I was all over the map!

As mentioned in yesterday’s post, I embarked on a journey that encompassed four different parks located at various sites along the Huron River. I walked almost seven miles that day!

You will recall, I started off my day at Huroc Park. Before the day was over, I would go to Willow Metropark, Oakwoods Metropark and Lower Huron Metropark. Though I don’t usually do posts three days in a row, for continuity sake, I’ll do it just this time.

Today I’m going to write about Willow and Oakwoods Metroparks – tomorrow, for Wordless Wednesday, it will be all the beautiful wildflowers I saw while I wandered a few trails and along a split-rail fence at Lower Huron Metropark.

Then I’ll give the long blog posts a rest for a few days — except I’ll report on my steps to date at month end. 🙂

Willow Metropark.

As previously mentioned, I had spoken to fellow walker Arnie at Council Point Park on the previous Friday about local parks with walking trails. He extolled the virtues of the Huroc Dam and superb walking trail at Huroc Park and the peace and serenity of Washago Pond at Willow Park.

Arnie is also an avid bicyclist and fond of riding the loop called the Iron Belle Trail. It is 24.5 miles (each way) (or 49 miles round trip) and connects four different Metroparks; three are located along the Huron River and the fourth is Lake Erie Metropark on Lake Erie, one of my favorite venues to visit.

Willow Park is 1,531 acres, with not only a nod to nature, but also with many non-nature amenities, like golf or swimming, but I just honed in on the bike/walking trail and a visit to Washago Pond per Arnie’s recommendations.

The 4 ½-mile trail was easy walking as it was paved and wound through a woodsy area.

I went about a mile and turned around and headed back because a contingent of recumbent bike riders was on the trail and I had to keep sidestepping them. They were not all traveling together, but instead arrived in fits and spurts. They were fun and I was chatting with them as they took breaks. Here are two of them.

Since I planned to walk at two more parks and I’d racked up some miles already, I decided to double back and head over to Washago Pond to check it out.

It was a pretty large pond – 17 acres in fact. How peaceful and serene is this photo? A couple rowed across the Pond, stopping every so often to drop a line in the water.

A fisherman in chest waders cast out his line, equally hopeful for a fish. He seemed to be enjoying that sport though I never saw a fish dangling on the end of that line.

The biggest draw at the Pond for me was the paddle boats, though I just checked them out and did not rent one. It’s been years since I was on a paddleboat – 1969 along the Rhine River and accompanied by my father.

There was an assortment of paddleboats and character paddleboats like this Mute Swan and Sea Serpent.

And, if you wanted to exercise your arms instead of your legs, you could rent a rowboat or kayak.

There were even bicycles available to rent.

I headed back to the parking lot to get the car and drive to Oakwoods Metropark. As I approached the car, I heard “hey Linda, is that you?” I turned around to find another Linda, a walker I see and occasionally walk or chat with at Council Point Park. She walks two days a week and bikes at the Metroparks the other days. She was wearing a neon yellow bike shirt and sitting astride her bike. We chit-chatted a few minutes and she said she was headed to Oakwoods Metropark next and I said “so am I – maybe I’ll see you there.” Well, I passed Linda a couple of times on the road, then missed the sudden turn for Oakwoods and had to circle back … we arrived at the same time to the parking lot where the trail begins … Linda on two wheels, Yours Truly on four wheels.

Oakwoods Metropark.

My next stop was Oakwoods Metropark, which is also in New Boston. I was at this Metropark last August when I attended the “Walk, Talk and Sketch” event where we wannabee artists hiked into the woods with sketchpads in hand to do pencil drawings. So, I was already familiar with the layout of this scenic and woodsy 1,756-acre park.

I went past the hut made from bark …

… and said “hey” to the owl and hawk, then bypassed the Nature Center, which is home to a menagerie of critters, but it is now closed due to the pandemic. I headed right into the woods, picking and choosing which of the five short trails they have available.

I decided to walk three of those trails (Big Tree, Sky-Come Down and Split Log Trails) as I had one more park on my agenda.

It was a scenic hike through the woodsy setting. Here are a few photos taken along the way.

This was at the overlook – you can see the water lotuses were beginning to grow on the surface of this part of the Huron River.

I meandered through the woods and saw no one on the trail, just as I like it – unbelievably there were no squirrels, or birds either. It is not a dense woods so no chance of seeing deer.

