Alright, it may have snowed yesterday, BUT the Detroit region's fall outdoor events calendar is STILL HEATING UP for an epic November! Here is the Expedition Detroit rundown of the top ten outdoor events that we're the most excited for this month. Happy Turkey Month!
We're stating it for the record: November is the most underrated month for outdoor recreation throughout the entire year.
While some recreationists may be tempted to view this month as a "shoulder season" - the transitory guide from the peak autumn colors of October to the fresh snowfall of December - we are immensely excited about the outdoor action that you can only experience during November, especially when it comes to these 10 premiere outdoor events.
In the spirit of Thanksgiving, we would like to publish that we're extremely thankful for the hosts and vendors that brave the cooling temperatures to stage these end-of-season events. We invite you to share in our gratitude by joining in with one, two, or all of these top 10 outdoor events for November!
1. Burn Through the Trails at the Bonfyre Trail Fest
November 4th | Waterloo State Recreation Area | 10 a.m.
The trails at Waterloo Recreation Area will be set ablaze with excitement this upcoming Saturday morning during the Bonfyre Trail Fest! Bonfyre represents the last event of RF Event's fantastic "GOAT Trail Series" for the 2023 season, and will include 5, 10, and 18-mile trail races. The perks of this trail runner's dream event go far beyond the post-race beer garden, live music, and roaring bonfire - we at Expedition Detroit simply can't wait to run the famous, roller-coaster DTE Energy Foundation Trails again at Waterloo. We will see you across the finish line and at the bonfire - post-run beer naturally in hand.
2. Run the Stony Creek Marathon
November 5th | Stony Creek Metropark | 8 a.m.
Marathoners, rejoice! While most regions close up shop for racing season in October, the Detroit area has saved one of its best and most scenic for the tail-end of the year. Stony Creek Metropark will host its annual marathon event this Sunday morning, which also includes 5K, 10K, Half-Marathon, and 50K events. So whether you're trying to squeeze in one last 5K before the real end of the season - or have a crazy 50K itch that needs to be scratched for you wild ultra runners - the Stony Creek Marathon has the perfect race for you!
3. Hear a Hoot along a Special Owl Hike
November 10th | Lake St. Clair Metropark | 7 p.m.
Late fall in the Detroit region and its earlier sunsets provide incredible opportunities for wildlife viewing. Owls are especially active this time of year, and their melodic hoots and striking silhouettes complete the ambience of an idyllic evening in the woods. There's a slight catch, though - actually viewing these reclusive predators in their natural habitat provides a challenge in itself.
Fortunately for all of us, the team at Lake St. Clair Metropark has dialed in their owl-sighting capabilities - and they're willing to share this most impressive of skillsets with the rest of us. On November 10th, head over to the metropark for their special "Owl Hike." The event will include a guided hike through Lake St. Clair Metropark's trails as the rangers call and listen for Great Horned and Eastern Screech owls. The event also includes a bonfire back at the Nature Center.
4. Run for the Fudge of It at the Kona Chocolate Run
November 12th | Northville, Michigan | 9 a.m.
Kona Running Company's motto is "Run for the Fun of It." Well, for this uniquely-chocolate themed final race of their 2023 season, Kona is inviting runner's of all skillsets to run for the fudge of it during its annual Kona Chocolate Run event in the beautiful "Trail Town" of Northville, Michigan. Sponsored by Guernsey Farms Dairy, this 5K/10K race will allow - no, encourage - runners to indulge their sweet tooth with a post-race chocolate bar, complete with hot chocolate, chocolate milk, cookies, pastries, candies, coffee, and more.
5. Get in the Woods for Whitetail Deer Opening Day
November 15th | Statewide in Michigan
Waking up on November 15th in Michigan is always an interesting experience. No, you're not hearing a delayed Fourth of July party or a Civil War reenactment kicking off at 7:30 a.m. on a Wednesday. You are in fact witnessing the "official-unofficial Michigan state holiday" - the opening day of whitetail deer firearm season. The most celebrated day of the year for hunters and the single most important day of the year for the Michigan DNR's conservation efforts. A festive experience that we at Expedition Detroit encourage all of our readers to participate in, even if that's just by purchasing a tag to financially support the DNR's operations and protection of our precious natural resources.
Planning on heading into the woods this year? Please take a minute or two to review our "Opening Day Checklist" article prior to the 15th. For any non-hunters that plan on venturing into the woods on the 15th, please wear blaze orange outer clothing - especially if you plan on trekking through the woods around sunrise or sunset hours. Even if hunting is not permitted along your typical hiking route, the gun opener has a unique ability to draw out hunters of varying degrees of experience and ethics. Be safe, be seen.
