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Top Five Outdoor Events near Detroit remaining in April 2024

Spring has sprung along with the return of prime time in Detroit's outdoors! As our trails, campgrounds, and waterways reopen this month for the masses, these "Top Five Outdoor Events near Detroit" will serve as your guide for navigating this month's super-bloom of recreation opportunities.

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For Detroiters of a certain age - I'm looking at you, fellow Millennials - the phrase "April in the D" strikes the same nostalgia chord as Saturday morning cartoons or firing up the N64. We're starting to enter another golden age of Detroit sports, but for our younger readers, there was a period when April meant recreational dominance for our professional clubs.

Tigers' opening day home runs fueling the wildest fan dreams for the fresh season.

Yzerman, Fedorov, and the Red Wings' hall of fame line up making deep playoff runs.

And, yes - even the Pistons were shocking the NBA with consecutive Finals appearances.

Fast forward a few decades and that same excitement for April in the D is as strong as ever. But here's the twist - the Detroit region now has SO MUCH MORE to celebrate this month than just our sports teams. Beyond hosting the NFL Draft this month, our region's outdoor destinations are positioned to experience record-breaking engagement in 2024. The surge of national headlines covering Detroit's emergence into the outdoor adventure area has only fueled the post-pandemic interest in recreation.

And when does this all kick off? Right now. April provides the starting line for the great migration back to our trails. Hiking, trail running, backpacking, cycling, mountain biking, paddling, canoe camping...even hunting is back on the agenda for April. Yes, you should probably acquire some rain gear and waterproof boots. But our wild places will be fully-open for business again this month, which is absolutely worth celebrating.

Welcome back to prime time in your outdoors, friends - we can't wait to see you at these "Top 5 Outdoor Events near Detroit" this month!

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1. Run Out of this World at the Martian Invasion of Races

April 13th | Dearborn, Michigan | 8:00 a.m.

Once a year, Dearborn literally becomes the center of the universe: the destination for an intergalactic coalition of Earthlings and Martians. Each jumping to hyperspeed for cosmic journeys of 5K to full marathon-length expeditions. Regardless of whether you will be embarking on that all-important "one small step" for your fitness journey, or a "giant leap" towards conquering your distance running goals, the Martian Invasion of Races has an event for every outdoor - and outer space - enthusiast!

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2. Gaze into the Cosmos at a Dark Sky Preserve

April 13th  | Point Pelee National Park | 7:30 p.m. 

The days may finally be getting lighter, but the stars at Point Pelee National Park - the best stargazing destination in the Detroit region - are still shining as bright as ever! Point Pelee's "Dark Sky Nights" are especially catered towards star-gazing tourists willing to brave near-freezing temperatures at night, with amenities including extended visitor hours, seasonal star charts, and the combined natural beauty of the park and the cosmos.

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3. Get in the Woods for Opening Day of Turkey Season

April 20th  | Throughout Michigan

Turkeys in April...? For non-hunters, this inclusion likely strikes you as an out-of-place callback to fall foliage, unavoidable family arguments, and the Lions' push towards a Super Bowl berth (this season for sure - last year we called their playoff run). For hunters, April is primetime to get back into the woods for spring turkey season. In the Detroit region, opening day officially kicks off at 6:10 a.m. on the 20th.

Beyond the recreational enjoyment and plentiful harvest that turkey season entails, we also wanted to highlight the immense conservation value of regulated turkey hunting - often dubbed the "Greatest Conservation Success Story." When the National Wild Turkey Federation was founded in 1973, only 1.3 million wild turkeys remained in the continent. Now, after 50 years of careful conservation and management, there are approximately 7 million wild turkeys throughout North America.

Science-backed conservation works, and we at Expedition Detroit are proud to support it. Especially when it's fun.

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4. Celebrate the Earth by Volunteering at an Earth Day Cleanup

April 20th | Throughout the Detroit Region

Winter provides a double-edged sword when it comes to the beautification of our favorite outdoor spaces. On one hand, the clean slate of a fresh blanket of snow provides postcard-worthy images of untainted beauty. On the other hand, there's the spring thaw: the muddy exposure of the debris that powder had conveniently hidden from our collective consciousness. We hate to be the bearer of bad news, but we're still in the latter of those two circumstances now.

Fortunately for all outdoor enthusiasts, several Detroit region-based organizations are spear-heading MULTIPLE opportunities to celebrate Earth Day by cleaning up favorite outdoor destinations! The Huron-Clinton Metroparks are hosting their two events at Stony Creek Metropark (9 a.m.) and Lake Erie Metropark (10 a.m.). The Michigan DNR's Outdoor Adventure Center will be crossing Atwater Street to clean up Milliken State Park (9 a.m.). Last but certainly not least, crews with the Detroit Riverfront Conservancy will also be working just north of Milliken along the Dequindre Cut Greenway (11 a.m.).

5. Kick Off Trail Racing Season at Trail Weekend

April 27th | Pinckney State Recreation Area | 8:00 a.m.

In full transparency, this may be the single event that we're most looking forward to this month for a few very subjective reasons. First, the 2019 "Road End 5-Mile" event was the first trail race that I ever completed and fundamentally changed my love, appreciation, and understanding of trail running. Second, the "Trail Weekend" festival of races formally kicks off RF Events' "GOAT Trail Series," a season-long trail running series where runners collect points to compete for a prestigious "GOAT" (Greatest Of All Time) title. Trail Weekend includes 5 Mile, Half-Marathon, Marathon, and 50K events, so there's a race for every genre of trail runner.

Our team had a ton of fun - and found some extra running motivation - while participating in the 2023 GOAT Series. We'll see you all at the official starting line of the 2024 trail season!

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BONUS: Explore Your State Parks with Expedition Detroit!

All April | 11 Michigan State Parks and Recreation Areas

Can we let you in on a poorly-kept secret? April may very well be the BEST MONTH OF THE YEAR to explore the Detroit region's state parks and recreation areas!

We tested this theory last year as we thru-hiked the Waterloo-Pinckney Trail. We discovered abundant wildlife, blooming wildflowers, budding trees, comfortable temperatures, and best of all, ZERO crowds alone the trails. Seriously. We had the trails and campgrounds all to ourselves.

Looking to experience April's outdoor magic for yourself? Check out our openings for guided trips covering the Detroit region's most beautiful state parks. This month, we are planning on opening up our full repertoire of guided hiking, night hiking, backpacking, and trail running day trips throughout Metro Detroit. 

The Expedition Detroit team is proud to represent the Michigan DNR's largest commercial provider of guided hikes, backpacking expeditions, and trail running coach across ELEVEN of the Detroit region's most pristine state parks and recreation areas. Each of our guides has the field experience, wilderness first aid training, park knowledge, and outdoor passion that you can - and should - expect from any world-class trail experience.

P.S. Subscribers to our content get discounts on our guided trips AND online store items...


Do you host an upcoming outdoor event that you would like to be featured in a future article? If yes, then we would love to hear from you! Please contact us at to discuss Expedition Detroit feature opportunities.

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