It was getting warmish and I must admit I lost a little spring from my step that I had when I set out many hours before. I had one last stop and I had to drive there. I wanted to scope out the butterflies at the Butterfly Viewing Nature Trail, so named due to the abundance of flowers that helped it to be designated as a Monarch Butterfly Waystation by the organization Monarch Watch. Well, it was one of those ideas better left in my head – while I never saw anyone in the woods, it seemed everyone was at the Cedar Knoll Picnic Area viewing butterflies. There was nowhere to park and people seemed to be bumping up against one another anyway, so I tabled that part of my trek to another time.

Lower Huron Metropark.

Above were the highlights from Willow and Oakwoods Metroparks. Finally, my last stop of the day was at Lower Huron Metropark in Belleville, which I discovered by accident last year, after a fork in the road, then a honking driver behind me and my eventual frustration, got me turned around bigtime. In the end I conceded it wasn’t a horrible ordeal … even the getting-lost part, because, though I never made it to the DeBuck Sunflower Festival, I had a long road trip in the country and checked out the roadside stands, which brought back a lot of nice memories of Sunday outings in the country with my parents back in the day. You can read about that trek here. Along the way that day I stumbled upon Lower Huron Metropark and that’s where I spent hours walking around.

Each of these Metroparks have one great identifiable featured attraction – Lower Huron Metropark is a beautiful park with water amenities, not just natural niceties, like taking a trip down the Huron River in a kayak, canoe or boat, but there’s a very large water park known as Turtle Cove Family Aquatic Center. Plus, this 1,258 acre park has plenty of room for camping at Walnut Grove Campground, so there’s something for everyone.

For this gal, the peace and solitude of a quiet walk in the woodsy areas was just perfect. So, I’m going to highlight the wildflowers aplenty I saw along the way on that multi-mile trek … I collected so many photos too many photos, to tack onto this already-lengthy and picture-laden post, so you’ll find those photos in my Wordless Wednesday post tomorrow. The split-rail fences are part of the trails or overlooks, but some simply run parallel to the walking or biking trails. Here wild flowers grow in abundance, poking their blooms through and around those wooden fences. Tomorrow’s post is simply entitled: “Woods, Wood and Wildflowers” – hope you enjoy it.

About Linda Schaub

This is my first blog and I enjoy writing each and every post immensely. I started a walking regimen in 2011 and decided to create a blog as a means of memorializing the people, places and things I see on my daily walks. I have always enjoyed people watching, and so my blog is peppered with folks I meet, or reflections of characters I have known through the years. Often something piques my interest, or evokes a pleasant memory from my memory bank, so this becomes a “slice o’ life” blog post that day. I respect and appreciate nature and my interaction with Mother Nature’s gifts is also a common theme. Sometimes the most-ordinary items become fodder for points to ponder over and touch upon. My career has been in the legal field and I have been a legal secretary for four decades, primarily working in downtown Detroit, and now working from my home. I graduated from Wayne State University with a degree in print journalism in 1978, though I’ve never worked in that field. I like to think this blog is the writer in me finally emerging!! Walking and writing have met and shaken hands and the creative juices are flowing once again in Walkin’, Writin’, Wit & Whimsy – hope you think so too. - Linda Schaub
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51 Responses to I was all over the map!

  1. I enjoyed this post and look forward to the one tomorrow. That was fun that you met Linda and had a chance to chat.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Linda Schaub says:

      Glad you enjoyed it Anne – it sure was an enjoyable day. Linda was riding on the bike trail for several parks. That’s a lot of riding – I am not sure how many of the 49-mile roundtrip she did and I’ve not seen her at Council Point Park since that day. I thought I’d use the map from one of the Metropark excursions to show how close the parks are from one another.

      Like

  2. Sandra J says:

    That is so cool that all those parks are connected through bike trails. And so many different things to see, from the woods to paddle boating. What a diversity of outdoor activity so close together. I love places like that.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. bekitschig says:

    I want a ride with that damn fine dragon!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. The water looked inviting. I may have had to do some kayaking!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Linda Schaub says:

      I didn’t see any kayakers this time, but last year there were several of them. I’ve never been kayaking but I don’t know how to swim, so never would take a chance. The Huron River has a strong current and the riptides and high water levels have been lethal this year. Up in northern Michigan, we’ve had two issues of people being swept off a pier into the water – one is still missing, the other’s body turned up many months later. In both instances their companion was also swept off the pier, but they were stronger swimmers so lived.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Joni says:

    I’m jealous of all your 1500 acre parks and such diversity…..all within driving distance! So much green space for such a populated area.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Linda Schaub says:

      Yes, we are really lucky here in Michigan and there are so many in this area I’ve never even been to – I’ve only touched the surface! There are 13 Metroparks and I’ve only been to 4 of them. Then we have lots of state parks and county parks, all which are large parks. We have 22 in our City alone!

