Explore: Orion Oaks County Park

Explore: Orion Oaks County Park

(Crystal A. Proxmire, Oct. 20, 2020)

Orion Township, MI – Orion Township, MI – Those looking for a nice, easy to use trail system might enjoy the ten miles worth of trails at Orion Oaks County Park.

Located at 2301 W. Clarkston Road, this park has a beautiful mix of scenery for those hiking or biking, as well as a very popular dog park. The dog park covers 24 acres and includes some wooded trails so dogs can go off leash and explore.  I’ve found that dog owners also like exploring the rest of the park. So, if you’re cool with dogs, then it’s a great place to get some steps in.

The trails are well-labeled and frequently intersecting, so it’s easy to hike from marker to marker in any direction. Around the perimeter trail one can find two docks on Lake Sixteen and beautiful wooded areas full of trees, mushrooms, and chipmunks. In the middle there’s an area with low-lying fields that are home to Michigan’s only venomous snake, the Eastern Massasauga. I’ve yet to see one of these creatures, but there are signs cautioning folks to stay on the trail to avoid an encounter.

Orion Oaks also has an area of higher elevation, with a nice steep hill right around marker 22 that will give inexperienced legs a good workout. Another great thing about this park is that there are three entrances which have outhouses, so there are easy rest stops if one goes out for a long hike.

There are also benches around the park, including one that has become a beacon of hope and friendliness for hikers.  The bench is one donated by Lori Soenen in honor of her dog Schuyler. On that bench is a ziplock bag with notes people have left, including one from Soenen herself. “I am happy to see others enjoy this special spot that I consider sacred,” her note said. “I too have been down this trail for nearly 30 years, and sitting on this bench since 2002. I see you too can feel how special it is! If you’ve seen bouquets of wild flowers on this bench, perhaps they were mine.”

Orion Oaks has 916 acres total, with picnic tables, a dock for dogs to swim in Lake Sixteen, and a wheelchair accessible fishing pier. Learn more about this beautiful place at OakGov.com.

Check out places to Explore in Oakland County and beyond in the Oakland County Times Explore Index.  


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