HOLLAND PONDS PARK / GREAT BLUE HERON NESTING SITE
In Shelby Twp., Macomb county, the largest Great Blue Heron nesting site exists now for 10 years. Last years nest count was 44 active mating pairs of Herons, with 2-5 youngsters per nest. It is an amazing place as the activity gears up starting with the first Herons arriving in early March, and the last of the youngsters being fledged by August. Holland Ponds is located on Ryan rd., just north of 22 mile rd. on the west side of the road. Just north up Ryan rd. from River Bends Park.
SEVEN LAKES STATE PARK / FEN AREAS
In the North/west corner of Oakland county is SEVEN Lakes State Park. It is a park of rolling hills and many lakes and ponds, but it’s most prominent feature is how many different FEN areas are located there. A FEN environment takes hundreds of years to form and needs just the right soil and natural Springs to produce the unique environment known as a FEN. Rare Orchids, Carnivorous Pitcher plants, and many other flowers, insects and plants that grow ONLY in these special conditions at a FEN. The park and FEN areas are also home to the largest concentration of Massasagua rattle snakes, anywhere in the state of Michigan. (Indian Springs Metro Park being another)
ORTONVILLE RECREATION AREA / The BEST REMOTE HIKING
In the northern most corner of Oakland county and Lapeer county is one of the most remote Parks in Southeastern Michigan. Ortonville Recreation area. A place you can Hike for an entire day and never cross a road or possibly run into anyone out on the Trails. There is an abundance of wildlife from Deer to Bobcats. There are many different habitats and environments that exist in the miles of rolling hills that make up the Park. At one time, Ortinville Rec. had some popularity as a “Remote Park”. But the DNR abandoned this idea, closed the Rangers office and put the patrol duties on the local area Park, Metamora-Hadley. The Park also has some excellent fishing at romote ponds and Lakes, as well as a Cabin for rent. But the big attraction here is the vast rolling hills of Trails and private Natural environments.
SANILAC PETROGLYPHS HISTORIC STATE PARK
The only known Native American Rock Carvings in Michigan are located just south of the city of Bad Axe, Michigan, east of Van Dyke road, in the Thumb area of the state. This sandstone outcropping is located where the North and South branches of the Cass rivers come together to form the main branch of the Cass river. These rock carvings where discovered after the great Fire that burned most of the Thumb area of the state, and is now a small State Historic Park. It is an amazing place, off the beaten path. Still not that difficult to find though. There are road signs from Van Dyke road, east, leading you directly to the Park. It is a place worth your effort to visit and explore.