outdoor adventure center
Lifestyle Things to do in Metro Detroit

Outdoor Adventure Center Brings ‘Up North’ to Downtown Detroit

April 24, 2018

The Outdoor Adventure Center, which opened in summer 2015, is a unique destination that provides opportunities for people of all ages to learn about Michigan’s abundant wildlife and natural resources.

Sponsored By The Michigan Wildlife Council

Linda Walter’s love of the outdoors runs deep.

“I grew up camping with my family. And it shaped some of my first experiences with Michigan’s great outdoors,” said Walter, executive director of Michigan’s Outdoor Adventure Center (OAC). “For some, the OAC serves as peoples’ first outdoor recreational experience.” For Walter, taking the position as the OAC’s executive director was a homecoming. After spending 30 years with Clinton Township Parks and Recreation in Macomb County, the Wayne State University alum was eager to get started.

Outdoor Adventure Center

Inside the Outdoor Adventure Center.

“The OAC started with the idea of providing opportunities to connect people with the environment,” said Walter, now in her fourth year as director. “We aspire to inspire, educate and connect visitors with nature.”

Located in the center of the city along Detroit’s riverfront, the Outdoor Adventure Center, which opened in the summer of 2015, is a unique destination that provides opportunities for people of all ages to learn about Michigan’s abundant wildlife and natural resources, as well as its numerous outdoor recreation opportunities. Visitors can get a taste of Michigan’s great outdoors with hands-on activities, exhibits and simulators.

“So many people want to get outside but are unsure what to do when they get there. It’s our job to inspire you to try something new outdoors, educate you on how to do it, and then connect you with a place to do it,” said Walter.

“You don’t create environmentalists, you create lovers of the outdoors.” And giving people the opportunity to connect with nature and the outdoors is the first step to creating more proactive stewards of our natural resources, Walter said.

Outdoor Adventure Center

Not only does the OAC offer fun activities, it’s educational too. While at the center, visitors can learn about how the Michigan Department of Natural Resources manages state parks, forests, wildlife and fish. Each year, hunting and fishing licenses — not state taxes — generate more than $40 million to pay for managing our state’s wildlife and natural resources.

So if you already have a favorite outdoor activity— stepping into a fishing boat and “reeling” in a big fish, “hitting the trail” on a mountain bike or touching a waterfall— or if you just want to learn more about Michigan’s woods and waters, you have reason to come to the OAC.

The Michigan Wildlife Council is entrusted with educating the public about the importance of wildlife conservation and its role in preserving Michigan’s great outdoor heritage for future generations. The council is dedicated to increasing public knowledge about how wildlife and Michigan’s outdoors are managed and funded so that we can continue to enjoy them as we do today. Find out more at HereForMiOutdoors.org.

Michigan Outdoor Adventure Center

1801 Atwater St., Detroit




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