Over the next several weeks, Oakland Township Patch will be creating and compiling a comprehensive, interactive multimedia package to serve as an in-depth guide to Oakland Township's Parks.
This 107-acre park sits in the heart of Oakland Township between Snell and Gunn roads, just east of Orion Road. There are two entrances – one on Snell, which has a parking lot, and a pedestrian entrance off of Gunn Road. The park features hardwood forest, wetlands, fields, marshland, ponds and observation docks overlooking the wetlands. There are also restrooms, a playscape, picnic pavilion, grilling area and an ADA-accessible limestone trail system. The park is one of two parks to play host to Music in the Meadows.
The Mill Race Trail is one of the smallest parks at just .3 miles long, but it is also one of the most historically significant. Situated between the Paint Creek and the historic millrace, which was dug by Needham Hemingway in 1835, the Mill Race Trail begins at the Paint Creek Cider Mill and ends across the street from the Goodison Veterinary Clinic, eliminating the need to walk along busy Orion Road. The trail is comprised of dirt and wood chips.
Lost Lake Nature Park – located off of Lost Lake Trail, south of Predmore Road and west of Rochester Road – is home to two sledding hills, a warming house, a lake, wetlands, woodlands, meadows, ample wildlife and a beautiful picnic area on the shore; shore fishing is allowed with a current fishing license. The township was recently awarded a $154,900 grant to make improvements to the park, including adding a nature center, fishing pier and ADA-accessible dock. The park also plays host to the township's annual Winter Carnival.
This 60-acre park is tucked away in a neighborhood off of Gunn Road at the end of Knob Creek Drive. It has no man-made amenities other than a narrow, worn path, though it does offer breathtaking views and plenty of places to observe and appreciate nature.
This massive 213-acre park sits between Predmore and Romeo roads west of Rochester Road and includes a 16-acre historic district as well as trails that wind around woodlands, wetlands, fields, ponds and Cranberry Lake itself. Parking is available off of Romeo Road as well as at the historic district on Predmore Road. The historic district is home to Cranberry Lake Farmhouse as well as the historic Flumerfelt Barn, and the site also plays host to Music in the Meadows every year. Restrooms and a picnic area are available at the Predmore Road entrance.
The Paint Creek Trail is one of the county's best-known recreation areas. The 8.9-mile linear park is eight feet wide and connects Rochester, Rochester Hills, Oakland Township, Orion Township and Lake Orion; most of the trail – 5.3 miles – runs through Oakland Township. The trail was converted from a railroad bed and opened for public use in 1983, though the Detroit and Bay City Railroad Company originally built the rail line in 1872 as a way to connect Detroit to Bay City, MI. The Paint Creek Trail was the first Rail-to-Trail project in Michigan. Attractions include Dinosaur Hill Nature Preserve, Paint Creek Cider Mill, Goodison area and downtown Lake Orion.