Itching to get out of the house and wondering where you can go safely – without opening your wallet – now is the time to visit an Oakland County Parks and Recreation park.
Until April 30, all park entrance fees have been waived, allowing anyone to enjoy the splendor of the Oakland County day-use parks and dog parks at no charge. The waiver was announced jointly by County Executive Dave Coulter, the County Board of Commissioners and the Oakland County Parks and Recreation Commission in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Our park system is an incredible county asset and the Oakland County Health Division says getting fresh air during a pandemic can be beneficial,” Coulter said. “It is vital, however, that those who visit a county park or go outdoors for any reason continue to practice safe practices such as social distancing, hand washing and take along hand sanitizer.”
The Oakland County Parks system offers nearly 80 miles of trails and encompasses 7,000 acres. The parks system has trails for walking, hiking, mountain biking, and equestrian riding. OCPR’s website oaklandcountyparks.com features detailed information about each location. The normal charge for the day-use park is $5 per car for Oakland County residents and $12 regular rate.
“We understand the value that parks provide to Oakland County residents,” Parks Executive Officer Dan Stencil said. “For 54 years, our parks have been a place to relax, revitalize and recreate. In light of COVID-19, the Oakland County Parks are now an even more valuable place to walk, hike, and get outdoors.”
Coulter strongly recommended park visitors follow the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s guidelines to prevent the spread of infectious diseases including avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth; cover mouth and nose when you cough or sneeze; and most importantly, staying home if you feel sick.
The parks and dog parks that are open include:
- Addison Oaks County Park, 1480 West Romeo Road, Leonard
- Catalpa Oaks County Park, 27735 Greenfield Road, Southfield
- Highland Oaks County Park, 6555 Milford Road, Highland
- Independence Oaks County Park, 9501 Sashabaw Road, Clarkston
- Independence Oaks County Park-North, 10089 Sashabaw Road, Clarkston
- Lyon Oaks County Park and Dog Park, 52251 Pontiac Trail, Wixom
- Orion Oaks County Park and Dog Park, 2301 W. Clarkston Road, Lake Orion
- Red Oaks Dog Park, 31353 Dequindre, Madison Heights
- Red Oaks County Park, 30300 Hales Street, Madison Heights. The nature center is closed, but the trails are open.
- Rose Oaks County Park, 10501 Buckhorn Lake Road, Holly
- Waterford Oaks County Park, 1702 Scott Lake Road, Waterford.
All playgrounds, park buildings, and restrooms are closed. However, portable restrooms are provided at all locations. A complete listing of portable restroom locations is also posted at oaklandcountyparks.com.
On Monday, modern restrooms will be open at Addison Oaks, Independence Oaks, Orion Oaks, and Waterford Oaks county parks. Park staff will maintain clean and healthy facilities in accordance with CDC guidance.
These locations will also be listed on OaklandCountyParks.com.
“Be sure to bring water bottles to keep hydrated,” Stencil said. “And share your outdoor adventures on our social media pages for those who may be unable to leave their homes. Experiencing nature uplifts everyone’s spirit.”