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All Purpose Trail

The stone surfaced multi-purpose trail—the longest in the Metroparks—connects Mallard Lake and Evergreen lake, with a three-mile loop that passes the sand dunes.
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Oak Openings

The largest Metropark is part of an even larger region of global significance.

Located between Whitehouse and Swanton, Oak Openings Preserve takes its name from the surrounding region, which is 23 times larger than the park itself. Still, at 5,000 acres, Oak Openings Preserve is the largest of the Metroparks -- by far.

Oak Openings is home to the nation's only public treehouse village, two campgrounds and two cabins where families can immerse themselves in nature.

Majesty in its natural habitat.

Pioneers trudging through the dense Great Black Swamp named this area the “Oak Openings” because of the widely-spaced oaks dotting vast prairies, which made travel a breeze compared to the quagmire they endured to reach this beautiful oasis.

The natural habitats in the park range from oak savanna to wetlands to vegetated sand. The Nature Conservancy once named the sandy region one of the 200 “Last Great Places on Earth.”

Prickly-pear cactus, wild lupine and sand cherry bloom atop dry, hot dunes just yards away from orchids thriving in low, wet swales.

Oak Openings is a birder's paradise. It is the nesting place of bluebirds, indigo buntings, whippoorwills, Lark sparrows and many other species, as well as an excellent location to see migrating songbirds in the spring.

Stands of isolated pine and spruce planted decades ago are still visible, though many are nearing the end of their life. While not natural to the region, the spectacle of thousands of pines planted in straight rows create an irresistible scene for photographers.

There are more than 70 miles of trail in the preserve, including a network of horse trails that attract riders from around the state, a dedicated cross-country ski trail and a popular singletrack (mountain bike trail).

About the Oak Openings Region

Living in the Oak Openings

The Caretaker's Cottage

Perfect for a weekend get-a-way!
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Buehner Center

Located on Mallard Lake in the heart of Oak Openings, Buehner Center is a newly renovated facility.
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Latest From Our Blog

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Bringing Biodiversity Back Home

Metroparks is working with The Nature Conservancy to ensure quality native plants for a historic wetland restoration project in the Oak Openings Corridor.

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Decompression Drive

Fall is a great time to get out an enjoy the Metroparks. Take a scenic drive through the Metroparks to see the fall colors. Every day of autumn brings new sights, sounds and smells to discover in your Metroparks.

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