Mark it on your calendar National Picnic Day is Thursday, April 23, 2015. It is time to think spring. Warm weather, sunshine, the smell of flowers, birds chirping, and outdoor activities are all part of the spring festivities. There are two things I am most excited for: trail running and being outside. Here is a list of places to explore for fun adventures and nice picnics.
Macomb Orchard Trail
24 Mile Road and Dequindre in Shelby Township
Richmond, MI 48062
(586) 493-5737
www.machomborchardtrail.machombgov.orgCost: free

This trail has beautiful scenery: open fields, fruit orchards, densely populated wooded areas, running water and much more. This trail is 24 miles long and is great for walking, running, biking or skating, the surface is relatively flat with asphalt and concrete pathways. There are three entrances to this park: in the heart of Richmond, Clinton River Trail and Paint Creek Trail. Entering from the eastern side is the best for a picnic because the park has restrooms, benches, gazebos and picnic tables. It is a perfect setting for spending time with family and friends.

Related: Best Picnic Spots In Detroit

Detroit Zoo
8450 West 10 Mile Road
Royal Oak, MI 49067
(248) 541-5717
www.detroitzoo.orgCost: Adults $14, Children $10

What is better than having a picnic next to lions, tigers, bears and maybe penguins, too? The zoo is family-friendly and great for all ages. Enjoy the outdoors while walking through all of the mammals, birds, amphibians, invertebrates and reptile exhibits. Relate to the animals by getting involved in their world, understand what makes each animal unique, see what they eat, witness how they play, talk to the animals when they are out socializing or be quiet when they are sleeping. This is an educational and memorable day for everyone at the zoo.

Sterling State Park
2800 State Park Road
Monroe, MI 48162
(734) 289-2715
www.michigandnr.com/parksandtrailsCost: $7 day pass

Sterling State Park is a perfect place to spend a day. Take a walk along the beach of Lake Erie, go fishing, hike six miles of trails, ride bikes on pavement, and/or watch the wildlife in their habitat. This is a safe place for everyone. When activities are completed, meet back at the picnic area for a delightful lunch and share experiences and pictures from a fun-filled day.

Related: Best Spring Break 2015 Destinations Near Detroit For Families

Belle Isle Conservancy
300 River Place Drive, Suite 2800
Detroit, MI 48207
(313) 331-7760
www.belleisleconservancy.org/visit-the-parkCost: free

Learn about history for a day, or have fun at the conservatory, greenhouse, aquarium, zoo, ships and museum. Belle Isle has almost every attraction imaginable in one location. Take time to enjoy the structures and monuments. Explore the oldest aquarium in North America and see what the cypress tank-lined walls contain. Enjoy the Borreal Wetlands Forest and finding special species such as the White Trout Lilies in springtime, and enjoy all the other wonderful opportunities that can be experienced in Belle Isle.

Clark Park Coalition
1130 Clark St.
Detroit, MI 48209
(313) 841-8534
www.clarkparkdetroit.comCost: free entry (activities may be an extra charge)

Clark Park Coalition allows families to promote growth, confidence and talent through various opportunities. The hope is to educate, inspire and develop skills for children so they can become well-rounded and successful adults. Recreational activities such as athletics, arts and crafts, technology, fitness and nutrition, horticulture, employment and volunteering opportunities are available. Spend a day at the park, or sign up for an activity and enjoy weeks of fun. This is a family friendly community that teaches and inspires children to dream.

A feisty and intelligent young woman who resides in Grand Rapids, Michigan. When she isn’t hitting the pavement digging up stories, she enjoys music, sports, animals, and having fun with friends and family. Contact her through the following: jenn.straka@gmail.com, Examiner.com, or be bold and read 365withJenn.blogspot.com.
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