Join the Metro Times Press Club: Because no news is bad news.

Friday, January 2, 2015

You'll need a recreation pass to drive onto Belle Isle starting Feb. 1

Posted By on Fri, Jan 2, 2015 at 11:01 AM

Since Belle Isle became Michigan's 102nd state park in February of last year, concerns have been raised about the multijurisdictional police force that patrols the island now that the Michigan Department of Natural Resources took over its management. Even with noticeable improvements, the beefed up patrols have had a chilling effect of sorts on visitors. 

But many opponents of the deal to lease Belle Isle to the state for at least 30 years took issue with another aspect of the plan: Motorists would need to have a $11 annual recreation passport to enter the island. As MT's Jack Lessenberry noted back in 2012 when the lease was initially floated, "This may anger poor Detroiters, who feel they can't afford a pass for Belle Isle and shouldn't have to pay to enter." 

Throughout 2014, motorists could enter the island without a recreational pass until their next vehicle registration renewal date. But starting Feb. 1, visitors will need to purchase a recreational pass at Belle Isle, if they don't already have one.  

The state says a recreational pass can be purchased at Belle Isle at the island's administration building across from the Belle Isle Aquarium. The pass is valid until the motorist's next license plate registration renewal date, the state says. The passes cost $11 for vehicles, $5 for motorcyclists, and $16 for buses. Pedestrians and bicyclists can still access the island for free. 

If you have some downtime today: Back in 2004, MT spent 48 hours on Belle Isle, which resulted in a lengthy cover piece you can find here

Tags: ,

We welcome readers to submit letters regarding articles and content in Detroit Metro Times. Letters should be a minimum of 150 words, refer to content that has appeared on Detroit Metro Times, and must include the writer's full name, address, and phone number for verification purposes. No attachments will be considered. Writers of letters selected for publication will be notified via email. Letters may be edited and shortened for space.

Email us at

Detroit Metro Times works for you, and your support is essential.

Our small but mighty local team works tirelessly to bring you high-quality, uncensored news and cultural coverage of Detroit and beyond.

Unlike many newspapers, ours is free – and we'd like to keep it that way, because we believe, now more than ever, everyone deserves access to accurate, independent coverage of their community.

Whether it's a one-time acknowledgement of this article or an ongoing pledge, your support helps keep Detroit's true free press free.

Read the Digital Print Issue

September 23, 2020

View more issues


Never miss a beat

Sign Up Now

Subscribe now to get the latest news delivered right to your inbox.

Best Things to Do In Detroit