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Is Kensington Metropark the BEST Park in Michigan?

Splash Pad at kensington Metropark in Miflord Mi

Discover Kensington Metropark in Milford, MI

If you love to visit Michigan’s beautiful parks, move Kensington Metropark  to the top of your list.

With 4,481 acres of land, painted with rolling hills, wooded hiking trails, a waterpark and two sandy beaches, it’s no wonder Kensington Metropark in Milford, MI is a premier nature park in Metro Detroit. 

This beautiful park receives over two million visitors each year for fun in the sun, recreational winter activities, and everything in between.

It’s a popular spot for golfing, camping and wildlife viewing, and is a true pure Michigan travel gem on the Huron River.  Throughout the park, you’ll find nature trails to explore, ponds to explore and even a charming petting farm where you can see the animals up close.

hiking trails in kensington metropark

About Kensington Metropark 

No matter what you like to do, Kensington has amenities to fit your interests. There’s a lot to do in this special spot tucked away in western Oakland County.

While hiking is a favorite for visitors, those uninterested in hiking the connected trails can get plenty of enjoyment out of other amenities like golfing, disc golfing, boating, or even just relaxing on one of the beaches.

Kids will enjoy the beachside waterpark, the giant splash pad, and big, ADA- accessible playground, too. 

You’ll find a variety of seasonal activities, too, including winter activities like cross country skiing or tobogganing on the sledding hills during cold weather, corn mazes in the fall, and even summer camps for youths. 

Here are some of our favorite things to do at Kensington Metropark throughout the year.

PRO-TIP: The Maple Beach playground is ADA-Acessible, with  rubber safety surfacing, sensory-friendly equipment, transfer-stations onto the playscape, spaces for quiet independent play, and dignity landings on slides. 

Kensington Splash Park

Things to Do at Kensington Metropark

Splash ‘N’ Blast Waterpark 

The kids will love the Splash ‘N’ Blast water playground on the banks of Martindale Beach, near the Kent Lake Rd. exit. This waterpark features two twisting turning water slides and a sprawling splash pad playground, too.

Admission ranges from free to $6 depending on height and are reduced after 5 p.m., which makes this a perfect way to spend a hot summer afternoon with the family without breaking the budget.

PRO-TIP: Love waterparks and splash pads? Use our guide to Michigan’s top waterparks!

Swimming Beaches at Kensington

There are two great beaches for swimming at Kensington: Maple Beach and Martindale Beach. They are both perfect spots to spend the day: you’ll find wide sandy beaches, and velvety green lawns with picnic tables and grills. You’ll find paved paths from the parking lots to the beach, too. 

Kensington Nature Center

Stop by the Kensington Nature Center to get acquainted with local fauna at this wildlife refuge. The Nature Center building has some fun kids activities available and is home to some special animals, including Ranger the Red-Tailed Hawk.

Then walk the half-mile trail loop while Sandhill Cranes share the trail with you. Bring some bird seed any time you go, because even in the cold months, winter birds are ready to land on your hand to grab a snack.

Kensington farm center  at Kensington Metropark

Farm Center

Meet some cute farm animals and learn about rural life and agriculture at the Kensington Metropark Farm Center. Farm staples like chickens, goats, sheep, cows, horses and more call the Farm Center home and make great educational ambassadors.

Aside from animals, there’s a lot to see on the farm, including a poultry house, a “green” building made completely of natural materials, a blacksmith shop, and even a 150 year-old restored barn.  

18-Hole Regulation Golf Course

The first golf course on Huron-Clinton Metroparks soil is here at Kensington. Extending 6,624 yards, this course features wide open fairways and soft greens that make it the perfect challenge for both novice and avid golfers. The back 9 runs along beautiful Kent Lake with spectacular views of the water while you finish up the course. 

Black Locust Disc Golf Course

Located on the wooded hilly terrain of Kensington, the Black Locust Disc Golf Course is a favorite for disc golfers throughout southeast Michigan. Disc golfing is a great way to get outside and into nature while practicing a skill or just having fun. Play the original 27 holes that guide you through all the natural beauty found in the park all for just $3 for the day. 

Boat Launch at Kensington Metropark

Boat Rental

Taking a boat out onto the water provides a unique view of the park, plus boating is just pure Michigan fun. Paddle boats, kayaks, and more are available to rent at the boat rental building near Maple Beach. Life jackets are provided with the rental and must always be worn while on the water.

Renting watercraft ranges between $7 to $17 per hour with a $30 deposit. 

Boat Launch

If you have your own boat, there are two boat lanches to put your own craft into the water. 

Island Queen II Tour

Hop on board the Island Queen III for a charming cruise on the lake. See panoramic views all around the lake along the islands and bays while stories about the history of Kensington Metropark are shared.

