Michigan DNR to Open $13M Outdoor Adventure Center in Detroit


Following years of planning and development, the Michigan Department of Natural Resources will open its $13-million Outdoor Adventure Center with an indoor archery range, an aquarium, and a waterfall along Detroit’s east riverfront at the end of the month.

“With natural resources playing such a vital role in quality of life, families are encouraged to explore the center and then head outside to experience our state’s natural resources, including its many outdoor recreational opportunities along the riverfront,” says Keith Creagh, director of the Michigan Department of Natural Resources.

The three-story, 41,000-square-foot facility, located at the corner of Atwater Street and the Dequindre Cut Trail, has a 40-foot-tall interactive tree; bicycle, kayak, canoe, off-road vehicle, and fishing boat simulators; a 3,000-gallon freshwater aquarium; a man-made waterfall with a 36-foot drop; and a life-size beaver lodge and eagle’s nest.

Linda Walter, director of the Outdoor Adventure Center, says children will be able to climb through the tree, walk behind the waterfall, and sit in an airplane similar to ones used by the Department of Natural Resources for fire spotting over dense forests

“By encouraging up-close, hands-on experiences, we strive to equip people to set out on their own adventures to explore our state’s many outdoor recreational opportunities, including hiking, camping, fishing, hunting, and trapping,” Walter says.

The center officially opens to the public July 20. Admission to the facility costs $5 for adults and $3 for children. The project included the historic renovation of the Globe Building (formerly Detroit Dry Docks Engine Works) from the 19th Century, along with new construction.

The project team included Walbridge, The Roxbury Group, and Hobbs + Black.