How to get away from it all, right in the heart of Detroit


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Palmer Park

This centrally located, 300-acre park offers an easy-to-access reprieve from the unsightly concrete that defines our road-clogged metropolis. Designed with help from Frederick Law Olmsted, the landscape architectural great behind New York's Central Park, Palmer Park offers miles of pathways that meander through towering beech and oak trees planted centuries ago. A newly restored log cabin along the park's southern border near Woodward Avenue and McNichols anchors its place in history. Built in 1855, it was once owned by lumber baron and U.S. Sen. Thomas Palmer, who deeded the acres of surrounding land to the city of Detroit around the turn of that century. Today the park's features include a butterfly garden and a splash pad for kids. You can also get up-close-and-personal with some regal-looking horses, as the park is home to the Detroit Mounted Police. The animal adventures continue on Lake Frances, where geese, ducks, and frogs provide an immersive choral experience, particularly at dusk, when their fever-pitched honks, quacks, and ribbits manage to replace the sounds of nearby traffic with euphony.

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