Explore: Heritage Park in Farmington Hills
(Crystal A. Proxmire, Oct. 13, 2018)
Farmington Hills, MI – There are times when Heritage Park in Farmington Hills is full of people – kids enjoying day camp and exploring the nature trail, people playing volleyball and hockey, families playing on a splash pad and roaming through the woods, others exploring the historic Spicer House, some practicing archery.
Other times the trails are peacefully quiet. I went one cool weekday morning where I had the 4.5 miles of trails nearly to myself.
The kid-sized Nature Discovery Trail (.18 miles) was a fun place to start. Along it are interactive exhibits where children can play with nature. In one place there are tables and bins with rocks, twigs, pieces of bark, pine cones and other “loose nature parts” that kids can use to build with. Down the way is a path lined by a rope fence, where kids are asked to move along with their eyes closed, feeling different items along the way, similar to the way a nocturnal opossum would. Another area has smell boxes. With one whiff of a smell box, visitors can experience the scent of a skunk without having to actually be sprayed.
Perhaps the most notable feature is the Native American long house, where guests can see pelts hanging from the rafters and tools used by Indigenous people.
Other trails like the River Trail, Orchard Trail and Meadow Trail take visitors through a variety of landscapes. Along the River Trail I saw a deer hidden among tall brush eating berries. I also met a man walking with walking canes on his arms who said he was grateful for the well-maintained trails, and the variety of difficulties. “This one I call the heart and lungs trail,” he said of the Valley Trail. “You’ll get a good workout in.”
He also shared advice. “Once you start coming to the woods and walking every day, you’ll get to where you need it. If you miss a day or two you won’t feel good. This is the way to stay healthy.”
Heritage Park also has a nature center and an historic farmhouse. For pictures inside the nature center, and of families enjoying the park, check out our previous Earth Day celebration coverage.
For more on Heritage Park, check out the City of Farmington’s website. The park is located at 24915 Farmington Road, on the West side of Farmington Road between Ten and Eleven Mile Roads.
For other places to explore in Oakland County and beyond check out the Oakland County Times EXPLORE! Section! Want to see more stories like this? Chip in with Reader Support, or become a Sponsor.