If you’re like me, you can only spend so much time indoors. In spite of some frighteningly low temperatures around these parts, sometimes you just have to run out and play. Looking for a new place to explore (year round) in the Metro Detroit area? Look no further than Maybury State Park – the hidden gem nestled between Northville and Novi.
If you search for parks and recreation areas on stateparks.com, you’ll find nine state parks in the Southeast Michigan region – a relatively large area spanning Ann Arbor, Metro Detroit, the Thumb, and easing into Lansing – none of which happens to be Maybury. As someone who has been taking advantage of the nearly 1,000 acres of natural landscapes and the eight miles of running/hiking trails for years, I feel it is my duty to pick up the slack and get the word out.
Maybury State Park is located on Eight Mile Road between Beck and Napier, just about eight miles from Twelve Oaks Mall and, in spite of this being a high-activity area, is pretty easy to overlook. Do yourself a favor, though: seek it out. If you enjoy any outdoor activities at all, you won’t be disappointed. In addition to the running trails, Maybury sports an impressive network of paved bicycle paths, unpaved mountain biking trails, horseback riding, a fishing pond, playgrounds and picnic shelters (available for group reservations), cross country skiing trails, and more! Real talk: I get sweaty sometimes even thinking about driving past Twelve Oaks Mall. I find it comforting that less than 10 miles away is a gigantic natural oasis for exercising, wildlife viewing, or just taking a quiet walk to find some fresh air and clarity. And, in spite of the groups of mountain bikers, folks practicing their backpacking skills, family reunions, or old couples enjoying a walk together, I’ve never found the parking lots or trails too congested.
But wait – it gets better! Maybury State Park, formerly known as Maybury Sanatorium, is the site of an historic quarantine and recovery center (circa 1919) for people suffering from tuberculosis in the Detroit area. Okay, it’s a little creepy, especially when you see the metal archway surrounded by the silent, towering trees at the eastern trail head…but come on – that’s interesting stuff! And, with signage at the entrance and along the Maybury Sanitarium History Trail, it’s a great opportunity to get kids (and adults) outside and learning about their local history!
Still need to be convinced to make the trip? Just a hop and a skip down the road from the Eight Mile entrance is the working Maybury Farm, currently operated by the Northville Community Foundation. The farm provides educational programming and tons of hands-on activities (sheep shearing, maple syrup tapping, etc.), and is perfect for a family day trip.
Never been to Maybury State Park? Get going! If you have been, what awesome outdoor activities did it offer you? Where else do you love to explore when cabin fever sets in?