Exploring Wayne County’s Crosswinds Marsh
If you enjoy nature as much as we do, and live in the Wayne County area… you’ll want to check out this oasis of nature known as Crosswinds Marsh, right near metro Detroit! You’ll find this beautiful nature preserve offers a good nature fix any time of the year.
Crosswinds Marsh Park Information
In a nutshell, Crosswinds Marsh is a 1000+ acre nature preserve. Here you will find a varied landscape to enjoy on your hiking, horseback riding, or cross-country skiing adventure. There are 7 miles of hiking trails, and 4.5 miles of both horseback riding & cross-country ski trails. The hiking trails (our particular point of interest), offer a wide range of scenes and landscapes to enjoy. You’ll find the pathways taking you through marshlands, meadows, forested wetlands, and even “standard” forests. Not only are the natural views quite beautiful here, you’ll also find ample opportunities to catch a glimpse of a wide variety of wildlife.
History of Crosswinds Marsh
Prior to 1993, the area that is now known as Crosswinds Marsh, was farmland. The park came about because Detroit Metro Airport’s expansion required the destruction of 200 acres of wetland. Per Michigan law, developers who destroy natural wetland must set aside at least 1.5 acres for each acre they destroy. The airport authority purchased the land in order to convert it into wetland.
In 1994, the land was flooded to create a 304 acre marsh. After this happened, multitudes of wetland plants were planted. They also excavated tons of dirt, redirected drainage, created the ponds that exist currently, and park infrastructure was added.
After all the work was completed, the park was opened in 1997. This is a “nutshell” of how one of Wayne County’s newest and most unique parks were created.
It is awesome to have an escape to nature so close by
We discovered this park last July (2019) on an engagement session working for our other photography adventure, Intrigue Photography. Since then we have visited the park numerous times throughout the autumn, winter, and spring. Being nature lovers, it is important for us to be able to enjoy a respite from the city, as often as possible. So, you can imagine our excitement at having such an oasis of nature to explore so close to home.
What you can expect on your hike through Crosswinds Marsh
You’ll find that the trails range throughout the park in various forms. Wide fully groomed paths form a sort of ring, mostly around the perimeter of the park. These typically are the horse/ski pathways. At certain points the hiking trail will converge with the horse trail. If your preference is to be on the more secluded and narrow “traditional” hiking trails, you’ll only need to be on these wider spaces for a short time as you make your way to where your chosen trail will continue on. The pathways through the marshy areas are constructed boardwalks. So, thankfully, you won’t need your waders to get around here.
A great place for a family adventure
In our opinion, Crosswinds is a great place to bring the entire family. The trails generally flat and not very strenuous, and the interpretive points along the trails (mostly near the parking area & marsh) are a good place to provide some learning for the youngsters. You can enjoy fishing in specified areas too. Pets are also very welcome.
We hope you’ve enjoyed our short tour of Crosswinds Marsh! We’ve included some helpful links below, as well as our most recent product from this location.