Belle Isle is a large island in the Detroit River between Detroit and Canada. It was once called “the gem of the river.” The city’s founder, Antoine de la Mothe Cadillac, built his home there in 1701. In those days it was known as Cadillac Island.
The island is 982 acres and is the largest city-owned park in the United States. Belle Isle Park has something for everyone. Here are the top 8 reasons you should visit Belle Isle Park:
1. Good view of the Detroit skyline
Towering skyscrapers can be seen from almost any spot on Belle Isle. The view of the Detroit skyline is one of the best in the city.
2. Nature trails
The nature trails on Belle Isle are a great way to get away from the city and enjoy some peace and quiet. There are several different trails to choose from, so it doesn’t matter if you’re a nature novice or expert.
3. The Aquarium
Belle Isle Park has an aquarium that is home to native birds, turtles, and fish that live in the Detroit River. It’s free for all visitors!
4. Belle Isle Zoo
The Belle Isle Zoo has been around since 1898. It’s a great way to get up close and personal with the animals because there are no cages.
5. Outdoor concerts
Belle Isle is home to many outdoor concerts during the summer months. The music ranges from jazz to classical and everything in between.
6. Fitness center/track
There is an old racetrack on Belle Isle that is used as a fitness center and outdoor track. It’s free to use!
7. James Scott Memorial Fountain
This magnificent fountain was created in 1925 by renowned architect, Cass Gilbert, who won the American Institute of Architects Gold Medal in 1933 for his work. This memorial fountain has been listed in the National Register of Historic Places.
8. The Belle Isle Conservatory
The Belle Isle Conservatory was built in 1904 and is the oldest conservatory in the United States. It’s home to more than 2,000 plants from all over the world.
Best Time To Visit:
Belle Isle can be visited year-round, but the best time to visit is during the summer months when there are concerts and other events going on.
Belle Isle has something for every member of the family. So if you are in Detroit, pack up the car and head over to Belle Isle to enjoy a breath of fresh air in one of America’s largest city parks.