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Top Ten Outdoor Events for March 2023

What do you get when you cram all four seasons of the year into 31 days? The month of March in Michigan - the epitome of "shoulder season" recreation where your days can start with a morning cycle and finish with skiing through powder. Here are Detroit's top 10 outdoor events for capitalizing on March's kaleidoscope of recreation opportunities.

Shoulder. Season. There are no better two words for describing what Detroit region recreationists experience in March when trying to plan for a full day of outdoor experiences.

If you're a glass-half-full kind of person, then March should represent your favorite month of the year. For the next 31 days, you will have ample opportunities to run on pristine trails in the morning and ski decent powder in the evening. Or bust out the fat tire bike for snow-covered trails in the early hours before basking in the warmth of a mid-afternoon kayak. Our most coveted parks are still largely vacant of warmer-weather crowds. The most sought-after river routes or campsites available for your recreational leisure. As a cherry on top, most state park drinking regulations don't take effect until April 1st.

The obvious converse of these benefits is that, if timed poorly or conditions-dependent, March will simply suck for you. March can often be too warm to ski, too cold to paddle, too muddy to bike, and too early to hunt. A recreational purgatory for even the most ardent outdoor enthusiasts.

We at Expedition Detroit view ourselves in the former category - the conditions be damned, "there's no such thing as bad weather just bad clothing" kind of crowd. However, especially for the "March Deniers" among us, we thought that we'd curate this list of Top 10 Outdoor Events to help ease your passing from winter into spring.

1. Get a Little Slushy at Mt. Brighton

March 4th | Mt. Brighton Ski Resort | 12 p.m.

Spring skiing tends to hit a little early in the Detroit region...and can switch back to peak-winter conditions in the blink of an eye. Even though a heavy snow storm is on the forecast for Friday, Saturday's temperatures are currently projected for a high of 42º.

Stated differently, perfect conditions for Mt. Brighton's Slush Cup.

The resort invites all of Detroit's ski and snowboard faithful to join it for its biggest spring party of the season. The event will feature a pond skimming competition (ages 7+), live music, an outdoor bar, tons of giveaways and prizes, and more. Participants in the pond skimming event can register the morning of the 4th in the picnic area between 9am - 11am. Registration is first come, fist serve, and the pond-skimming kicks off at 12pm. Helmets are required and the resort's rental equipment is NOT permitted in the pond-skimming competition.

2. Embrace the Snow with a Winter Hike

March 4th | Maybury State Park | 7 p.m.

"It's March now, so winter should be over, right..?" Anyone who has ever had the gall to utter these out loud probably felt an immediate gust of winter wind against their neck - the physical manifestation of Mother Nature laughing at them. Especially in and around Detroit.

Yes, winter in our corner of the Great Lakes can be a very polarizing season. Most recreationists either love it or hate it, just like an ice bath or polar plunge. For us at Expedition Detroit, our biased opinion is that this winter has been underwhelming. We received what, two weeks of "winter wonderland" powder conditions? Just enough snow for one backcountry ski venture?

We fully-endorse the DNR's team at Maybury State Park for embracing the incoming snow with an evening guided winter hike through the park. The hike is appropriate for all ages and pets are welcome (must be on a 6' leash at all times). Light snacks will be provided after the hike. The hike will set off from the trailhead building off the Eight Mile Road entrance, and headlamps are recommended.

3. Pack the Popcorn for a Free Screening of Black Ice

March 5th | DYNO Detroit Climbing | 7 p.m.

Detroit Parks & Recreation, Detroit Outdoors, and DYNO Detroit Climbing invite all of Detroit's recreation community to enjoy a free screening of Black Ice - a documentary that follows a group of African American climbers on an ice climbing expedition to Montana. The screening will also include a presentation by Detroiters that recently completed an upper peninsula ice climbing trip.

This film showcases African American rock climbers from Memphis Rox climbing gym as they set off on an ice climbing adventure with professionals to experience the extremities of the sport. The event will feature a small panel of individuals who have experienced ice climbing, as well as discussions regarding local climbing opportunities.

Doors open at 7 pm and the film will start at 7:30 pm. Don't forget a blanket, pillow, and/or a camp chair to get comfortable on the climbing gym's floor. Oh, and BYOB is permitted at this event. Nice.

4. Earn some Good Luck at a DNR Volunteer Workday

Throughout March | Brighton, Bald Mountain, Waterloo, Highland, Island Lake, and Pinckney State Recreation Areas and Belle Isle State Park | 9 a.m.

Looking to earn karma's respect - and maybe a little good luck - throughout March? There's absolutely more than one way to tip the fates in your favor, but environmental stewardship takes the prize as our favorite means of releasing good vibes back into the universe.