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The Kensington Metropark Trail forms a paved loop around Kent Lake in western Oakland County. The scenic area, which features 4,481 acres of hilly terrain around the large lake, is one of the most popular parks in Michigan, and the trail accommodates inline skaters, runners, walkers and cyclists.
Kensington Metropark also offers a number of equestrian and hiking trails that branch off from the main paved loop. Due to its scenery and recreational amenities, the area is a destination for many users of the three other paved trails that feed into the park. At the south end, the Huron Valley Trail arrives from South Lyon and Wixom, while the Island Lake Pathway rolls in from the adjacent Island Lake Recreation Area. In the north, the Milford Trail transports recreationists from the village of the same name.
Parking for the Kensington Metropark Trail is available at several locations within the park. Access the Kensington Metropark via the Kent Lake Road exit on Interstate 96.
I ride this loop trail nearly every week during the warm months. Always plenty to see no matter the season. Wildlife spotting is common throughout, including deer, turkey, cranes, waterfowl and the nesting osprey. Perfect combination of hills and distance to make a good training workout.
Easy connections at both ends to Milford or to Island Lake State Park (part of the Lake to Lake Trail)
This trail encircles a popular lake and is very scenic. It also connects to the Island Lake Pathway as well as the Milford Trail seamlessly so you can easily get extra miles into your ride. Most of all three trails have fun slow rolling hills which make the ride more interesting.
Note there is a posted but seemingly impractical and unenforced 10 MPH speed limit. At times the need is obvious when a popular (crowded) trail has a number of curves (semi-blind at times) with the potential for downhill speed gain. Especially when the scenery is notable. Practical answer is use good sense when in those spots and be aware.
This is also located in a park area that seems to require a seasonal recreation pass or a $10 day fee. Between the three trails there are a number of places to park and get on the trail and avoid the fee. (Especially near Milford) I did not try to park in one of the lots inside the toll area to find out if there is any exemption for those only biking and not doing any of the many water activities offered.
A fun ride and highly recommended.
I love this bike path. I suggest avoiding weekend afternoons because the path gets very busy. Weekday mornings are fabulous!
I was searching fir a new park fir a change of scenery and thought I’d give this one a try for road biking. The trails are paved and well maintained. I had no idea there was so much to do here: Golfing, disc golfing, beaches, fishing, paddle boats, water park, hiking, etc. I went in a beautiful Sunday and it wasn’t even that crowded. Plenty of parking. I was surprised to find the farm area that offers hay rides and farm animals to pet. There’s also a restaurant by the farm and a few snack bars scattered around. The only negative was the conditions of the restrooms (specifically by the paddle boat rental area). They were filthy.
The path is well maintained even in winter. The views at Kensington are truly spectacular, especially in fall on the I-96 side looking across Kent Lake. 4-stars because... COVID has brought out A LOT of foot traffic and it’s fairly clear many don’t know trail etiquette. It’s hard to get into any rhythm on a weekend because you’re dodging pedestrians. And many of them will move for you but some just stay in your way causing you to ditch into the grass. If you want a nice ride, go on a weeknight after work to avoid the COVID crowds.
We rode this yesterday. It is just gorgeous and very well maintained. In regard to some of the recent reviews regarding crowds - although we saw a good number of people riding or walking, it was totally fine since we were there on a Thursday. Weekends are much busier. There are a lot of curves on the trail, so that's something to look out for if it's crowded and some are trying to pass when they shouldn't. Side note - on the south end of Kent Lake, there's a short connecter bike path that goes under I-96 to Island Lake. The Island Lake trails aren't nearly as well maintained and are very bumpy.
Can be very crowded with an equal amount of bikers and walkers. Clean paved and well kept with a few stop and rest areas. Nice picnic areas near trail but limited restrooms. A few nice hills to climb with an equal payoff coasting downhill into smooth curves. Sun block is a must, not a lot of shade along the trail but nice scenery and water front riding along beach and boating area. A nice day out!
This was one of our absolute favorite places to go for a bike ride, it’s sadly become so crowded and people not following rules resulting in us seeing two collisions on this trail in one day alone. We stay to our side, use our bells to pass, follow the speed limits and yield to walkers and intersections but we witnessed 2 collisions, people standing still, parking strollers, wagons, bikes and toys in the pathways. Riders ZOOMING by easily at 25-30mph with no warnings.
I love Kensington, except for the abundance of people. They have no idea the trail is used for anything other than their walk to the beach or short stroll taking up the entire width of the trail. Other than the people, the trail has beautiful views, lovely rolling hills, and tons of bathroom access. It is a steep $10 for daily entry which is a bummer.
Due to its proximity to my home, I bike this trail twice a week on average. It is very popular especially on weekends and may have a lot of traffic on it. If you are trying to ride fast, most of the trail is paralleled by the road which has a speed limit of 25-35 mph for cars. There are some good hills. Over the years I’ve seen all kinds of wildlife, including Great Blue herons, sandhill cranes, foxes, mink, coyote, muskrats, and the elusive white deer. Use caution if you are not used to traveling long distances; many people walk for 4 miles until their feet hurt, only to discover that they are on the wrong side of the lake and have a 4-mile hike back to their car. There are bathrooms scattered throughout the park and two bike repair stations as well.
Awesome trail with a lot of climbs
I included this as part of a long ride from South Lyons City Trail, Huron Valley Trail, Island Lake Pathway, Kensington Metropark trail, and Milford Trail to Milford and back. Excellent trail. Good surface, nice variety, pretty scenery. On my outbound leg I went on the west side of the lake. On my return I went on the east side. I'm putting only 4 stars (would make it 4.5) because it lacks signs to the connecting trails of Milford and Island Lake Pathway at their turnoff junctions.
This is among the best of the Huron-Clinton Metroparks trails. The 8+ mile pathway is nicely kept up, the scenery along Kent Lake is wonderful, and there is plenty of activity. (It does not feel as desolate and run down as the Island Lake State Park across the freeway.) Be advised that if you are more used to cycling on flatter rail trails, Kensington is quite the workout--there are hills throughout, and a few are mildly steep. There are plenty of places to stop and rest. Given the wildlife in the area, be sure to pack a small camera!
To the south is a pathway that leads to the Island Lake State Park and from there you can either ride the Island Lake Pathway (it is approximately a four mile out-and-back trail), or continue eastward on the Huron Valley Trail which will take you to Wixom and/or South Lyon.
This trail is wonderful, I run and bike it all the time. Everyone is so friendly. If you go on the main trail it is about 8 miles. Apart from this part there are sections that connect to the island lake trail and also the Milford trail.
Great trail! I've walked it several times! nicely kept it travels through a variety of levels. A few hills that stretch your legs a bit. places to sit are provided along the way. It is not always along the lake so it offers a change of scenery. I loved walking it. People, runners, bikers and other walkers were all very courteous. A very nice trail...With lots to see to make that 9.5 miles go by quickly!!
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