There’s a catchy Motown song about dancing in the street, but in reality, of course, playing in or near the road can be dangerous – especially here in the Motor City. Thanks to Saturday in the Park, however, this off-limits activity is not only permitted and safe; it’s also a great way for families to have some fun hanging out and exercising together.
The annual event, hosted by Wayne County Parks, returns for the 2017 summer season from May 6 through Sept. 30. Every Saturday, six miles of Hines Drive is closed off to vehicular traffic 9 a.m.-3:30 p.m. between Ann Arbor Trail and Outer Drive, located in Westland and Dearborn Heights. People of all ages can enjoy their favorite outdoor activities – whether it’s biking, skating, running or simply strolling – without the risk or interruption of being in the street with cars.
Besides getting outside and enjoying the weather, Hines Drive winds through scenic Hines Park, offering lots of natural beauty for parents and kids to enjoy. There are also 10 recreation areas along the way, including options for a picnic or little break. There are also paved trails available as an alternative to the road – or if you plan on visiting on another day of the week.
Don’t forget, you can also stop by the Nankin Mills Interpretive Center, at the west side of the six-mile stretch. It’s open 9 a.m.-4 p.m. Saturdays and offers a look at the area’s natural and cultural history. Entry is free.
Parking is available at the Hines Park-Helms Haven Area (off Hines Drive, west of Outer Drive) and Hines Park-Nankin Mills Picnic Area (Hines Drive, east of Ann Arbor Trail).
Be aware that during heavy rains, portions of Hines Drive, which is near the Rouge River and snakes through some low-lying land, can sometimes flood and therefore be closed. Just be sure to check before you go.