Belle Isle in Detroit is Still One of America's Most Treasured Parks
Belle Isle - A True Detroit and American Treasure
The City of Detroit has gone through some major changes, yet the Belle Isle State Park remains to be one it's most treasured gems. Belle Isle is the largest city-owned island park in the U.S, and was created in 1845.
When I was growing up as a little girl, my mother would take me and my siblings to Belle Isle to ride on the Giant Slide. We traveled from Ecorse all the way to Detroit's East side, which at that time, seemed like a never-ending journey to arrive. But once we arrived, straight to the slide we went.
The slide was yellow and very high up, and the only way to get to the top was to walk the dozens and dozens of steps. Once we made it to the top, we were given these brown sacks which resembled a potato sack, to put our legs in for protection while riding down the slide.
Still today, I remember riding down the slide having lots and lots of fun. And that is how I remember Belle Isle. Another great feature I remember about Belle Isle is our family picnics. I had cousins who lived off Jefferson, not far from Belle Isle, and this was their favorite park, it may still be for some of them.
Belle Isle has changed over the years, and since the state has taken over the park, a re-newed feeling of family exists. Less ruckus and rowdy behavior, a cleaner park, more necessary facilities and a peaceful atmosphere. You will enjoy the pleasant drive and walk through America's Largest Island Park - Belle Isle! Check out some of the photos I took on a Saturday afternoon in July, and see if you remember any of the sites.
Scott Memorial Fountain
Scott Memorial Fountain - a Favorite at Belle Isle
Water is Soothing
Belle Isle is surrounded by water externally and internally. It is the presence and sound of the water which makes it so peaceful. Once you enter the park, not far into the drive, you will spot the James Scott Memorial Fountain. -- A favorite for most park visitors.
On warm days you can go up to the perimeter of the fountain and feel the cooling mist of the water and enjoy the calming sound of the water. You will also experience the amazing affect of the water shooting out of the mouth of the lion and turtles. The artist is Cass Gilbert and Herbert Adams
The most fascinating feature about the fountain is the transformation of colors at night. Many years ago, the fountain water would change into a beautiful array of colors. There was nothing to compare to Belle Isle's breath-taking fountain.
Today, the fountain is in need of a little repair, but it is still a beloved point of interest that visitors can enjoy.
Floral Clock and Flag in Belle Isle
The Floral Clock has the Flag of the United States inside the center of it. The immobile clock is made of beautiful red and white flowers enclosed in a circle on a mound of grass near the main entrance to the park. There is a minute and hour hand in the clock to make it look like a real clock.
The clock is a treasure because it is a landmark that acts as a guide to visitors indicating that they are at the entrance of the park. If you can locate the clock and flag, you get to other destinations in the park.
Conservatory at Belle Isle State Park
100 Japanese Cherry Trees in Belle Isle
Detroit Yacht Club Remains in Belle Isle
A Yacht Ride
The Detroit Yacht Club is still a main feature at Belle Isle. You have to be a member to get certain benefits at the club. Boats lovers entertain at the club and take their friends and family for rides and tours of Detroit on the Detroit River. Contact the club for the latest rules and regulations.
A Yacht is a medium-sized privately owned boat meant for cruising or racing, and is usually associated with luxurious living.
The Yacht I rode in some years ago, had a capacity for about 15 people. I had never been on a Yacht before, and haven't been on one since. You feel like the Rich and Famous riding on a Yacht.
Saturday Fishing at Belle Isle
There is a fishing pier at Belle Isle, but I found some fishermen near the Scott Memorial Fountain enjoying a peaceful fishing experience. There were three men sitting along the lake with their nets cast in the water waiting for the fish to bite.
Much of the debri and trash has been removed from the lake, yet there is still more to be done. There were other fishers around the water waiting for a bite too.
As we drove through the park, we could see that the pier offered more options for fishing, and there were many more fishermen and women along the pier.
Families Picnicking at Belle Isle
A Beautiful Saturday at The Park
One of the best part's of our visit to Belle Isle included observing friends, families and organizations enjoying themselves while they were at the park.
I did not expect such a pleasant surprise as I did while watching the people have fun and fellowship. The people gathered at non-removable tables provided by the park to have their event. At some spots there were just a few people gathered, and at others, there was a crowd of people.
Everyone was civilized and minded their own business. I was glad to see this scene of civility in this gem of a park. The time was around 4:00 pm, but it is my understanding that the same civil atmosphere occurs at night also. I will have to return for a night visit, so my curiosity won't get the best of me.
Close-Up of the Directory at Belle Isle
Points of Interest at Belle Isle
There are many points of interest at Belle Isle, and you won't be able to visit them all in one day. Soon families will be able to get a pass for a small fee to enter the park, and more changes are expected. Also, there is a beach, a museum and the Coast Guard is stationed at the park too.
As you can see, there are lots of things to do at Belle Isle. If you are vacationing in Michigan, and are near Belle Isle, make it your next destination. You can't beat it for a family friendly atmosphere that you won't forget.
A View of The Boats at The Detroit Yacht Club
What Is Your Favorite Attraction at Belle Isle Park
Belle Isle is a true Detroit treasure that will never be forgotten, and it can only get better! Thanks for viewing my photos and visiting this hub, and I hope you will accept this invitation to visit Belle Isle for the first time, or once again.