Metro Detroit campers looking no longer have to drive four hours to enjoy that “Up North” experience. Instead, they can set up camp at the brand new Walnut Grove Campground in Lower Huron Metropark.
Walnut Grove features 27 rustic campsites in a limited access portion of the Tulip Tree Picnic Area, and promises to be a popular option for those looking for a nearby campground.
“We see this as an opportunity for people not to have to drive 250 miles to get that ‘Up North’ camping experience,” said Jeff Schuman, park operartions manager for Huron-Clinton Metroparks. “Instead, they can get that right here in their own backyard.”
The campground features rustic camping, meaning water, electricity or sewer hookups are not available. However, drinking water and modern restrooms are located within the campground, and shower facilities are available mornings at the Metropark’s Turtle Cove Aquatic Center May 26 through Labor Day.
Officials said should the campground prove popular and the demand warrants it, the potential to add hookup services does exist.
“There’s been talk of adding a campground to the Metroparks for years, at least since the mid 1980s. The current board of commissioners decided the time was right to develop one now,” said Jim Pershing, southern district park manager for Huron-Clinton Metroparks. “In fact, Walnut Grove is the first Metroparks campground open to the public that’s not group camping.”
Group camping, available at several of the system’s 13 parks, is most often used by Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts and youth groups.
Pershing said those who picnic and host family reunions at Lower Huron Metropark will especially find the campground appealing. Out-of-town relatives can stay in the campground, and campers will have an early morning head start on securing one of the always-in-demand picnic spots.
Another of the campground’s appeal is the many amenities offered by Lower Huron Metropark, Schuman added.
Campers are encouraged to bring walking shoes, bikes and/or inline skates to use the paved hike-bike trail, which connects Lower Huron to Willow and Oakwoods Metroparks. Fishing along the Huron River is easy to access at three fishing decks located within the park, as well as at the camp’s river shoreline. Basketball courts, a baseball diamond and tennis courts are also in the park, as well as a Par-3 golf course, which can be played for just $6 per person on the weekends, or $5 per person weekdays.
In addition, a picnic shelter located inside the campground boundaries is available exclusively for campers. Nature education programs on select weekends also will take place at that shelter.
Schuman also pointed out that campers need not worry about flooding. The campsites were carefully chosen after last year’s record-rain levels flooded a small portion of the park.
Each campsite features a crushed limestone pad, picnic table and fire ring. Tents, campers and motorhomes are allowed; two tents or one RV per site. Campsites can be reserved for a $20 daily fee, which does not include park entry ($5 daily or $25 annual). Reservations with a full non-refundable payment is recommended.
For more information, contact Lower Huron Metropark at 734-697-9181 or visit www.metroparks.com.