State of Michigan
Department of Natural Resource
For information on shelter reservation, park rules and regulations, etc... please contact the State of Michigan - Department of Natural Resources or visit their website here!
Whether your interests lie in nature, physical
fitness, history, architecture, botany or athletics, you'll make fascinating new discoveries on Belle Isle. Come alone or
bring your whole group...there's definitely something for everyone.
most of the park's attractions are free.
SPEND AN HOUR...SPEND A DAY!
No visit to Detroit is too short to enjoy the
splendor of historic Belle Isle, the crown jewel of Detroit's public
to the hub of downtown, travel time to Belle Isle by car or bus is
about five minutes.
OVER 5 MILES
OF SCENIC SHORELINE DRIVE...
Once on the
island, you may get about by car or take a leisurely walk along the
many miles of trails, paths and roadways that connect all of Belle
Isle's points of interest. The island is situated on America's
busiest inland waterway and provides spectacular views of Detroit,
Canada, freighter traffic and the Ambassador Bridge.
LARGEST CITY-OWNED ISLAND PARK...
Detroit's city fathers purchased the 983-acre island in 1879 for
$200,000, against the opposition of those who thought the price was
too high. They elected to retain the name Belle Isle (beautiful
island) by which the property was popularly known.
In 1883, the
designer of New York City's Central park, Frederick Law Olmstead,
created the master plan for Belle Isle's transformation.
visitors could enjoy the park via the islands' first wooden bridge.
helped select Cass Gilbert's design for the mammoth Scott Fountain,
chosen over 93 other entries in a nationwide competition. Among
Gilbert's other achievements was the design of the U.S. Supreme
Court Building in Washington, D.C.
and 1930, the Casino, the Whitcomb Conservatory, and
Livingstone Lighthouse were designed by Albert Kahn, who was also
selected for the General Motors and Fisher Buildings.
half mile-long bridge that takes you to Belle Isle today was
originally constructed in 1923 and a meticulous renovation was
completed in 1986. In 1942, the bridge was renamed after General
Douglas MacArthur. It is listed on the National Register of