New website highlights Macomb County, east side parks and trailways

There are plenty of outdoor recreation opportunities throughout Macomb County, so a local leadership group has developed a website to help people discover and navigate the numerous options. It's called Eastside Out, and it's helping people connect with the outdoors and each other.

Melissa Roy is executive director of Advancing Macomb, the group that developed the site. It's a milestone moment, she says. Now in its third year, Advancing Macomb is starting to implement initiatives developed by the group over the course of its first two years.

Eastside Out is one of those initiatives. Advancing Macomb has identified five trailheads from which people can begin outdoor adventures in Macomb County, whether by foot, bicycle, boat, ski, or snowshoe. The trailheads are Heritage Park, Macomb Community College, Macomb Orchard Trail, Mount Clemens, and Stony Creek, each with numerous activities available.

When visiting the website, users click on a trailhead, which then describes connected trailways, lists amenities, offers a map with associated paths, and suggests local businesses and landmarks to visit. The site also highlights a featured adventure, with this month's being a 13 mile-long cross-country skiing or snowshoeing excursion at Stony Creek Metropark.

"We have a lot of great recreational options on the east side, but not everybody knows about them or how to access them," says Roy. "This is a great way to explore the east side."

In choosing the name Eastside Out, Roy says the group wanted to choose a name that was more inclusive, inviting people to explore not only Macomb County but the entire east side of the region, from the city of Detroit to the tip of the state's thumb.

"We wanted to get away from some of the provincialism that exists in the region and include everybody," says Roy.

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Read more articles by MJ Galbraith.

MJ Galbraith is a writer and musician living in Detroit. Follow him on Twitter @mikegalbraith.
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