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Special Events


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Winter Solstice Hike (Sunday, December 20th, 2015; 3pm-5pm) 
Enjoy a beautiful hike along the lakeshore as the winter season begins.  The Winter Solstice marks the turning point when days begin to get longer and the sun starts to return to the Northern Hemisphere.  This program is FREE, but there is a vehicle entry fee for the park.  Email for more details.

Ice Fishing Kids' Seminar (This event has been cancelled for January 16th due to weather.  A new date will be posted if we are able to reschedule.)
The first hour of this seminar will be spent indoors with professional ice fishers for a safety seminar and fishing demonstration.  The next hour will be spent out on the ice with the staff to catch some fish!  Parents are REQUIRED to be on the ice with children.  Registration is FREE, but there is a vehicle entry fee for the park.  Registration can be found online or can be done by sending in the registration form.  Email for more details.

Outdoor Board Game Olympics (Saturday, January 30th, 2016; 10am-2pm) 
Looking for a fun and family-friendly way to combat the winter blues?  Join us for our inaugural Outdoor Board Game Olympics, coinciding with Washtenaw County Parks and Recreation’s Winter Fest.  The Olympics will have you competing in a life-size board game competition & indoor board games, along with fun crafts, a Candy Land scavenger hunt, and a hot cocoa tasting! Compete, conquer the Candy Cane Forest, win prizes and create lasting memories. Cost is $5/person or $18/family of 4 and $2 per additional member.  Registration can be found online or can be done by sending in the registration form.  Email for more details.  A vehicle entry fee for the park will be charged on the day of the event.

12th Annual Ice Fishing Derby (Saturday, February 13th, 2016; 7am-5pm)
Join us for a fun-filled day of competition and prizes! Catch Northern Pike, Blue Gill, Bass and Crappie. Gift cards and other prizes for winners of the “Longest Northern Pike” & “Longest Pan fish”. Bring your own bait. No alcohol, ATV’s or snowmobiles.  Cost is as follows: Pre-registration- $10 for adults, $5 for kids 12 and under, Event Day Registration- $15 for adults, $10 for kids 12 and under. Registration fee includes lunch. Registration can be found online or by sending in the registration form.  Email for more details. A vehicle entry fee for the park will be charged on the day of the event.

Junior Naturalist: Crossing the Wetland! (Saturday, February 13th, 2016; 10:30am-12pm)
For youth ages 8-12 years old. Independence Lake - Meet and park at Blue Heron Bay parking lot.
Winter is a great time to explore a wetland! Join Faye Stoner for this fun adventure of exploring the park’s Cordgrass Marsh. We will start on the east side and make our way through the wetland’s ice and snow to cross to the far side of this interesting habitat. We will look at wetland plants like cat-tail and water dock, look for mink and coyote tracks and more. We will have a small snack halfway across the marsh. Note: depending on weather conditions, hiking plans may be changed.  The program is FREE, but there will be a vehicle entrance fee for the park. Please pre-register with Faye Stoner at, or 734-971-6337 x 334.



Vernal Pools (April 16, 2016; 10am-12pm) 
Learn about the fascinating lives of vernal pool creatures. We will read the book "The Secret Pool" and dipnet for creatures. Meet at the Independence Lake Beach Center. This program is FREE, but there is a vehicle entry fee for the park. Email for more details.


Sturgeon Moon Hike (August 20th; 8pm-10pm)  
This hike will begin with a presentation by REI about all that you need to be prepared to go out on the trail. Then we will hike out after dark, experiencing the park after dark, looking and listening for owls, fireflies and other nocturnal creatures. Email for more details or register online today at



Family Campout (Saturday, September 10th- Sunday, September 11th, 2016; Times TBD)
Are you looking for a great opportunity to spend a night out under the stars with your family? Join us for the Independence Lake County Park Family Campout! You'll enjoy fun activities like zany crafts, relaxing fishing at the dock, intriguing nature programs, delicious s'mores, a sizzling campfire and a scrumptious pancake breakfast! You won't want to miss out on this spectacular event. Cost is $8/person.  Registration is open, please fax, mail or drop off the registration form to save your spot for this great event.  Email Hannah Cooley,, or call (734)449-4437 ex 201, for more details.

Park It and Run! 5k (Saturday, October 1st, 2016; 8:30am)
Come support your local county parks by registering for the Park It and Run! 5K Run/Walk and 1 Mile Kids’ Run/Walk!  The 5K and 1 mile courses are perfect for the beginner, intermediate, and advanced runner/walker!  The course is set in beautiful Independence Lake County Park.  Registration starts March 1st and runs through October 1st.  Special early bird registration prices for those who register by September 17th.  Vehicle admission to Independence Lake County Park required.  Visit the Park It and Run! 5k website for more details.   Email for more details.

The Scarecrow Mystery Dash (Saturday, October 8th, 2016; 10am - 2pm)
Looking for a little mystery this fall? Come to Independence Lake County Park and visit Scarecrow Lane, where you can solve the great mystery of the Blue Heron Scarecrow, and enjoy family friendly activities! Activities include: building your own scarecrow, participating in crafts, conquering the Halloween obstacle course, competing in a spider toss, and enjoying delicious cider & doughnuts. You won’t want to miss out on this WCPARC original event! Paper registration is available, send in your form, or register online today! Email Hannah Cooley,, or call (734)449-4437 ex 201, for more details.

WCPARC Halloween Events! (Month of October)
Dash, Smash or Bash your way to any or all of our family Halloween Events! Independence Lake County Park, Meri Lou Murray Recreation Center and Rolling Hills County Park are hosting 3 festive Halloween events this year! 3 events, 3 locations, 3 times the fun! Each event is $6/person, $22 for a family of 4, $25 for a family of 5, and $2 for each additional person. If you register for 2 events, you'll receive coupons towards a future purchase at your choice of the 3 locations! Register for all 3 events and get even more coupons! Check out the flyer for more information, or send in the paper registration form to register for multiple events!

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