By RENEE SUMMERS, A&E Editor
Spring is here finally and it’s time to get out and enjoy the warm weather. Fortunately, for those of us who love the outdoors, we have Hines Park Trail. Southeastern Michigan is loaded with all sorts of gorgeous parks and recreation areas, some of which are managed locally and others by the state. Hines Park Trail, also known as Edward Hines Drive, is managed by the Wayne County Parks Department.
Hines Park Trail is a meandering trail which runs over 17 miles in length from Dearborn, west through Livonia and Plymouth, all the way to Northville. Along the way there are numerous recreation areas, which allow for softball, soccer, picnicking, and even fishing. The trail is a haven for joggers and bicyclists and even those who take advantage of the many miles of nature trails. Hines Park Trail is also home to the Wayne County Dog Park. The dog park is located within the Hawthorn Ridge Recreation Area, west of Merriman Road. All dogs must be registered with at the Wayne County Parks Office and be up to date on vaccinations. You can find out more at www.waynecounty.com.
The setting is nature, nature and more nature as visitors can observe raccoons, skunks, geese and even deer. The trail follows along the Rouge River, which connects to Newburgh Lake, Wilcox Lake and Waterford Pond. Ducks, swans and other varieties of waterfowl are both residents and frequent visitors, particularly during migration times.
Prior to European settlement, the Rouge River was a travel way for both Native Americans and fur trappers. Hines Drive as we know it today was built in 1949 on land which was donated by Henry Ford. It is named after Edward Hines, who was at that time the head of the Wayne County Road Commission.
In November and December, Hines Drive is home of the Wayne County Lightfest, an annual holiday light show. Since 2011, the area has been host to Cruisin’ Hines, one of many area classic car shows and cruises. This year the event will be held on Aug. 27, 2017. For more information, visit www.cruisinhines.com.
Hines Park Trail has lots to offer. It is an example of preservation and careful management of a natural area and its wild inhabitants. Get on your bike or grab your jogging shoes and escape from the city for a day and see for yourself how serene Hines Park Trail can be. You can download a map of the area at www.trailsmichigan.com/Hines-Park-Trail.