After five years of construction, the Michigan Department of Natural Resources Outdoor Adventure Center in downtown Detroit is now open!
The Outdoor Adventure Center – located across from William G. Milliken State Park and Harbor at the intersection of Atwater Street and the Dequindre Cut Trail – brings “Up North, Downtown” through hands-on, interactive exhibits and experiences about Michigan’s out-of-doors in the three-story, 41,000-square-foot indoor facility, according to the Michigan DNR.
The Outdoor Adventure Center invites guests to enjoy an up-close indoor exploration of Michigan’s great outdoors. The center features a 40-foot-tall, manmade, interactive tree; off-road vehicle, bicycle, kayak, canoe and fishing-boat simulators; a life-size beaver lodge and eagle’s nest; an indoor archery range; a 3,000-gallon freshwater aquarium; a man-made waterfall with a 36-foot drop; and plenty more to see and experience.
“The Outdoor Adventure Center offers another Pure Michigan, natural resources experience along the Detroit riverfront,” said DNR Director Keith Creagh. “With natural resources playing such a vital role in quality of life, families are encouraged to explore the center and then head outside to experience our state’s natural resources, including its many outdoor recreational opportunities along the riverfront right in downtown Detroit.”
Linda Walter, director of the Outdoor Adventure Center, said that the goal of the center is to inspire, educate and connect people with Michigan’s rich array of natural resources.
“By encouraging up-close, hands-on experiences, we strive to equip people to set out on their own adventures to explore our state’s many outdoor recreational opportunities, including hiking, camping, fishing, hunting and trapping,” Walter said.
While visiting the Outdoor Adventure Center, Walter said that children actually can climb around and through the giant tree, explore a cave, walk behind a waterfall or sit in an airplane similar to those used by the DNR for fire-spotting over dense forests.
Regular business hours are 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Wednesdays, Thursdays and Fridays; 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturdays, and noon to 5 p.m. Sundays. The facility is closed on Mondays and Tuesdays. Look for special days each month, beginning in August, when “Wild about Wednesday” programs will offer extended hours, special programs and/or complimentary admission.
Admission is $5 for adults, $3 for seniors (age 62 and older), $3 for children ages 2-12 and free for children less than 2. Annual family memberships also are available for $50.
For more information on the Outdoor Adventure Center, including location, normal hours of operation, interactive exhibits and school group visits, go to www.michigan.gov/oac.
Top Photo: Climb aboard an airplane and see how the DNR uses planes to fight wildfires, monitor and manage wildlife like moose and elk, and find trees being damaged by invasive forest pests.