Michigan's Belle Isle is growing in popularity and putting Detroit back on the map for many visitors. 

With snow surrounding us during an (almost) Michigan winter, it doesn't hurt to begin dreaming and planning of visits to some of Michigan's 102 impressive State Parks. Belle Isle Park became an official state park of Michigan in 2014, and since then the Island has been doing a huge push to increase the public's awareness of all that the park has to offer, as well as improve their upkeep of the beautiful sites you can see when you visit.

 

In 2015 alone, nearly one thousand Detroit area visitors went to Belle Isle for the first time, according to a DNR Press Release. They are expected to see an increase in local and out of area visitors this year. It is easy sometimes to let your local "attractions" lose interest because they are so accessible, but it may be time to rethink that. As the DNR lists on their website, Belle Isle has many attractions to offer their visitors. From a golf range, or nature zoo to an aquarium with more than 1,000 species of fish, Belle Isle is a State Park unlike any other. It's time to take advantage of some of Michigan's hidden gems, don't miss out and plan your trip this spring!

 

Fun Facts About Michigan's Belle Isle

  • Belle Isle was Michigan's 102nd (and most recent) State Park (That means if you have a recreational passport on your car, you can get into the park no charge!)
  • In efforts to join the movement towards leaving smaller footprint left on the environment, Belle Isle has converted previously tattered and inefficient light fixtures to new LED technology  (High five for that Detroit!)
  • Belle Isle became a part of the U.S. property in 1973 at the end of the Revolutionary War, as it sits in the Detroit River, which marks the boundary between Canada and the U.S.
  • The Pottawatomie Indians were the first to live on the island which at the time they called " White Swan ."
  • There used to be a population of 400 deer on the island, which amounts to nearly running into a deer every 2 acres on the island! (Many of these were transported elsewhere, some remain at the Nature Zoo)

 

With a rich history like this that keeps on going, you have to add Belle Isle to your 2016 trips! We want to know if you have been to Bell Isle? Did you like it, and would you go back? Maybe you know of some gems in Michigan that are overlooked, feel free to let us know in the comments!