The Huron-Clinton Metroparks is a regional park system created in 1940 by the citizens of Southeast Michigan, providing excellent recreational and educational opportunities while serving as stewards of its natural resources. The Metroparks consist of 13 beautiful parks, covering over 25,000 acres throughout Southeast Michigan, encompassing Livingston, Macomb, Oakland, Washtenaw, and Wayne counties. The parks are located along the Huron and Clinton rivers, providing a greenbelt around the Detroit metropolitan area, and are, generally, more than 1,000 acres each, with Stony Creek and Kensington being more than 4,400 acres each.
The Metroparks provide a natural oasis from urban and suburban life. They provide an ever-growing variety of year-round, outdoor recreational and educational activities in safe, clean environments. Picnicking, fishing, swimming, boating, hiking, nature study, biking, golf, disc golf, winter sports and a host of special outdoor programs and events are available within a short drive to southeast Michigan residents. Currently, the 13 Metroparks serve over 8 million visitors on average annually.
The HCMA has made a strong commitment to environmental education and preservation. It operates 10 full-service interpretive centers — nature, farm and historical — that provide a variety of programs, both on site and off site, for almost 1.4 million people annually. In addition, it boasts three mobile learning centers to engage with schools, community centers, fairs and other locations in Southeast Michigan to conduct nature, farm and history programs for groups that may not have the means or opportunities to visit a Metropark.
The Metroparks are recognized for their extensive paved hike/bike trails and for their golf courses. More than 55 miles of paved hike/bike trails course through the Metroparks and some of these trails connect with many more miles of trails outside the Metroparks. The system operates 7 regulation golf course and one par-3 course.
The Metroparks are staffed by 203 full-time and over 800 part-time personnel. The Metroparks’ 2017 budgeted expenditures are $62 million which is funded, principally, by a property tax levy, limited to one-quarter of one mill (the rate for 2017 is .2146 mills), and by revenues from vehicle entry fees and other user fees for various facilities such as golf courses. A vehicle entry permit is required to enter any Metropark and is only $35 annually for regular admission, $21 annually for seniors or $10 daily.