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Top Ten Outdoor Events near Detroit throughout June 2024

Brace yourselves...SUMMER IN DETROIT IS BACK!! With the floodgates wide open for amazing outdoor experiences this June, we have nailed down these "Top Ten Outdoor Events near Detroit" for kicking off your perfect summer spent outdoors!

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"So Dan...what even is there to do around Detroit?"

A close friend currently living in Los Angeles asked me that question a few months back, and I nearly did a spit-take as my initial response.

Instead, I blankly stared back for a few moments, completely lost regarding (1) where to even begin with the wealth of world-class experiences found within the Detroit region and (2) whether this "close friend" was oblivious to the existence of Expedition Detroit and our exclusive focus on Detroit's immense outdoor opportunities.

For example, let's just zero-in on the month of June. As I type these words, on June 4th, several year-defining outdoor events have ALREADY HAPPENED. We're referring to the competitive Flirt with Dirt 5K/10K races, the scenic Dexter-Ann Arbor Half Marathon, a weekend's worth of "International Trails Day" guided events, and the celebrated Milford Bike Fest - a "Pure Michigan Trail Town" qualifying event.

So, yeah - one could say there's something to do around Detroit. In fact, June has so much going on in Detroit's outdoors that it's truly a "blink and you'll miss it" kind of month.

But that's exactly what we're here for: to blaze a trail through the forest of opportunities, guiding you towards an unforgettable month spent outside.

Without further delay, here are the Top 10 Outdoor Events near Detroit going down this June!

1. Race Along the Detroit Riverfront

June 8th | 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 2024! Join our friends at the Detroit Riverfront Conservancy in actively celebrating their 21st 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!

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2. Celebrate the Clinton River and Lake St. Clair during "River Day"

June 8th | Rochester Hills, Michigan | 10:00 a.m.

For many Detroit region outdoor enthusiasts, enjoying the waves of Lake St. Clair and flowing streams of the Clinton River isn't just a favorite past time. No - these waterways are a recreational necessity. The lifeblood of generational boating, paddling, and fishing experiences. Geographic blessings that have forged their way into becoming cultural bedrocks.

In this spirit, the Clinton River Watershed Council launched its inaugural "River Day” celebration 26 years ago. The ensuring quarter century only heightened its supporters' love for their adopted waterways - and their namesake event.

This June, join hundreds of individuals, businesses, community groups, and local governments across the watershed in celebrating the Clinton River and Lake St. Clair at River Day! Featured activities range from nature hikes, fishing derbies, and outdoor education to river clean-ups, invasive species pulls, and native landscaping. Events and programs from a variety of sources within the watershed will be compiled by the CRWC.

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3. Get the Family Hooked on Fishing at the Outdoor Adventure Center

June 8th | Outdoor Adventure Center, Detroit, Michigan | 1:30 p.m.

In honor of the State of Michigan's "Free Fishing Weekend" - yes, no fishing licenses required - the DNR Outdoor Adventure Center is inviting the whole family to come down to the Detroit Riverfront for some free fishin'! This special event will provide opportunities to learn more about the native fish found in Detroit River and how to fish, including insights into how to properly identify fish. This is a catch-and-release fishing program that includes equipment, bait, and instruction, so beginners are welcome!

Children must be accompanied by an adult. Preregistration is required and the cost is $5 per person.

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4. Voyage Across Oakwoods Metropark

June 8th | Oakwoods Metropark | 10:00 a.m. and 1:00 p.m.

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 on June 8th at Oakwoods Metropark. 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.

The voyages will be setting off at 10 a.m. and 1 p.m., so there are ample opportunities to see varying wildlife and scenic river views. Limited seating is available and all ages must wear a lifejacket. 

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5. Protect Your Parks at a DNR Volunteer Workday

Throughout June  | Bald Mountain, Pinckney, and Waterloo State Recreation Areas | 9 a.m.

As outdoor enthusiasts, we should all care immensely for our wildest, most pristine outdoor destinations - as well as for the team at the Michigan Department of Natural Resources that so diligently cares for them. In that spirit, any opportunity to assist the DNR with their operations is an opportunity well-worth seizing.

Fortunately for all of us, the DNR has taken the lead in sponsoring several official "Volunteer Stewardship Workday" events across the Detroit region at the following locations:

Work crew activities will focus on eliminating highly invasive garlic mustard that threatens to take over woodland environments. Rain boots or other waterproof boots are recommended for these events, and preregistration is required.

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6. Prove that You're a Triple Threat at the Motor City Triathlon

June 9th | 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 Park. 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.

7. Embrace the Mud at a Tough Mudder Race

June 15-16th  | 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 15th and 16th 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.

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8. Celebrate Summer at the Longest Day 5K Run

June 20th  | Gunnar Mettala Park, Wixom, MI | 7:00 p.m.

Night owls, rejoice - this is the race for you! In honor of the summer solstice, our #ExpeditionPartner Running Venture is hosting a special "Longest Day 5K" that kicks off at - wait for it - 7:30 IN THE EVENING! That's right, no alarm clocks and questionable coffee cups required for this full-sun event.

The solstice race events technically kick off at 7 p.m. with a 1 Mile "Fun Run" at Gunnar Mettala Park in Wixom. All runners will receive a custom shirt, finisher award, and complimentary refreshments. There will also be special awards for the top male and female finishers in each event, along with top 3 in each age group.



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9. Drop into the MTB Life at a Dynamic Mountain Biking Clinic

June 29-30th  | Brighton Recreation Area | 7:00 a.m. 

If you've ever been interested in launching into the mountain biking life - but, like so many of us, have limited confidence hitting your first trail alone - then Dynamic Cycling Adventures has planned the perfect weekend for you!

This June, head over to Brighton Recreation Area for a weekend full of mountain biking clinics taught by local certified coaches! Saturday will be a fundamentals clinic appropriate for all skills and abilities. Sunday will be an intermediate/advanced clinic to explore more advanced mountain bike skills like cornering, jumping, caps, and rock rollovers. Better yet, combine the two clinics for a great two-day experience to take your riding to the next level!

All participants should bring helmets, appropriate bike shoes (preferably flats), plenty of water, snacks, lunch, and rain gear. This event does require online preregistration. The cost is $249 for one day or $449 for two days.

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10. Gaze into the Cosmos at a Dark Sky Preserve

June 29th  | 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 variable conditions at night, with amenities including extended visitor hours (open until midnight this month), seasonal star charts, and the combined natural beauty of the park and the cosmos.

Who knows...maybe we'll even be treated to another primetime showing of the Northern Lights again this month!

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

June in the Detroit region means adventure - so we're doubling down to offer you EVEN MORE opportunities to #OptOutside and explore your wild outdoors!

Looking to experience June's outdoor magic for yourself? Check out our openings for guided trips covering the Detroit region's most beautiful state parks. This month we will be expanding upon 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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