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Top Ten Outdoor Events near Detroit throughout October 2022

Overview of the top ten outdoor events that we're looking forward to during our favorite month of the year. Happy Fall!

October fall colors on the Rouge River near Detroit Michigan
October colors on the Rouge River

I’ve said it once, twice, and possibly a thousand times: nothing beats October. Crisp fall mornings, warm days, screensaver-worthy foliage, less crowded trails and campgrounds, open season for hunting, and premiere road racing…and, finally, the launch of this business! We’re pretty stoked on October to say the least.

Each month, the Expedition Detroit team will do some heavy lifting on researching the best upcoming outdoor events for your viewing and attending pleasure. Full disclosure, we’re only scratching the surface here for October - this month is jam-packed with exciting, relaxing, adrenaline-pumping, and/or educational opportunities for our region to engage in. Whittling this article down to 10 events was a monumental feat, but any of these events will be a highlight of the best month to explore our corner of the Great Lakes. We think you’ll agree.

1. Attend a Michigan DNR Fall Festival

Throughout October | Various State Parks and Recreation Areas

Looking for a festive autumnal getaway? Well, there’s a good chance that if you camp at one of Michigan’s 103 state parks and recreation areas during the month of October, you will find yourself conveniently camping in the midst of a DNR-sponsored Fall Harvest Festival. The tradition that started at Metamora-Hadley State Recreation Area over 30 years ago has spread throughout the Detroit region, with most festival events only open to weekend campers. The festivities include hay rides, pumpkin carving, trick-or-treating, costume contests, haunted trails, nature programs, and horse-drawn carriage rides. Oh, and don’t forget to explore some of the most beautiful trails in the State of Michigan while you’re at it.

2. Get in the Woods for Whitetail Deer Bow Season

Throughout October | Statewide in Michigan

Fall technically starts on September 23rd, but the overwhelming consensus among Michigan outdoorsmen is that the season kicks off the moment that you get into your stand on Bow Opening Day on October 1st. Months of gear preparation, scouting, land maintenance, target practice, and stand assembly have led to this moment. The temperature may be slightly warmer than preferred, but there’s no better place to sit back, watch the changing leaves wave in the wind, and wait for that buck of a lifetime to wander your way.

Be sure to check out our post on this year's hunting regulations before heading into the woods!

3. Run the Probility Ann Arbor Marathon

October 2nd | Ann Arbor, MI | 8 a.m.

October is peak marathon season in Michigan, and the Probility Ann Arbor Marathon provides the perfect event to kick the season into high gear. The race offers several event options, including kids’ races, relay, 5K, 10K, half marathon, 19-mile run, and full marathon events. The highlights of the marathon and half marathon courses include running through the heart of the University of Michigan’s campus and along one of the most scenic stretches of the Huron River. Better yet, the race’s sponsors are committing all of the event’s fundraising efforts to organizations that help and support mental health issues, including free registration entries for participants that are recovering from addiction.

4. Hike and Sip at North 42 Degrees Estate Winery

Throughout October | Essex, ON | 10 a.m.

If a good hike and great wine in peak fall colors don’t get you excited for fall, then you just might be a lost cause. For the rest of us, our friends across the border at North 42 Degrees Estate Winery host a weekly “Hike 42 Degrees” event where hikers and tasters alike can enjoy the winery’s 40 acres of colorful Carolinian forest. The event’s entry ticket includes a guided hike, wine tasting, and an outdoor camp-style gourmet lunch prepared by the Bistro 42 Culinary Team.

5. Raise a Stein to an Oktoberfest Race

October 9th | Royal Oak, MI | 8 a.m.

Prost! It is a scientifically proven fact that beer tastes better after a race, especially when paired with a Bavarian-style pretzel and mustard. Celebrate Oktoberfest in Royal Oak by racing in Kona Running’s Oktoberfest Run, which includes an 800m “fun run,” 5K, and 10K events. The post-race festivities, which naturally consist of live Bavarian music, beer, and snacks, will occur in Royal Oak’s new Centennial Commons park.

6. Hike Under the Full Hunter’s Moon

October 9th | Oakwoods Metropark | 7 p.m.

October’s full moon - appropriately named the “Hunter’s Moon” - will reach its peak on October 9th. Be sure to catch a glimpse of this bright orange moon by heading over to Oakwoods Metropark for a guided “Full Moon Hike” led by a metropark ranger equipped with special astronomical knowledge. We couldn’t resist doing some of our own research, though; it is believed that this full moon came to be called the “Hunter’s Moon” because it signaled the right time to start hunting in relation to the impending winter. We embrace this omen and proudly endorse this moon.

7. Bike, Hike, or Paddle Under the Fall Colors

Peak Fall Colors are October 9th - 29th | Throughout Detroit Region

It’s no secret that October is primetime for fall colors in the Detroit Region. Can you experience the colors through the windows of a car? Technically yes, but we ardently believe that autumn is best experienced with all of your senses - hearing the crunch of the leaves, breathing in the crisp air, and seeing the changing leaves without window smudges. Our short list for the best locations to experience autumn around Detroit include Point Pelee National Park, Belle Isle Park, Hines Park, the Huron RIver near Ann Arbor, and Paint Creek Trail. Let’s be honest though - any of our destinations will be an idyllic location to enjoy the fall colors. We promise not to judge if you bring a pumpkin spice latte along for the journey.

8. Hike with the Departed at Cemetery Tales

October 15th | Willow Metropark | 7 p.m.

With the month of October halfway gone, why not take “Spooky Season” to another level by hiking in a cemetery? The fearless folks at Willow Metropark have you covered - join their annual “Cemetery Tales: Stories from the Passed” hike through Huron Township Cemetery, which is located within the metropark. Your guided trek will also include history and folklore insights regarding the dear departed that you will be hiking amongst. The web advertisement for this event states, in all caps, “THIS IS NOT A HAUNTED ATTRACTION,” but come on… if that doesn’t make you superstitious, it must make you at least a littlestitious…

9. Run the Detroit Free Press Marathon

October 16th | Detroit, MI | 7 a.m.

We are certainly not alone in declaring that the Detroit Free Press Marathon is the crown jewel of the Detroit region’s fall outdoor season. This year is especially noteworthy since the 2022 course features the return of the international border crossings, an aspect of the race which makes it one of the most sought-after races in the world. My absolute favorite racing memory is watching the sunrise while running across the Ambassador Bridge - I don’t know how the race planners perfectly time that year after year, but it’s the icing on the cake for an already bucket list-worthy event.

10. Run a Halloween-Themed Race

Throughout October | Various Locations

We’re admittedly suckers for hometown 5Ks and 10Ks, and themed races that are enjoyable for runners and spectators alike absolutely top our lists. Running in one of the “Halloween races” occurring across Metro Detroit will undoubtedly get you in the holiday spirit, especially if you forgo your typical race attire for the most sweat-resistant costume in your basement. RF Events’ “RUN, SCREAM, RUN” race kicks off the holiday season on October 8th at Wiard's Orchard in Ypsilanti (voted the number one horror attraction in Michigan). Finish Line Runs’ “Michigan Monster Dash” at Kensington Metropark occurs next on October 29th, which includes 1K, 5K, 10K, and half marathon events. Last, Kona Running’s “Wicked Halloween Run” at Maybury State Park closes out Spooky Season racing on the 30th.


We hope to cross paths with you at one or all of these events this month (ok, maybe not bow season - we’re aiming for total isolation while out in the field).

Happy October to you all. We can’t wait to see you out there.


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