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Independence Oaks

Enjoy year-round recreation in this naturally-maintained 1,276-acre park near Clarkston.

Independence Oaks was recently named one of the Top 10 best family-friendly places to hike by MetroParent Magazine.

  • More than 12 miles of marked nature and ski trails, including the paved River Loop Trail, All-Visitors Trail and Hawk's View Trail, a 2.5 mile paved hike, bike and blade pathway
  • Daily pass or annual vehicle permit required  
  • Picnicking, hiking, fishing, swimming, nature study and youth group camping
  • Picnic areas and rental shelters for group rental include ball field, sand volleyball courts, playground equipment, horseshoes pits
  • Picturesque Tony Filippis Memorial Garden and wheelchair-accessible gazebo shelter adjacent to Twin Chimneys area with view of Crooked Lake; ideal for outdoor wedding ceremonies.
  • Boat launch (non-motorized boats) and seasonal rowboat, canoe, kayak and pedal boat rentals on 68-acre Crooked Lake
  • Wint Nature Center offers interactive exhibits and interpretive programs.
  • Camp Wilderness, youth group overnight camping area. Two areas feature platform tents, shelter, fire circle, modern bathhouse and more!  Campers can access the park's nature center, trails and (in season) swimming, boating and fishing.
  • Independence Oaks-North is now open for fishing, hiking, bird watching and boating. Anglers can portage and launch canoes, kayaks or other non-motorized boats. No vehicular boat launch is provided. All watercraft must be hand carried along a 1,200-foot-long gravel trail from the parking lot to the lake. Upper Bushman Lake is be a catch-and-release-only lake, designated as such by the Michigan Department of Natural Resources. The property is open for archery deer hunting in the fall. 
  • Cross-country skiing, ski rental, ice skating, ice fishing, warming shelters and vending machines. 
  • "The best groomed Independence Oaks Ski Trails in southeast Michigan are at Independence Oaks" says Hour Detroit Magazine's Best Winter Getaways List!

  • Photos

    Independence Oaks County Park and Wint Nature Center will be closed for managed deer hunts taking place on the following dates for 2014:

    • Monday, Nov. 17
    • Wednesday, Nov. 19
    • Monday, Nov. 24
    • Wednesday, Nov. 26
    • Monday, Dec. 8

    INDEPENDENCE OAKS-NORTH WILL REMAIN OPEN to the public during this time.

    Active deer management is essential to maintaining deer populations at ecologically sustainable levels, to ensure the long-term health of natural communiites within the parks. Find details about hunting at the Oakland County Parks by clicking here.


    Check out all the great Nature Education programs offered at the Wint and Red Oaks Nature Centers! Schedule is now online.


    9501 Sashabaw Road
    Clarkston, MI  48348
    (2 1/2 miles north of I-75 --  Exit 89)

    248-625-0877 (Park)
    248-625-6473 (Wint Nature Center)

    Park Hours of Operation:
    Approximately 30 minutes before sunrise to 30 minutes after sunset, or as posted at park entrance. Open year round. Closed Christmas Day.

    Nature Center Hours -
    Open for walk-in visitation:
    Friday & Saturday: 10 a.m. - 5 p.m.
    Sunday: 1 -5 p.m.

    Registered groups and appointments:
    Tuesday - Saturday 10 a.m. - 5 p.m.

    Fees & Permits

    Daily or annual vehicle permit required (available at park or online). View park fees and purchase permits online.