When we think of Michigan, we think of auto manufacturers and music. Most specifically, the "Motown Sound" but Detroit music casts a very big shadow, big enough to cover Eminem, Ted Nugent, and Smokey Robinson. But Michigan is more than cars and popular music.
Michigan is also a sportsman's paradise. The people of Michigan love to hike and hunt and fish. They love the outdoors, even when the temperature drops so low that they actually have to cut holes in the ice to fish. In the outer suburbs of Detroit, you will find Oakland County, largely rural county that contains a virtual gem - Orion Oaks Park.
Orion Oaks Park is nearly 1,000 acres of largely untouched wilderness. The land includes meadows, forests and lots of hills, which makes it a magnet for mountain bikers, cross-country skiers, and backpackers. But the most notable feature of the park is a 90-acre lake with no cabins, condos or human habitation of any kind. Orion Oaks is a great place to get lost.
One of the best parts of the park to get lost in is the dog park. In 2000, the county set aside 24 acres as a dog park. They fenced the total area and subdivided it further. There is an enclosure for small dogs with a separate secure entrance.
While there are paved trails in the Dog Park, the area is left pretty much as nature intended. There are a lot of poop bags and trash cans around the park, and there is a dock that extends out to the lake. The dock is for people so no dogs allowed on the dock.
But the best part of the Orion Oaks Dog Park is at the lake. There is a long dock extending into the lake. The area around the dog park is dedicated only to dogs, no people allowed. But you are allowed to sit on the dock while watching your best friend swim her little heart out.
As for the dog people, there are benches throughout the park, and a small picnic area, with a covered pavilion. But the rest of the park is dedicated to the dogs. And they will not be disappointed.