SUMMER IS BACK!! With the floodgates wide open for amazing outdoor experiences near Detroit in June, we have nailed down these "Top Ten Outdoor Events" for kicking off your perfect summer this month!
The Detroit region is, without a doubt, a summertime paradise. Don't believe us? Try moving away for a summer, as I did nine years ago when I spent May through early August living in Barcelona, Spain. Admittedly, that was a great problem to have - any time spent living in a foreign culture is time incredibly well spent.
Here's our sage advice, though: don't think twice about doing it during primetime in our outdoors - unless you're planning on disconnecting technologically for the entire summer. Why? Because your social media feed and group chats will be FLOODED with your friends and family thriving in our natural environment. Beach days at our pristine lakes. Epic rides on our mountain bike trails. Trail brews after dense forest hikes. Campfires galore. And one of America's best summertime towns to play in after a full day spent recreating under the sun.
Truly, friends - there aren't enough tapas or sangria in all of España to drown out the homesickness that summer in Detroit can unleash. And it all kicks off this month with a whirlwind of outdoor events going down in our collective backyards.
Without further delay, here are the Top 10 Outdoor Events going down in the Detroit region this month. We can't wait to see you out there!
1. Commemorate International Trails Day with an International Hike
June 3rd | Windsor-Essex, Ontario
June 3rd, 2023, is going to be a "Day of Days" for outdoor recreation in the Detroit region. From races to festivals, adventure challenges to laid-back picnics, folks are going to be getting outdoors in droves to celebrate none other than one of our favorite holidays: International Trails Day.
Since we have two U.S.-based events on deck for this holiday (spoiler alert), we'd like to focus instead on the events that our friends at the Essex Region Conservation Authority are promoting across the border. In honor of the ERCA's 50th anniversary, Canadian (and U.S.) outdoor enthusiasts are invited to venture into the Windsor area's parks and promote conservation through special sponsored hikes. For a minimum tax deductible donation of $25 (CAD) per person or $50 (CAD) per family, expert naturalists will host these hikes at locations across Windsor-Essex for unique guided experiences.
2. Flirt with Trail Running at Maybury State Park
June 3rd | Maybury State Park | 7:30 a.m.
Rise and shine, runners! International Trails Day has arrived and its time to flirt with your newest or oldest love: trail running in the Detroit region's pristine parks. Better yet, the team at RF Events invites you and hundreds of your closest running friends to hit the trails at their "Flirt with Dirt" 5K, 10K, and Dirty Duo events this Saturday morning at Maybury State Park!
The Flirt with Dirt race events mark the second installment of RF Event's "GOAT Trail Series," one of our featured adventure challenges for Summer 2023. Don't worry if you missed the season opening back in April - "Flirt" marks only the second of five qualifying events for the series, so trail runners still have plenty of races left to make their mark on the leader board. We'll see you all at the starting line!
3. Celebrate Detroit's MTB Community at the Milford Bike Fest
June 3rd | Milford, Michigan | 9 a.m.
Sponsored by our friends at the Motor City Mountain Biking Association, the Milford Bike Fest and its legendary "Century Challenge" represents the largest celebration of southeast Michigan's growing mountain biking community. The festival occurs in Milford because of the trail town's central location to five world-class single track mountain biking trails and features live music, complementary drinks, food discounts, and hundreds of your new favorite riding buddies.
The heartbeat of the festival, however, centers around the completion of the Century Challenge: a continuous MTB ride that covers THE ENTIRETY of all five trail systems that are readily accessible from Downtown Milford. Yup, a total distance of over 100 miles in a day. These trail systems include the Milford Trail, Highland State Recreation Area, Hickory Glen, Proud Lake State Recreation Area/the Kensington Connector, and Island Lake State Recreation Area. We have biked each of these trail systems independently, and each one packs one hell of a punch. So, the thought of conquering all five in a single day...yeah, that's definitely one way to earn a post-ride beer!
4. Run the Huron at the Dexter-Ann Arbor Half Marathon
June 4th | Dexter, Michigan | 8:30 a.m.
Yes, you read that correctly - primetime season for longer road races has FINALLY returned! This month, you have the opportunity to run one of the most beautiful courses in the Detroit region during the Dexter-Ann Arbor Half Marathon, also known as the "DXA2"or "Run the River" race.
