While all the Huron-Clinton Metroparks offer many autumn opportunities for family fun, the 4,461-acre Stony Creek – which extends across Macomb and Oakland counties – is a prime spot to see the leaves change color this season.
Note: Due to COVID-19, all indoor programming is cancelled at all Huron-Clinton Metroparks. Face coverings are encouraged and social distancing is required. You can find a complete list of the Metroparks’ coronavirus protocols here.
You should call Stony Creek Metropark ahead of your visit to confirm that the attractions you are most interested in are open.
Open 1-5 p.m. on weekdays and from 10 a.m. until 5 p.m. on weekends during the entire season, the Stony Creek Nature Center is a wonderful place for school and scout activities.
Under non-COVID circumstances, it also hosts a wide variety of children’s interpretive programs and family events aimed at all ages. That includes, Fall Wagon Tours for the family, holiday programming and more.
Snakes, frogs, turtles and fish call this nature center – which also features seasonal and permanent exhibits – home, as well.
Near the nature center, travel five miles of labeled, self-guided nature trails. In addition, 13 miles of non-labeled self-discovery hiking trails are yours to explore.
Go hiking or biking
A 6.1-mile paved bike trail surrounds Stony Creek Lake. For novice bikers, take a leisurely ride on this path. For the mountain bikers – and hikers – there are 14 miles worth of hilly, wooded trails on the park’s southwest side.
The Clinton River Area Mountain Bike Association helps maintain this area for bikers and hikers. Helmets are recommended for the wooded trail.
Go kayaking or canoeing
A boat launch at Eastwood Beach allows for easy access to Stony Creek Lake. There are plenty of paddling opportunities nearby, as well, thanks to the Clinton River Water Trail. While they’ve stopped renting out canoes and kayaks for the season, those with their own are welcome to paddle away.
Take a look at this Clinton River Water Trail map, which shows how this Metropark’s riverway connects to the surrounding area. It’ll help you make the most of planning a trip.
If you’re not the water sporting type of family, sit on the shore of the 500-acre Stony Creek Lake to enjoy the scenery, instead.
Have a picnic or visit a local restaurant
If you’ve worked up an appetite from all the hiking, biking, zip lining and kayaking, there are several spots within Stony Creek Metropark to have a picnic with your family.
Tables, grills and shelters – which you can rent for parties of 50 or more – are scattered throughout this Metropark.
If you prefer to leave the park for a meal, there are several delicious restaurants within a few miles of the park — including Stony Creek Roadhouse, Sapori Italian Restaurant and Brad Brad’s BBQ, to name a few.
Fall color wagon tours and more events
Enjoy a socially distanced wagon ride through Stony Creek’s wooded area to experience autumn’s beautiful colors. At the end of the ride there’s a campfire. Times vary, but you can visit the Metropark’s events calendar for additional information on the fall color tours – and to browse all the happenings.
Stony Creek Metropark is located at 4300 Main Park Road in Shelby Township. It is open from 6 a.m. to 9 p.m. daily, and there is a $10 vehicle fee to access the park.
To get additional details about Macomb County, visit the Make Macomb Your Home website.
This post was originally published in 2019 and is updated regularly.