AREAWIDE — State parks and recreation areas in eastern Michigan will host a number of events throughout May that will help residents take advantage of the spring weather. The Michigan Department of Natural Resources invites visitors to participate in a number of activities around the state, all designed with Michigan’s great outdoors in mind.
SATURDAY, MAY 14
Mini MUTT Trail Race at Sleepy Hollow State Park (Clinton County): MUTT team trail races are NOT relay races, but rather team trail races that require four team members to start and stay together at the beginning of the race, and one by one turn around at the halfway point of each individual distance. The format allows for different distance runners to race together. The cost is $150 per team. For more information, visit www.muttrace.com.
Competitive Mounted Orienteering at Ortonville Recreation Area (Oakland and Lapeer counties): The public is invited to join the Ortonville Recreation Equestrian Association to learn about orienteering. Visit OREA at www.hadleyhills.com to learn about information and fees.
Paddle-Pedal 2016 at Island Lake Recreation Area (Oakland County): Join the Friends of Island Lake Recreation Area for a day of paddling and pedaling. Enjoy one of the finest natural stretches of the Huron River Water Trail followed by a bike ride back to Kent Lake. On this day only, Heavner’s Canoe Rental will offer a four-person canoe for $20 or a kayak for $10. The public can reserve boats by calling 248-685-2379. For more information, visit www.islandlakefriends.org.
Vibrim Birdie Bash Disc Golf Tournament at Holly Recreation Area (Oakland County): Families and friends of all skill levels are invited to enjoy a beautiful day of disc golf in the park. Click here for more information.
THURSDAY, MAY 19, TO SUNDAY, MAY 22
Tawas Point Birding Festival at Tawas Point State Park (Iosco County): More than 250 species of birds may be seen by bird lovers at this nationally recognized birding area. There will be presentations by birding experts as well as tours of Tawas Point, Kirtland’s Warbler habitat, Tuttle Marsh and Clarks Marsh. In addition, participants can climb the 70-foot tall Tawas Point lighthouse and get a bird’s eye view of Tawas Point. For more information, contact the park at 989-362-5041.
FRIDAY, MAY 20
Recreation 202: Introduction to Walleye Fishing in Michigan at Sterling State Park (Monroe County): Join Captain Ken Clark of Fishmas Charters to learn about seasonal habits of the elusive walleye and proven techniques for finding fish. Participants can win an hour out on the lake with Captain Ken Clark following the seminar.
For more information, contact the park at 734-289-2715.
WEDNESDAY, MAY 25
Holly Run l at Holly Recreation Area (Oakland County): Runners of all abilities are invited to take part in trail and road runs in the park. For more information and to register visit www.3disciplines.com.
FRIDAY, MAY 27
Recreation 202: Introduction to Walleye Fishing in Michigan at Algonac State Park (St. Clair County): Join Captain Ken Clark of Fishmas Charters to learn about seasonal habits of the elusive walleye and proven techniques for finding fish. Participants can win an hour out on the lake with Captain Ken Clark following the seminar. For more information, contact the park at 810-765-5605.
SATURDAY, MAY 28
Poker Ride at Ortonville Recreation Area (Oakland and Lapeer counties): The public is invited to join the Ortonville Recreation Equestrian Association for this Poker Ride event on horseback. Visit OREA at www.hadleyhills.com for information and fees.
Sunday, May 29
3-D Triathlon at Ortonville Recreation Area (Oakland and Lapeer counties): Contestants of all abilities are invited to compete in a swimming, biking and running competition. For more information, contact 3-Disciplines Racing at www.3disciplines.com.
Vessel Inspection at Hayes State Park (Lenawee County): Start the boating season the right way with a free vessel inspection for safety and compliance with the law. The U.S. Coast Guard will host this event at the Wampler’s Lake boat launch. For more information, contact Kenneth Mangus with the U.S. Coast Guard Auxillary at 517-581-1029.
Farmer’s Market Opening Day at Cambridge Junction Historic State Park (Lenawee County): At the historic crossroads where Sylvester Walker fed weary travelers in the mid-1800s, visitors will find more than 50 vendors offering fresh produce, baked goods and locally produced crafts. Make a day of it; Walker Tavern Historic Site is open for tours. Click here for more information.
For more information about these events, visit the online calendar of events at www.michigan.gov/gogetoutdoors, call the park, or contact Stephanie Wirtz, DNR recreation programmer, at 989-274-6182.
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Many of these events are free to attend, but a Recreation Passport is required for vehicle entry. Learn more about how the Recreation Passport gains you access to Michigan state parks and more at www.michigan.gov/recreationpassport.