6. Celebrate National Hiking Day
November 17th | Throughout Detroit Region
Did we need the prompt of a national holiday to celebrate hiking? No, of course not. Are we stoked that one exists and will therefore celebrate excessively? Yes, of course we will!
In honor of the wealth of hiking opportunities that we have in our region, we at Expedition Detroit plan on hosting several guided hikes throughout the Detroit region on National Hiking Day. We will also be offering an exclusive discount code for ALL GUIDED TRIPS during the week of November 12th through 18th. Stay tuned..!
REMEMBER: Please wear blaze orange on your National Hiking Day adventures since the holiday comes during the middle of the regular firearm season in Michigan).
ENJOY A GUIDED HIKE WITH US AT PROUD LAKE RECREATION AREA FOR
NATIONAL HIKING DAY!
7. Gaze into the Cosmos at a Dark Sky Preserve
November 18th | Point Pelee National Park | 6 p.m.
Before the frenzy of the holidays starts to kick in, why not treat yourself to a little preventative self-care by staring up into the great beyond? Well, fortunately for us, Point Pelee National Park in Ontario comes in clutch yet again as our region's sole Dark Sky Preserve - the ideal location for gazing into the cosmos and tuning out the world for an extraterrestrial outing. Point Pelee's "Dark Sky Nights" are especially catered towards star-gazing tourists willing to brave the dropping temperatures at night, with amenities including extended visitor hours, seasonal star charts, and the combined natural beauty of the park and the cosmos.
8. Run in the Gobbler Gallop Hometown Series
November 25th | Milford, Michigan | 8 a.m.
Let's be honest - even the most hardened runners enjoy some well-earned rest & relaxation sometimes, especially when it comes to holidays. That being said, missing out on a tradition like a Thanksgiving weekend run also doesn't sit well with holiday-orientated outdoor enthusiasts. If only it were possible to sleep in on Thanksgiving Day, watch the Lions, enjoy your Thanksgiving meals, and THEN burn off the calories with a festive run.
Call it a Thanksgiving miracle: our friends at Running Venture have crafted this EXACT holiday scenario for us all to experience! With Thanksgiving and Black Friday in the rearview mirror, head over to Downtown Milford on Saturday, November 25th, to run in RV's "Gobbler Gallop" race series. This year's series includes 1 mile, 4 mile, AND double event opportunities that wind out through downtown Milford, onto the beautiful Milford Trail, and finish back on Main Street. All event registrations include race swag like a custom beanie, medal, and refreshments. We'll see you at the starting line!
EXCLUSIVE OFFER: All Expedition Detroit readers will receive 10% OFF OF THEIR RACE REGISTRATION with the code "ExpeditionDetroit"! Don't miss this opportunity to enjoy a fantastic event, explore one of our region's best "Trail Towns," AND save a few dollars while you're at it!
9. Express your Gratitude for our State Lands by Giving Back
Throughout November | Various Michigan State Parks and Recreation Areas
If you're reading this article, then we'd be willing to bet that you've enjoyed our Michigan State Parks and Recreation Areas thoroughly during "peak season" this year. In fact, you're probably still enjoying our trails that are decorated with brilliant foliage - and we hope that you'll join us in continuing to explore them well into the winter months.
Our collective ability to enjoy year-round access to Southeast Michigan's pristine trails relies heavily on the work of a small group of individuals. Shockingly small.
This Thanksgiving season, let's express our immense gratitude for their tireless efforts by volunteering at a DNR-led "Volunteer Stewardship Workday" event. The DNR will be hosting 5 across the Detroit region this November: Highland Recreation Area (November 4th), Bald Mountain Recreation Area (November 11th), Island Lake Recreation Area (November 12th), Belle Isle Park (November 18th), and Pinckney Recreation Area (November 19th). Work crew activities will focus on piling brush, stacking firewood, cutting invasive shrubs, and restoring wetlands. Rainboots or other waterproof boots are recommended for these events, and preregistration is required.
10. Hike under Fall Colors and Starlit Nights with Expedition Detroit!
Throughout November | 11 State Parks and Recreation Areas
The tail end of peak fall colors. Brilliant starlit nights. And a near absence of crowds. November may be the most underrated opportunity to experience Detroit's most beautiful, adventurous, and accessible trails. 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, including our special trips like night hiking safaris, 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!
Happy November to you all - we can’t wait to see you out there!
This article contains sponsored content for which Expedition Detroit has received compensation.
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