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Parks


Home to three major trail systems (including the proposed Iron Belle Trail), a state park, large county park, five local parks, and 89 bodies of water (42 of which are over five acres), Orion Township is rich in recreation and open space. Almost one-quarter of the Township is preserved for recreation, more than any of the surrounding Townships. In addition, Orion Township has over 47 miles of safety paths ideal for walking, running, or biking, which are the connector system allowing residents to safely enjoy the natural landscapes and features of our township while promoting a healthy lifestyle.  Below are summaries of the public parks within the Township. 


Bald Mountain STATE Recreation Area
Bald Mountain State Recreation Area consists of 4,637 rolling acres that are home to extensive trails, inland lakes, trout streams and wild game accented by some of the steepest hills and most rugged terrain in southeastern Michigan. The park provides year-round recreation opportunities, including hiking, mountain biking, swimming, snowmobiling, cross-country skiing, hunting and much more.  While there is no camping available in the park, there are two rustic cabins available to rent.  The park has the North Unit Trails and the South Unit Trails, which combined total 15 miles.

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Orion Oaks County Park
Orion Oaks’ 916 acres offers 10 miles of hiking and mountain bike trails, geocaching, and fishing on Lake Sixteen, with a wheelchair accessible fishing pier off Joslyn Road, and the County’s largest dog park (at 24 acres). A small boat launch is provided for non-motorized boats. The park may be accessed from three parking lots, Baldwin, Clarkston and Joslyn roads.

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Camp Agawam
With roughly 140 acres, Camp Agawam is the Township’s largest property. It is nestled along the east side of Tommy’s Lake with an access point to the water for swimming and catch-and-release fishing. It was purchased in 2014 and until then it was operated by the Boy Scouts of America, so most of its features are centered on camping and group recreation such as rustic campsites, cabins, fire pits, pavilions, lodges, and an outdoor auditorium. The buildings and sites are scattered across the property and connected mainly by natural trails that are not accessible to cars. It is the Township’s most rustic recreational property with great potential to serve the community and the region. The site’s facilities are also available to rent for large and small events. Most of the site is left in its natural state which makes the terrain difficult to cross. However, there are two major developments that are fully accessible for all levels of mobility: the KaBoom! playground and the walking trail that leads to the fishing dock.

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Friendship Park
Friendship Park is the Township’s second largest park, behind the recently acquired Camp Agawam. Located in the northwest portion of the Township along Clarkston and Baldwin Roads, and covering about 135 acres, this is a well-used, all-purpose park. The park provides ample space for organized sports leagues, other active recreation on the play structures, and passive spaces where visitors can relax under a shaded pavilion or fish at the beautifully landscaped catch-and-release pond. The meeting room is one of two facilities in the park system where visitors can enjoy indoor space for events, making this a valuable year-round space.

The park features a playscape designed exclusively for individuals with special needs. The swings are accessible for children in wheelchairs, and the smooth surfacing serves wide-ranging mobility needs. In addition, Friendship Park now features Miracle Field, a fully accessible baseball field fully constructed with donations and in-kind services provided by the community. The parking lots have ample barrier-free spaces, handicap-equipped bathroom stalls, and paved pathways between major nodes within the park.

Friendship Park is also home to the Historic Howarth School House and Porritt Barn, which are accessible from the 2.1-mile looped trail network in the northeast portion of the park, connecting to the safety paths along both Baldwin Road and Clarkston Road; approximately a 1.5-mile walk along the Clarkston Road safety path from the Polly Ann Trail.

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Civic Center Park
As the name implies, Civic Center Park is situated in the Township’s Civic Center. Adjacent to the Township Hall and just down the road from the Orion Center, its central location and versatile facilities make it a highly-frequented park. Its size and the variety of activities it provides makes it a popular site for social gatherings in the pavilion and sporting events on its varying types of athletic fields. A trailhead to the Polly Ann Trail is located directly behind Civic Center Park, where trail users can continue 1.5 miles north, through Bald Mountain State Park and past the Historic William E. Scripps/Estate, to the Orion Center, and an additional 1.5 miles to the Orion Township Public Library.

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Wildwood Amphitheater
The Wildwood Amphitheater is located within Civic Center Park (and as result, accessible from the Polly Ann Trail), it is home to several outdoor cultural events. In the summer, the amphitheater hosts weekly free concerts, in addition to music and film festivals and other public events. It is also available to rent for private events. The amphitheater is set back on the parcel and is buffered by a substantial stand of trees so that it does not disturb nearby residents. There are barrier-free spaces in the upper parking lot that have a more compact surface to facilitate movement for less able-bodied patrons before transitioning to a paved path that leads to the concession stand. A concrete apron is accessible which allows people of all abilities to view the stage without any obstructed views.

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Civic Center North
In 2017, the Township acquired this 76-acre property from the State of Michigan.  It is located along Joslyn Road between Greenshield and Scripps Roads, and is currently a field of wild grasses that cannot be accessed by car or by foot. The property also sits just west of the Polly Ann Trail and Bald Mountain Recreation Area.

Orion Township will be constructing its new Township Hall and Sheriff’s Office on a portion of this property, set to open in the late Fall of 2021.  As part of the new construction, the site will be activated for future recreation and passive uses, as well as providing a trail head to the Polly Ann Trail.  The site is located about one mile south of the Orion Center and 0.5 miles north of the current Township Hall and Sheriff Substation location.

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Orion Center
The Orion Center was built in 2011 on Joslyn Road in the heart of Orion Township. On this 11-acre property, the Parks and Recreation Department is housed, including much of the recreation and 50 and better programming. It serves as a convenient meeting point to initiate off-site excursions. From this property, there is access to the Polly Ann Trail. Both indoor and outdoor facilities are available for rent. The back patio has picnic tables that are covered by umbrellas, as well as a gazebo. The building was built with accessibility in mind. Getting into the building can be done with ease, and once inside there is an elevator and handicap accessible restrooms

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