most popular running routes follows Hines Drive, an 18-mile stretch of road that passes through some of the metro area’s most charming and historic suburbs. The parkway, which runs parallel to the Rouge River and can be accessed at several points along its course, is flanked by parks, picnic areas and fishing docks. The road features a wide shoulder and 40-mile-per-hour speed limit, making it easy to share with the cyclists, walkers, and in-line skaters you’ll meet along the way.

Inside Detroit Public Tours

A smart girl knows her surroundings as well as where she comes from. Whether you’re new to Detroit or have lived here all your life, a guided tour is a great way to explore Detroit. Consider it a crash course on the city’s history.

Inside Detroit, housed in the city’s welcome center, offers several options for people who wish to get an insider’s view of the Motor City. Choose a Segway, bicycle, or your own feet and head out on the town for up-close views of Detroit’s major landmarks, including Fox Theatre, Eastern Market, Tiger Stadium, and more. The next time you need to show someone around the city, you’ll know what’s up.