Setting off from the quintessential trail town of Dexter, this race runs parallel to the Huron River as the course meanders through Dexter-Huron Metropark, Delhi Metropark, Barton Park, and finally into the heart of Downtown Ann Arbor. The route follows the new B2B Trail and one of the most scenic portions of the Huron, so runners will be treated to some of the best 13.1 miles of natural running in the entire state. DXA2 also features 10K and 5K event options that run only along the Ann Arbor stretches of the Huron River.
5. Voyage Across the Metroparks
Throughout June | Lake St. Clair and Oakwoods Metroparks
This month, the Huron-Clinton Metroparks invite you to travel both back in time AND across the Metroparks' waterways in their 34 foot replica of a Great Lakes voyageur canoe! These guided paddles will occur intermittently at Lake St. Clair and Oakwoods Metroparks on June 9th, 10th, and 23rd. The experience will provide exploratory and educational opportunities regarding unique wetland habitats, European and early American voyageurs who paddled those canoes during Michigan’s fur trade era, and wildlife viewing for animals like beavers, muskrats, egrets, and swans.
These paddles are offered during the day and select evenings, so you will get the opportunity to see varying wildlife and sunset views. Limited seating is available and all ages must wear a lifejacket.
6. Race Along the Detroit Riverfront
June 10th | Cullen Plaza, Detroit, Michigan | 8:40 a.m.
After a record attendance last year, the Detroit Riverfront Run is back and better than ever for 2023! Join our friends at the Detroit Riverfront Conservancy in actively celebrating their 20th anniversary with family-friendly 5K and 10K events. The race route will showcase the world-famous Detroit Riverwalk, William G. Milliken State Park, and the Dequindre Cut Greenway. All participants will receive a commemorative T-shirt, a participating medal, post race snacks, and other goodies offered at the event!
7. Gaze into the Cosmos at a Dark Sky Preserve
June 17th | Point Pelee National Park | 7:30 p.m.
The days may be reaching peak length as we approach the Summer Solstice this month, but the stars at Point Pelee National Park - the single 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.
8. Embrace the Mud at a Tough Mudder Race
June 17-18th | Oxford, MI | 8:00 a.m.
There comes a certain moment in every race where you mentally give in to the experience. A "point of no return" where you realize that you're locked into running the miles, or swimming the laps, or pedaling up the hill that's in front of you. In military terms, this resiliency-building moment is commonly referred to as "embracing the suck."
For Tough Mudder racers, you're forced to "embrace the mud" right from the get-go - and we strongly advise doing so with open arms and disposable running shoes.
This month, Tough Mudder will host its sole Michigan event on the weekend of June 17th and 18th in Oxford at Koenig Materials. Runners can choose between 5K, 10K, and 15K events that feature obstacles ranging from ice pits, 40-foot nets, cage crawls, and, of course, lots and lots of mud. Embrace the mud. Live this unforgettable outdoor experience.
9. Prove that You're a Triple Threat at the Motor City Triathlon
June 18th | Belle Isle Park | 7:30 a.m.
Completing an outdoor race of any kind typically represents one of the crowning achievements of a month well spent. With a triathlon - especially at a destination as idyllic and well-suited for swimming, biking, and running as Belle Isle Park - you get a 3-for-1 special that's honestly a bucket list-worthy accomplishment. Anyone who's completed such a feat will back us up on this point.
As the temperatures continue to rise well in June, treat yourself to an unforgettable experience by diving into the cool waters of the Detroit River during the Motor City Triathlon at Belle Isle. Believed to be the fastest triathlon course in the U.S., this race represents the perfect opportunity for seasoned athletes to obtain that coveted PR. There's also a duathlon option for this event (swimming omitted) that kicks off at 7:56 am.
10. COME EXPLORE WITH US!
Throughout June (and beyond) | 11 Michigan State Parks and Recreation Areas
After nearly a year of questions, months of negotiations, and weeks of web design/planning, we are ECSTATIC to announce that our brand new Guided Trips platform is FINALLY LIVE! 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 will have the field experience, wilderness first aid training, park knowledge, and outdoor passion that you can - and should - expect from any world-class trail experience.
Yes, this is a shameless plug for our business - but in the immortal words of The Pointer Sisters, we're so excited and we just can't hide it! We will be gradually adding new guided summer 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!
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 firstname.lastname@example.org to discuss Expedition Detroit feature opportunities.