New Boardwalk Brings Enhanced Opportunity to Experience Lake St. Clair Wildlife

By: Denise Semion, Communications Manager, Huron-Clinton Metroparks

At a ceremony in Macomb County, Governor Snyder declared July 31st as Lake St. Clair Appreciation Day. With 32 miles of coastline in Macomb County, this declaration brings regional recognition to an area many call home. Whether on land or on the water, there are a variety of ways to enjoy this exceptional body of water. A project at Lake St. Clair Metropark offers new opportunities to explore the wetlands and the wildlife unique to this ecosystem.

The new boardwalk brings visitors right to the nature at the park.

The new boardwalk brings visitors right to the nature at the park.

Lake St. Clair Metropark, one of three Huron-Clinton Metroparks in Macomb County, juts out from the western shore along the lake. The Lake St. Clair Coastal Wetland Restoration Initiative, a $1.27-million project started in 2012, will allow people to explore the park in depth and gain a fantastic educational experience.

The heart of the project is an observation deck and a 700-foot boardwalk that cuts directly through the marshlands, giving visitors the opportunity to see and hear wildlife from within the marsh. Listen for the conk-a-ree of the redwing blackbirds before spring arrives, the chuggarump of a bullfrog early summer, or later on, the chatter of the marsh wrens. With a little luck, you may chance upon migratory birds, such as a green-winged teal, or a great blue heron. Dragonflies, leopard frogs and painted turtles are other wildlife to look out for. Muskrat and mink have not yet been spotted, but will likely show up soon.

The goals of this project include: protection and development of native species, and restoration of the hydrology of the marshlands. Expected to be completed this fall, the initiative also includes continual post-restoration monitoring of vegetation, birds, reptiles, amphibians, water quality and macro invertebrates.

Yoga on the water is one of the many great attractions at LSCMP

Yoga on the water is one of the many great attractions at LSCMP

The new boardwalk is just one of the great attractions at Lake St. Clair Metropark, which also offers an 18-hole, par-3 golf course as well as adventure golf. Visitors can also cool off in the park’s Olympic-sized pool or take advantage of the tennis, shuffleboard, and volleyball courts. The park is also a haven for avid birdwatchers with more than 230 species throughout the year, and the two-mile paved hike/bike trail gives a spectacular view of the lake.

Come check out some of the attractions at Lake St. Clair Metropark. You might be surprised at what you find!

About the Author: Denise Semion, of Plymouth Township, is the communications manager for the Huron-Clinton Metroparks. She’s an avid outdoors person who likes to bicycle, kayak and hike. She enjoys fishing for walleye in the St. Clair Flats area near Harsens Island.

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