top of page

Top Five Outdoor Events near Detroit remaining in September 2023

September may be nearing its mid-point, but several amazing opportunities remain for closing out the summer and kicking off fall in Detroit's outdoors! Here are September's "Top Five Outdoor Events near Detroit" that are still coming down the pipeline this month.

Outdoor Events near Detroit september michigan

HOLY HIATUS! After nearly 3 weeks of time away from our laptops, largely spent exploring Scandinavian fjords and Teton ridge lines, our team is BACK IN THE SADDLE and ready to dive into Detroit's primetime fall outdoor season that's just around the corner. We'd like to first offer a special thank you for this community's patience while we went dark. We greatly appreciate you and fully intend to reward you for the effort. Stay tuned.

As Sir Isaac Newton so eloquently confirmed, every action in nature has an equal and opposite reaction. For us at Expedition Detroit, that means that our extensive absence from the field resulted in missing nearly 2 weeks of outdoor events in September. Shoot.

That being said, here's the silver lining: "shoulder season" months like September often provide the best value for unique outdoor recreation opportunities. Especially during the summer-to-fall period, the Detroit region's parks, campgrounds, waterways, and trails remain fine-tuned for exploration and relaxation. Squeezed right in between peak-summer crowds and the legions of peak-fall foliage fanatics, September also provides the ideal window to fully enjoy warm weather recreation without fighting for reservations, parking spots, or trail space.

Without further delay, here are the Top 5 Outdoor Events near Detroit going down over the next few weeks in September. We can't wait to see you out there!

Outdoor Events near Detroit september michigan festival of hawks hawkfest ontario amherstburg

1. Fly Over to the Festival of Hawks

September 16th - 17th | Holiday Beach Conservation Area | 10:00 a.m.

Did you know that the Detroit region is home to one of the greatest migrations in North America?

That's right - and our friends over in Amherstburg, Ontario plan the perfect annual event to celebrate and catch a glimpse of this rare feat. This year, Holiday Beach Conversation Area will host the 2023 Festival of Hawks - aka HawkFest - during which bird watchers and nature aficionados will observe the migration of tens of thousands of hawks and raptors flying overhead on their annual journey to nesting grounds in the south. The festival will also feature a range of free educational activities and nature-themed programming, all included with the price of admission ($20 CAD per vehicle).

Outdoor Events near Detroit september michigan dances with dirt hell race

2. Embrace Spooky Season by Dancing with the Devil (in the Dirt)

September 23rd | Hell, Michigan | 6:15 p.m.

Fall officially kicks off on September 23rd, along with everyone's favorite autumnal microseason: Spooky Season. For Detroit's outdoor faithful, there's no better way to kick off a month+ of ghosts and ghouls than racing through the trails of Hell on a 50K, 50 mile, or 55 mile team relay trail run. That's right - our friends at RF Events are hosting their annual "Dances with Dirt" race in Hell, Michigan this month. Don't let those distances completely scare you off, however; this event includes a post-race "bash" with food and drinks, finisher medals, age group awards, and eternal badass bragging rights.

Outdoor Events near Detroit september michigan harvest fall dnr proud lake seven lakes state park

3. Welcome Autumn at a State Harvest Festival

September 29th - October 1st | Proud Lake State Recreation Area and Seven Lakes State Park | 12:00 p.m.

Is there a better way to kick off fall in Michigan with a weekend camping trip? We can only think of one way: adding in a Harvest Festival to the trip!

Just in time for the Harvest Moon, campers at either Proud Lake State Recreation Area or Seven Lakes State Park will enjoy a Michigan DNR-hosted "Harvest Festival." Each festival will include haunted hayrides, friendly hayrides, bonfires, crafts, scavenger hunts, archery, bounce houses, site decorating contest, costume parade, trick-or-treating, dancing, a popcorn bar, and other activities. Both of these events are only open to registered campers, so be sure to visit ASAP to reserve your spot!

Outdoor Events near Detroit september michigan national public lands day

4. Celebrate National Public Lands Day with a Free Hike

September 30th | Detroit River International Wildlife Refuge | 10:30 a.m.

Did you know that over 28% of Michigan comprises of publicly-owned land? That's right - well over a quarter of our beautiful state belongs to all of us, which is a fact worth remembering, protecting, and celebrating this month on National Public Lands Day!

Right at the tail-end of September, head over to the Detroit River International Wildlife Refuge for a free guided hike along the Refuge's entire trail system. This 2 hour hike will cover a 5K trail along the Humbug Marsh, the last undeveloped mile of the Detroit River on the U.S. side of the river. This pristine marshland habitat will make for an unforgettable hiking experience!

Outdoor Events near Detroit september michigan mountain biking metroparks stony creek

5. Send It at the Shelden Mountain Bike Fest

September 30th | Stony Creek Metropark | 3:00 p.m.

Peak summer riding may have past, but fall still represents prime time for riding on the Detroit region's best mountain biking trails! Riders of all skill levels can get into the action during this month's Shelden Mountain Bike Fest, hosted jointly by the Huron-Clinton MetroParks and the Clinton River Area Mountain Bike Association. Riders will experience the thrill of the newly redeveloped Shelden Trails with fellow mountain bike enthusiasts, visit vendor and bike-related booths, enjoy some great food vendors, grab a beer to enjoy by the bonfire, and relax after hitting the trails with free s’mores from REI!

outdoor events near detroit september 2023 expedition detroit guided hiking


Throughout September (and beyond!) | 11 Michigan State Parks and Recreation Areas

Fall colors are JUST AROUND THE CORNER, and there's no better way to experience them than at our regional Michigan State Parks! Not sure where to explore? No problem - we've curated dozens of guided trips intended to showcase the best of the best of the Detroit region's outdoors.

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.

We will be gradually adding new guided trips over the coming weeks, as well as special trips like night hikes, photography-specific treks, and eventually guided snowshoe, mountain biking, and kayaking trips. So, stay tuned friends. We can't wait to host you on one of our trips soon!

P.S. Subscribers to our content get discounts on our Guided Services 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.


Rated 0 out of 5 stars.
No ratings yet

Add a rating
bottom of page