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


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click to enlarge Rouge Park's Scout Hollow  campsite. - Noah Elliott Morrison
Noah Elliott Morrison
Rouge Park's Scout Hollow campsite.

Rouge Park

It's often easy to forget about big Detroit parks beyond Belle Isle, but if you're willing to trade in a skyline view for the sense that you've really left a metropolis for the wild, there's no better place than Rouge Park. The 1,200-acre park on Detroit's west side is unparalleled in terms of size (it's larger than both New York's Central Park and San Francisco's Golden Gate Park), and its intertwined network of prairies, woodlands, farms, rivers, and creeks make it one of the most ecologically diverse places in the city. Rouge is the only park in the Motor City that offers camping, mountain bike trails, horse rides, and a "Butterfly Walk." As a bonus, you won't have to worry about some of the drawbacks of the ever-popular, state-owned Belle Isle (think state police, speed traps, and Grand Prix setup and teardown), meaning you can truly get lost in the wilderness and relax at Rouge Park.

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