#F2HGratitude: Farmington-Farmington Hills parks

Grateful Farmington

This week, we’re publishing a series of posts expressing gratitude for some of the things in Farmington and Farmington Hills that bring us together. With help from our supporters, we’ve chosen six, but there are many, many more. Join the #F2HGratitude conversation FacebookTwitter, or Instagram. Make sure you catch all of our posts by signing up for our daily (except Sunday) emails

Even in cold weather, two popular Farmington area parks bring people together.

On any given morning, rain or shine, you’ll find local residents (with and without pets) walking along the path that winds around the playscape and ballfields in Farmington’s Shiawassee Park. Located in an area south of Shiawassee Street and west of Power Road, the L-shaped park is bounded on the south side by a narrow, winding branch of the Rouge River.

While Shiawassee is a city-owned park, more than five acres – the area closest to Farmington Road – is leased for $1 per year from Farmington Public Schools.

Farmington South Baseball uses the ball fields throughout the late spring and summer, and the park hosts many other activities – from private parties in picnic shelters to Greater Farmington Area Founders Festival events.

Farmington Hills resident Peggy Latimer-Wilke’s favorite Shiawassee Park event, Relay for Life, brings together volunteers who walk laps and host other activities that raise funds for the American Cancer Society. A hillside on the east end of the park offers a perfect focal point for the moving luminaria ceremony honoring those lost to the disease.

“The west end of Shiawassee park has the most beautiful fall colors,” she added. “Between Shiawassee and Heritage parks, we have two beautiful options.”

Shiawassee Park
Fall colors in Shiawassee Park

Farmington resident Vera Lucksted says Heritage Park is at the top of her “thankful list”.

“What a gorgeous destination with so many different uses,” she said.

Sprawling across 210 acres west of Farmington Road and north of 10 Mile Road, the park features a splash pad and playscape, an amphitheater that hosts a summer concert series, a popular winter sledding hill, and miles of well-kept trails frequented throughout the year by walkers, joggers, and cross-country skiers.

Structures on the property have a rich history, including the Visitors Center inside the historic Spicer House, designed by noted architect Marcus Burrowes, Stables Art Studio and Heritage & History Center, both historically connected to the Longacre House, built in 1869 by Palmer Sherman, who farmed and sold seeds to the Ferry Seed Company.

Longacre House
Longacre House (Facebook photo)

One of the most active spots in Heritage Park, the Farmington Hills Nature Center, offers a variety of activities and events for all ages, from summer camps to guided hikes that expose visitors to life in the park all year around.

The park’s most recent addition, Riley Archery Range, opened in 2015. The indoor/outdoor facility has open shooting hours April through November. Archers have opportunities for classes and private lessons, and three school teams – Farmington Public Schools, Mercy High School Team, and St. Fabian Catholic School – practice at the facility.

Next in our #F2H Gratitude series: The Farmington Farmers and Artisans Market