      Liked by 1 person

  6. very interesting park great how it follows the river.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. thewhitehairedweaver says:

    It’s so nice that you are able to enjoy nature after the quarantine! We had forest preserves near our home in Illinois and I really miss the trees and greenery. Thank you for sharing this with us!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Linda Schaub says:

      Thank you for your comment. We do have a lot of big parks to visit here in SE Michigan. I try to go to the larger ones on the weekend, though this heat wave had me not driving too far and sticking to my small park where I walk daily. I am grateful to be able to get out and enjoy nature – the quarantine had one benefit. Our Metroparks gave free day passes three days a week for all their 13 parks so it inspired a lot of people to get yearly passes and make more visits there. A win-win for everyone.

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      • thewhitehairedweaver says:

        You’re welcome! I remember the summer heat waves in Chicago. The park passes do sound like a wonderful way to encourage people to visit the parks. It’s also great there are so many. I hope the heat breaks so you make it to the larger park.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Linda Schaub says:

        We will be having three days of cooler temps – I am excited for that. We had a cold front move in earlier than expected and I’ll vouch for that as the sky was blue, then suddenly a dark cloud appeared and it poured raining! That was not so nice as I got soaking wet, but it will bring a most-welcome break and I am not alone in saying that!

        Like

      • thewhitehairedweaver says:

        I’m so glad to hear that! Especially the cooler temperatures. The rain always seems to help. Here in Nevada, the temperatures are in the triple digits all summer. Then, when it does rain, it’s monsoon season! But I do love the palm trees and western sunsets.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Linda Schaub says:

        Oh wow – triple digits. I’d better not whine about the hot temps here then Mary. I didn’t realize your rain was that intense in Nevada. I would like to live somewhere where I didn’t have to worry about snow and ice, not only for walking but I took the bus for years to work in downtown Detroit, so my Winter driving skills are not stellar. 🙂 A friend and his wife retired to New Mexico and he says that the temps are over 100 but the humidity is ridiculously low, so it is tolerable. The humidity here is a killer sometimes.

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      • thewhitehairedweaver says:

        I definitely don’t miss the ongoing snow, or the ice. But we did have a considerable snowfall in 2019 – which was fun to see when snowmen began popping up all over Vegas.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Linda Schaub says:

        You know I think I remember hearing about your snowfall. We had a very nice Winter which was odd since multiple meteorologists had told us to expect a long, cold, snowy Winter. We didn’t have much snow at all – in fact, since I work from home and have done so since 2011, I never went out in snow one time for this Winter. We did have several bouts of freezing rain which was not nice as it was cold enough it did not melt right away. I could walk on a weekend if it got warm enough in the afternoon, but not a weekday/workday. I don’t take any chances, even with lug-soled hiking boots. That would be fun to see the snowmen popping up in a desert-type setting.

        Like

      • thewhitehairedweaver says:

        The snowman were a lot of fun. Especially for the children and adults who had never seen snow. I’m glad you were cautious with the ice, since it’s so dangerous. The meteorologists have definitely given me a few laughs. Especially when they stand outside in hurricane force winds.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Linda Schaub says:

        Yes, very cautious. And today, the NOAA gave the long-range prediction and said we will have snow by the 1st of November. Last year we had snow which melted fairly quickly just after Halloween. My neighbor still had pumpkins out on his porch so I took some photos of them for my blog. All snow should go away that quickly. 🙂 Yes, I saw that newsclip I believe on the Accuweather site last year about the one guy who was outside in a hurricane and pretending he could not stand up straight and he didn’t know that behind him two people walked by normally. It was pretty funny!

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      • thewhitehairedweaver says:

        I think they should hire Punxsutawney Phil. He has a better record for accuracy!

        Liked by 1 person

      • Linda Schaub says:

        And we have Woody the Woodchuck here in Michigan. Woody is a girl and she is more accurate than Phil!

        Like

      • thewhitehairedweaver says:

        They definitely need to hire Woody!

        Liked by 1 person

      • Linda Schaub says:

        Yes, she’s been right the last 16 out of 21 times. She predicted an early Spring this year and we had a great Winter.

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      • thewhitehairedweaver says:

        Not bad!

