Outdoor adventure can be a simple as a few minutes on the park bench. Dexter has 6 parks within the city limits to use for a short stroll, some relaxation on a bench taking in the sights and sounds, or letting the kids burn off some carbs on the playground.
I was surprised to learn we had 6 parks. When I heard this a few weeks ago, I wanted to see for myself and took a relaxing Sunday morning bike tour of our city parks.
Here are the 6 city jewels with a brief description and their location.
Immediately behind LaFontaine Chevrolet and Busch’s, on both sides of Ryan Dr, is Community Park. This little known gem is tucked away out of sight within Dexter’s City limits and at 5 acres, is almost as large as the more visible and better known Mill Creek Park.
Community Park is designed as a neighborhood park featuring a pavilion, picnic tables and grills, walking trail, benches, basketball court, fun hoops, swings, and other play equipment for the kids. Portable toilets are available for public use.
First Street Park, aka Horseshoe Park
Ironically, you’ll find First Street Park on Second St near Edison St along the railroad tracks. At just under an acre in size with tables and grills, the park is designed for picnicking with the familiar clank of horseshoes being pitched in the background. Portable toilets are available in the summer for public use.
On the corner of Ann Arbor St and Edison St, by the Senior Center, is the quarter-acre Lion’s Park. The park was designed to be an accessible park with playground equipment for the kids. The gazebo was donated by the Dexter Lions Club and provides nice and relaxing seating with a view of the comings and goings along Dexter’s main street.
Mill Creek Park
Beautifully landscaped as you head west out-of-town lies Mill Creek Park just across from the fire station.
The 6-acre park actually occupies both sides of Main St with 2-acres hidden behind the fire station. This northern section of the park was formerly known as Warrior Creek Park and is a popular destination for parents and their kids who enjoy the playground equipment or sitting on the banks of Mill Creek. There is a stairway leading up to the Dexter District Library and Farmer’s Market. This section of Mill Creek is a popular spot for anglers to try their skill at catching a trout or two. This is also the trailhead for the B2B Trail that takes you 5 miles out to Hudson Mills Metro Park.
There is a pathway that leads from the northern section under bridge to the southern 4 acres of the park. Here you’ll find a stroller-friendly pathway along Mill Creek with interpretative signs and sculptures such as the Great Blue Heron. It’s a great place for a stroll. The land directly across Mill Creek has been purchased by the City with plans of expanding Mill Creek Park to the western shore.
Amenities include playground equipment, walking path, picnic areas, scenic views, and portable toilets.
At the center of the City is the park everyone knows – Monument Park with its gazebo and statue of Dexter’s Civil War Colonel, Harrison H. Jeffords, serving as a memorial to all of those who have fallen while in the military service of our country.
A lot of Dexter’s open-air community life takes place in the 1/3-acre of Monument Park – Dexter Daze, Apple Daze, Memorial Day Parade events, Paint Dexter Plein Air Festival, Concerts in the Park, Holiday Shuffle 5K, Christmas Tree Lighting Service, Manger Scene, and the ice rink among others, not to mention just hanging out with an ice-cream cone.
If it’s happening in Dexter, at least part of it is probably happening in Monument Park, if even just a yard sign advertising other events.
On the corner of Ann Arbor St and Inverness is a small plot of land designated “Peace Park.”
At the top of the hill leading into town, Peace Park was specifically designed to provide a contemplative pause for people to sit and relax on a bench or at a picnic table.