Designed in the late 1800s by Frederick Law Olmsted and Charles Eliot and donated by Thomas W. Palmer to the city of Detroit, Palmer Park links Detroit’s splendorous and philanthropic past to today’s need for public forest and green spaces in the city. The park is located in northwest Detroit bordered by impressive historic neighborhoods, the private Detroit Golf Club, and Art Deco Palmer Park apartments  with Seven Mile to the north, McNichols to the south, and Woodward to the east.

Palmer Park is the largest Virgin Forest (also termed primary forest, primeval forest, late seral forest, ancient woodland) in the Tri-County area, and one of only seven in the City of Detroit. In Palmer Park, there is a true Oak-Beech Climax forest with some of the Oaks exceeding 350 years in age — planted by Mother Nature herself. Improvements and changes PFPP makes in the park is mindful of this, and is aimed to ensure that the Park will become self-sustaining, protected, and a treasure to be enjoyed by all for generations to come.

Envisioned “for the good of everyone,” Palmer Park truly can provide something for everyone. The park is comprised of 296 acres of lawns and historic woodlands, a public golf course, tennis courts, outdoor pool, playgrounds, hiking and biking trails, Lake Frances, a historic log cabin, and the Detroit Mounted Police. Palmer Park combines history, beauty, and community. Click here to view a souvenir history book of Palmer Park online. 

PFPP volunteers have started the process of revitalizing this fabulous park. We hope you will join us in helping transform this park into a special and welcoming destination for all. 

Members of the Michigan chapters of the American Society of Landscape Architects and Congress for New Urbanism are currently working on a new 10-year Master Plan to restore the park to its fullest potential and create self-sustainability.

Some organized events are planned for the summer and fall, and more are to come. Click here to view the calendar of events and sign up for our email Newsletter to receive emails about special events and programs at the park. If you are a facebook user, you can follow events through our People for Palmer Park facebook page. The park is also open for daily use. Take a frisbee, picnic, bike, or book to the park — we hope to see you soon!

We always need volunteers to help keep the park ready for use.
Click here to find out how to get involved.

Palmer Parks opens at 6 AM and closes at 10 PM in the summer and at dark during the winter and colder seasons, 365 days a year. The Splash Park opens at 10 AM and closes at 8 PM.

Discover the park’s ecology on year-round, multi-use nature trails. Enjoy birding, hiking, biking, and over 10 miles of winding trails in Detroit’s historic woodland forest.

Click below for Palmer Park Trail Maps.

Boundary Trail – 2.8 miles
Primary Trail – 2.5 miles
Mountain Bike Trail – 3.0 miles
Hiking Trails – 5.2 miles

Palmer Park has many options for sports enthusiasts, and we hope to offer more as we continue to restore the park. Palmer Park offers baseball, tennis, golf, and basketball. 

Learn how to play tennis! Receive excellent instruction for young people 10 years of age and younger through a new program presented by the People for Palmer Park with support from the United States Tennis Association. There are both summer sessions and winter sessions (at an indoor location). Rackets and balls aree provided. Tennis shoes are required. Lessons for adults are also be available. 

10 & Under Children and Adult classes: call Lee, 313-828-8847. Read  more

Location: Palmer Park Tennis Courts – Woodward Avenue, between Six Mile and Seven Mile Roads. You must register and pay in advance.

The Splash Park is scheduled to reopen on Memorial Day Weekend and close in September. There is no fee to use the Splash Park. It is open from 10 AM-8 PM. No dogs, glass, food, or beverages are allowed on the Splash Pad. 

One of Palmer Park’s favorite attractions, the golf course is visited by many each year. Palmer Park Golf Course has a short 18-hole layout that is ideal for beginning and intermediate golfers. The course is straightforward with a challenging back nine. The golf course is mostly flat making it an easy walk, perfect for kids and seniors.

Palmer Park Golf Course
19013 Woodward Ave
Detroit, Michigan 48203
(313) 883-2525

Although there are no enclosed dog runs, Palmer Park is dog-friendly. The park has some basic rules governing dogs in the park. Dogs must be leashed at all times on a leash not to exceed six (6) feet in length and of sufficient strength to hold the dog in constant check. Tying animals by a leash which exceeds six (6) feet in length to any tree, shrub, structure, or other fixture is strictly forbidden.

The Detroit Mounted Police horse barn is located at 910 Merrill Plaisance in Palmer Park, behind the Civil Defense Building. Call (313) 341-2279 between 2 and 4 PM for availability to visit horses or pick up manure to use in your garden (bring buckets or heavy duty garbage bags to transport manure).

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