Happy trails, Livingston County

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happy_trails_miHappy Fall!

I have to say this is my absolute favorite time of the year. Summer is great and all, but I can’t get enough of the apple orchards, football Sundays (so I can take a nap during the games), and jeans and sweatshirt weather. One of my other favorite things to do is go for a trail run through some of the great parks Michigan (and more specifically Livingston County) has to offer so I can see really experience the changing fall colors and get back to nature. There is something incredibly calming about being out in the woods, and I always keep my eyes peeled for wildlife.

With that in mind, I wanted to list out some of my favorite places to go. I encourage you to take some time out of your busy schedule and go enjoy what the outdoors has to offer! I can almost guarantee you will feel invigorated and refreshed when you are done ready to tackle the rest of your day after you’ve had a chance to clear your mind in the crisp, fall air.

And if you aren’t in Livingston County, I would encourage you to contact your local park service for a list of trails in your area. They should also be able to tell you what the trail is used for- hiking, mountain biking, pets allowed, etc.

Brighton Recreation Area– This has to be my favorite park in the surrounding area. It has hiking and biking trails that range in distance from two miles all the way up to nine miles. There are beautiful ponds along each trail and you’re likely to see some good wild life. I have even seen owls out there on more than one occasion.

Kensington Metro Park– So while the main attraction is the 8.5 mile paved trail around the lake, you can find beautiful nature trails (running is not allowed on the nature trails though) with amazing wildlife. And if you decide to make the entire trek around the lake, you will see cranes, swans, geese, squirrels and maybe even some deer.

Island Lake Recreation Area – This park has two different hiking/ mountain bike trails you can choose from- six and nine mile distances. On a busy day, you’ll want to move aside for mountain bikers coming up behind you, but it’s well worth the traffic you might encounter.

Howell Nature Center – I am really lucky in that this trail system is located a mile from my house. While the trail system is not very extensive, it makes for a great hike through the woods and you are almost guaranteed to see deer. As you meander through the trails, you’ll come across different obstacles in the woods (you will need to contact the nature center if you are interested in experiencing any of them) such as a climbing wall, zip line and ropes course.

Pinckney Recreation Area– If you are looking for a butt-kicking trail run, this is for you! For those of you who have ever run or mountain biked the Potawatomi Trail in Pinckney, you know exactly what I’m talking about! On any given weekend you can find different races being hosted there such as Dances with Dirt (which I will be running in next weekend-YIKES!), the Woodstock running festival and the half and full marathon weekend. With all of that going on, you know it has to be good!

So find a trail near you and get back to nature. It’s free (sometimes a park pass may be required), pet and child friendly and you’ll feel oh-so good when you are done.

I hope that gives you a few ideas and I would love to hear about any places where you find outdoor adventure regardless of location in the comments below.

Happy trails!