Get a unique up close view of the park’s animal inhabitants, including water fowl like Canada geese, swans, mallards, and cormorants; during hot summers, you may even see turtles basking in the sunlight. 

Horseback Riding 

You can bring your horse to ride along 19-miles of marked equestrian trails; the various terrain accommodates all skill levels. Pick up trail maps at the Equestrian Staging center at the north end of the park.

Wildwing Lake

Hike one of Michigan’s trails around Wildwing Lake and take in some spectacular natural scenery. The Wildwing trail is a 1.9-mile loop trail around the lake, where you’ll encounter a variety of birds, including sandhill cranes and others. 

Other popular trails for hiking in Kensington include the Fox Trail and Deer Run Trail. The Kensington Metropark traisl are some of the prettiest trails in southeast Michigan.

winter at kensington metropark

Winter At Kensington Metropark

Ice Fishing 

Kent Lake near the West Boat launch is a popular spot for ice fishing in the winter.  Winter catches include bluegill, black crappies, yellow perch, and the occasional northern pike. Watch the Kensington website event calendar for information on the Learn to Ice Fish program. 

Ice Skating

Bring out your ice skates and glide onto the small rink at the Orchard Picnic area. It is located next to the picnic shelter with a small walkway mat from the shelter to the rink.  The rink is open when ice conditions permit.

Hay Rides and Sleigh Rides 

Head over to the Kensington Farm Center, where you can take a weekend hayride (or sleigh ride) through scenic farm and forest land along the Huron River.  Private charters and bonfire rentals are also available. You can find more places to take a sleigh ride in our guide to 14 Top Michigan Sleigh Rides. 

Cross Country Skiing 

Grab your skis and glide across more than 12 miles of groomed trails at Kensington Metropark. Coast past snow-glazed fields, frozen ponds and beautiful deciduous forest. Beginner and intermediate-level trails traverse the park and golf course.  Cross-country ski equipment rentals are available at the Ski Center, located at the Golf Course Starter Building.

Sledding at Kensington Metropark

Head for the hills when the snow flies in Michigan. You’ll find a variety of hills, from beginner to advanced, at this park.  You’ll even find a “bunny hill” lined with padded trees for the youngest sledders. The toboggan runs, sledding hills and beginner snowboarding hills are located at Orchard picnic area. This area offers a nearby picnic shelter with tables and grills.  

southern michigan hiking trails

If You Go To Kensington Metropark: What to Bring

Walking Shoes

There are a lot of hiking and running trails, playgrounds, recreation areas at Kensington, which means there’s a lot of room to walk around. Bringing appropriate shoes for activity is a good idea. 

Swim Gear

Whether you’re stopping by the water park or taking a dip in the lake, swimwear is a must-bring on a hot summer day at Kensington Metropark. 

Bike (with Lock)

Riding a bicycle along a paved hikebike trail or other biking trail is a great way to get around the park. Just make sure you have a lock to keep it safe whenever you hop off for a break. 

Cash

Having money on hand is always good. Use cash to pay for the park entry fee as well as any associated activity fees, rental payments, and even tips if you decide to board the Island Queen III.

Water and Snacks

A day full of activity needs fueling. Staying hydrated is important, so be sure to pack plenty of water. Snacks will help keep your energy up to keep enjoying your day out in the park. 

14 Top beaches in Metro Detroit

Detroit-Area Beaches

Kensington is three times the size of Belle Isle Park in Detroit, and has two beaches on Kent Lake along the Lower Huron River.  Belle Isle beach is still a great beach worth checking out, though. Island Lake, located nearby, is also home to a beautiful beach for swimming and splashing. 

You might also want to explore the beaches at nearby Proud Lake , Stony Creek Metropark, or Metro Beach on Lake St Clair  too. Use our Guide to 14 Top Detroit-Area Beaches, as well as the My Michigan Beach Beach map for more great places to travel. 

Kensington Metropark F.A.Q.

Where is Kensington Metropark located? 

2240 W Buno Rd, Milford, MI 48380

How Much Does it Cost to Go to Kensington Metropark?

For $10 a day and an annual pass available, Kensington is packed with plenty of fun for the whole family.

What are Kensington Hours of Operation?

Kensington Metropark is open from 6 a.m. to 10 p.m. daily.

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About the Author-

About the Author-

Bella DiMascio is a Content Editor for mymichiganbeach.com. She grew up in the Detroit suburb of Westland. She later attended Western Michigan University in Kalamazoo where she majored in Communication Studies and minored in English: Writing. Creative writing has been a hobby and interest of Bella’s since she was in elementary school. She is thrilled to be using her talents to highlight the Great Lakes State. Outside of writing, Bella enjoys getting outside with her two Australian Shepherds, playing video games, and binging shows on Netflix.