        Liked by 1 person

      • Linda Schaub says:

        That’s “Girl Power” for you!!

        Like

      • thewhitehairedweaver says:

        P.S. You weren’t whining at all. I only mentioned the heat here to let you know that you have my sympathies. It’s actually worse in the northern states, where a lot of people don’t have air conditioning.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Linda Schaub says:

        Yes, and in older houses and/or buildings/stores which makes it difficult. I think that was the same last year with Europe’s heat wave as many of those folks had no A/C so it was pretty brutal for them.

        Like

      • thewhitehairedweaver says:

        I also remember the ’95 heatwave in Chicago when 500 people died.

        Like

      • Linda Schaub says:

        Yes, those type of heat waves are deadly. My mom used to talk about the North American Heat Wave of 1936. I am Canadian, but have lived here since 1966. But back in 1936 it was across North America and my mom was ten and she and my grandmother slept on the front porch every night as did all the other women/children. The husbands all worked in factories in downtown Toronto so it was like a sweatbox during the day, so they needed a respite from the heat. The men took their pillow and blanket and went to Sunnyside Park and slept on the boardwalk area for the cool breezes. It lasted two solid weeks from July 5-11, 1936 and the temps ranged from 90 to over 100 F. I just Googled to see how many died and it was 5,000+. I hope we are not headed to stats like that with all our temperature extremes the last few years.

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      • thewhitehairedweaver says:

        I never heard of that heatwave. 5000 people is a staggering number. I don’t think any of my relatives ever mentioned it. Just Great Depression stories.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Linda Schaub says:

        My mom didn’t mention much about the Great Depression but my grandmother did. They both spoke about that bad heat wave though. I think the Great Depression had such a profound impact on people – my grandmother saved everything. They never changed their mindset after living through those lean times.

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      • thewhitehairedweaver says:

        It definitely did. I really saw that from people who lived through it.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Linda Schaub says:

        Even my mom who was just a child, was frugal based on what she saw my grandmother do at the time.

        Like

      • thewhitehairedweaver says:

        ❤️

        Liked by 1 person

  8. AnnMarie R stevens says:

    Miss Linda………………………………reading your blog tonight makes me want to make some time and go and visit these wonderful parks that we have available to us in our area…………………………….I feel we are blessed to have some nice places to recreate in and we’re blessed with you inviting us to go there!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Linda Schaub says:

      We are lucky to have so many parks around us Ann Marie. And, those parks are of all sizes as well. Look at all the “bang for your buck” you get with Council Point Park – it’s like going to a much bigger park. You are welcome Ann Marie – thank you to you and others who join me on my journies.

      Like

  9. Laurie says:

    Good for you for getting 7 miles in, Linda. so impressive. I have to admit, those recumbent bikes do not look comfortable at all. I think it would take all my energy just to keep my head up so I could see where I was going. There are so many parks in your area and you seem to find them all.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Linda Schaub says:

      I’m not sure I’d want to try them either Laurie and would prefer a traditional bike, not even one with a lot of gears or gizmos on it. We are lucky to have so many parks and I’ve never been to many of the ones in the northern suburbs where it is more rural so there are more deer that way. I have to really bulk up the miles since the long-range forecast says snow by November 1st – they are often wrong though. We have a beautiful day tomorrow, then two days of rain unfortunately.

      Like

  10. Yay – 7 miles and tons of photos, I’d say that was a successful venture. Way to go! I’m envious that you have so many parks in a row to visit.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Now I think I get it. You can walk all those miles because it’s not just a walk, it’s an adventure.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Linda Schaub says:

      Yes, you are right – in the beginning, the first two years before I discovered Council Point Park, I walked just in the neighborhood, going farther every day. I walked at the Park after that except for one time when we had bird flu so I stayed away for a few months as I was concerned I’d bring something home with me as I had my canary at the time. The geese walk all over the place as you know. I’ve only been going to other larger parks and different venues for the last two years – now it is an adventure. I intended to go somewhere new today and my weather alarm went off early (like the 4:00 o’clock a.m. hour) and the voice said that a flash flood would be coming … that was not to happen until later in the day, then they changed it, so I decided it was not as cool as predicted either, so I’ll go in the Fall. It’s a huge marsh and you go out on a walkway into the marsh, not just a small overlook, but this amazing looking bridge that goes over lots of pond lilies. I wanted to go while they were in bloom. They have lotuses at Lake Erie Metropark so intended to go there afterward – grrr. I decided to stick close to home instead.

      Liked by 1 person

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