Crosswinds Marsh Park Photos & Trail Information

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.

Colorful Crosswinds Marsh trail in fall

Two swans enjoy a swim at Crosswinds Marsh in Fall

The end of the boardwalk. Crosswinds Marsh in Autumn

One of the boardwalk trails winding through Crosswinds Marsh.

Crosswinds Marsh in Autumn
Color abounds in the Fall Months at Crosswinds Marsh in Wayne County Michigan.

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.

A snow-less winter scene at Crosswinds Marsh.

Snowy pathways at Crosswinds Marsh

Late winter on the trails at Crosswinds Marsh

A winter sunset at Crosswinds Marsh in Metro Detroit

The sun sets on Wayne County Park's Crosswinds Marsh.

Winter pathways at Crosswinds Marsh
These winter shots were taken a couple days apart! A typical display of Michigan weather not quite knowing what it wants to do.

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.

Late Winter at Crosswinds Marsh

Moonrise at Crosswinds Marsh
A moonrise near the border of Crosswinds Marsh. Normally I would be kinda miffed about the electrical towers. But, in this case, they rather added to the scene so I composed the shot to include them.
A typical wetlands trail at Crosswinds Marsh
This is a pretty typical example of the wetlands trails at Crosswinds. This one is bordering the forest on the left with the marsh/wetlands on the right.

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.

Our Collie Dogs at Crosswinds Marsh
Duncan & Anoush pause during one of our hikes at Crosswinds.
Jess & our pups on a Crosswinds Marsh boardwalk.
Jess and our pups patiently wait for me to “be done” with shooting.

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.

Get a copy of our newest Crosswinds Marsh print!

Wayne County Michigan’s Crosswinds Marsh Page




Nothing in the world is more exciting to a photographer than, the perfect light at the perfect moment. However, if this convergence of events happened all the time, perfect light might become imperfect, and the amazing could become mundane. Since the perfect scene is dictated by nature... a travel photographer must make the best use of the opportunity at hand. Attempting to make the mundane, extraordinary with creativity and a variety of techniques. This pretty much sums up my experience with nature and scenic photography. Which forces me to do my best to make the most of the opportunities at hand... regardless of what mother nature has planned. I look forward to sharing our adventures in Michigan, and showing off the beauty of our mitten-shaped corner of the world. While also sharing some of my knowledge of photography, which might be helpful in your adventures.

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