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Belle Isle Park, Detroit

Categories: Islands, Nature & Parks
Inspirock Rating:
4/5 based on 500+ reviews on the web
Belle Isle, officially Belle Isle Park, is a 982acre island park in the Detroit River, between the United States mainland and Canada. Owned by the City of Detroit, it is managed as a state park by the Michigan Department of Natural Resources through a 30-year lease initiated in 2013. Belle Isle is the largest city-owned island park in the United States and is the third largest island in the Detroit River after Grosse Ile and Fighting Island. It is connected to mainland Detroit by the MacArthur Bridge.The island is home to the Belle Isle Aquarium, the Belle Isle Conservatory, the Belle Isle Nature Zoo, the Detroit Yacht Club on an adjacent island, the James Scott Memorial Fountain, the Dossin Great Lakes Museum, a Coast Guard station, a municipal golf course and numerous monuments. It also previously housed a Nature Center where visitors were able to traverse wooded trails and view wildlife natural habitats, a former Belle Isle Zoo, riding stables and the Detroit Boat Club. The island includes a half-mile (800 m) swimming beach.
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  • Has been cleaned up and restored to a fun, safe place to visit. Great views of Detroit and a GREAT Maritime museum!!! 
  • A great park if the weather permits. The River Walk in Detroit is not far and is one of the areas recently brought back to quality. 
  • It's my understanding that the park has improved greatly since the state of MI took it over. It could be great...... it has great views and great potential. But I would hardly call it "the gem of Detr...  read more »
  • Not sure I should mention this but the Strand, the little beach just down the road from the yacht club is one of Detroit's best kept secrets. Clear, cool water protected from the river's strong currents. Decent sand. Shade trees, picnic tables, and charcoal grills just off the beach itself. Public bathhouse with showers and changing benches. Crowds are quite light. Downtown residents, Wayne State students, hipsters, and a sampling of just about any other Detroit demographic you could imagine.
  • The park is beautiful, well kept. Right between Detroit and Windsor. I go to the Grand prix every year. The race on Belle Isle is unlike any other. The wooded trail makes for enjoyable walks/jogs. The golf range is very open and has a great view near the water. The Detroit boating and yacht club are very welcoming and happy to have you there. I only wish there were more/any water fountains for when it get really hot out.
  • Belle Isle is an amazing island park just alongside Detroit. It is owned by the city of Detroit but managed by the State of Michigan. This State Park offers more than most to visitors. While on the island, you can: go to the beach, go to the aquarium, go the conservatory, see the large European style James Scott Memorial Fountain, go to the Dossin Great Lakes Museum, see the old Belle Isle Zoo and even visit the Detroit Boat Club, where members still have a crew club/team. You can drive or bike around the island, I would not recommend walking.
  • Enjoy your state parks! I hadn't been to Belle Isle in probably 20 years; was pleasantly surprised by the whole island. The aquarium is amazing, if not just for the architecture. The conservancy is the stunning. The old lighthouse is worth a stroll. And don't miss the fountain - it's operational again!
  • I am really happy to see so many people utilizing this amazing park! I think it really surprises people when they visit how many sites and attractions there really are. I highly recommend a visit to the Belle Isle Aquarium or the Conservatory. What is also great is that many of the things to do on the island are free! My main issue with going to Belle Isle is the confusion around entry and the driving path onto the island. It is quite confusing getting around sometimes.
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