We are having a snow day today in Livingston County, so what better day to talk about snow sports at Kensington Metropark. If you buy your yearly pass now, it is good through the entire year of 2013. You might think that Kensington Metropark is more of a summer location, but it actually has a lot of fun and frugal activities in the winter months.
When Kent Lake is frozen, there is free outdoor ice skating. If the weather permits, the skating area is open from 11 a.m - 9 p.m., Monday through Friday, and from 10 a.m. - 9 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. If you like to play hockey, there is a separate rink just for hockey. You will need to bring your own ice skates, as there is no skate rental, but there is a warming station in the boathouse. You can find out the current conditions of the lake before you go by calling, 810-227-8910.
Are you looking for a good sledding hill? Kensington Metropark also has a great sledding area. They have sledding hills for beginners to advanced, so all ages can join in the fun. A smaller bunny hill is open for the littlest sledders under 3 feet tall. There are also areas for beginner snowboarders, and those using a toboggon. You can find all of the sledding hills by the Orchard picnic area. Hours for these hills are 11 a.m.- dusk on the weekdays, and 10 a.m.- dusk on the weekends. For a complete list of sledding rules you can find them on the Kensington Metropark website, http://www.metroparks.com/metroparks/activities/index.aspx?Name=Sledding.
If cross-country skiing is more your speed, there are 14.8 miles of classic skiing, and 9 miles for skate-style skiing. If you want to try cross country skiing, but do not have the equipment, there is ski rental on the weekends and holidays. For only $10 you can rent the skis, boots, and poles for a half day. If you are going with a large group, there is less expensive group rates as well. Trails are open from 6 a.m.-10 p.m, and rentals are available from 10 a.m.-5:30 p.m. Kensington Metropark now has a snow making machine, to keep some of the areas ski ready even if it is not skiing weather.
Kensingtion Metropark also offers many winter classes such as ice fishing, ice harvesting, and learning to ski. A full list of all the classes offered can be found the event page of their website, http://www.metroparks.com/metroparks/calendar.aspx?M=&D=&Y=&PID=6
This year's rates for a Metropark annual passes are $25, and $15 for those 62 and older. If you prefer to buy a day pass, they are also available for $5.