Our Favorite Pokemon Go Hunting Grounds Around Metro Detroit

Our family has been enjoying playing Pokemon Go together all over town!  Not only does it mesh well with our active habits, but it also prompts some pretty in depth conversations.  My 7 year old reads Pokemon guide books like they’re going out of style, and it’s awesome to see her light up as she takes the lead in teaching myself, my husband, and her little brother all about Pokemon legend and lore.  I think it’s also worth mentioning that playing Pokemon Go can be used to teach or reinforce concepts ranging from simple mathematics like addition and subtraction, to critical thinking concepts of logic and strategy.  Plus the fun photo opps don’t hurt either!

There are tons of family friendly places to play Pokemon Go around town – here are some of our favorites, in no particular order:

1.  Wahby Park, St. Clair Shores – This picturesque park on Jefferson just south of 10 Mile is a fantastic hunting ground.  There’s a gym, plus 6 pokestops which are usually lured.  Midday we’ve seen professionals walking laps wearing suits, and in the evenings you’ll see both young and old out – sometimes in the hundreds!  The crowd is friendly, and parking is ample.  There are port-a-potties available.  Please respect the park hours (dawn ’til dusk) as well as tickets are being written to those there after dusk.  We’ve seen a wide variety of Pokemon, though most are water types.  We’ve caught a plethora of Drowzees, Magikarp, and Slowpokes plus Golduck, Snorlax, Tauros, Shellder, Poliwag, Staryu, and Seel, among others.

2.  Belle Isle, Detroit – There are pokestops and gyms all over the island, and there are concentrations near the play ground, aquarium, conservatory, and the Dossin Great Lakes Museum.  Summer weekends on the Isle are lively and fun, with people out enjoying all that this city gem has to offer.  You do need a state park pass to enter, which is $11 if you don’t have one already.  Lots of regular type Pokemon here, plus we found a Seaking, Nidoran, Pidgeot, Jigglypuff, and Eevee.

3. Downtown Ferndale – The corridor along 9 Mile near Woodward is absolutely riddled with Pokestops!  A walk down 9 Mile left us with a full bag of items, and we talked to several friendly groups that were also on the hunt.  We didn’t find any rare Pokemon during our visit, but the folks we talked to mentioned sightings of both Pikachu and Ponyta!

4.  Detroit Zoo, Royal Oak – The zoo is a Pokemon Go players haven and you could spend the whole day here hunting, if only you had enough spare batteries!  It’s a safe and fun place to hunt to your heart’s content with 47 Pokestops and several gyms throughout the park.  We found lots of Ekans, Slowpokes, Eevee, Bellsprout, and Growlithe!

5.  The Riverwalk, Detroit – With great views and lots of opportunities for fun other than catching Pokemon, the Riverwalk is a fantastic place to spend a day.  There are Pokestops all along the Riverwalk, and many of them are lured.  We caught Horsea, Voltorb, Paras, Venonat, Magikarp, and Squirtle along the riverfront during our visit.

6. Downtown Mt. Clemens – The entire are around downtown Mt. Clemens and the boardwalk by the river is covered in Pokestops and gyms!  There were quite a few lured stops during our visits, and we saw plenty of common Pokemon like Pidgey and Zubat, but we also caught Geodude & Jynx.  We saw several signs on shops welcoming Pokemon Go players also!

7.  Partridge Creek, Clinton Township – If you like to shop or dine along with catching Pokemon, Partridge Creek is a good bet!  There’s also a play place for younger kids, and fountains for splashing in on hot days.  There are 7 or 8 Pokestops, but the big plus for me was the safety factor.  We’ve played there in the evening and it’s well lit and the crowd there is always friendly.  Several stores had signs out to welcome Pokemon Go players, and Teavana was offering special samples based on which team you’re on!  We caught mostly the standards here: Pidgey, Rattata, and Weedle, but did catch this Jigglypuff and talked to other families who have seen or caught more rare Pokemon, including the elusive Dritini!

8.  Downtown Royal Oak – All along Main Street, Pokestops litter the map!  For good people watching and prolific Poke-hunting, Royal Oak gets two thumbs up!  Please be extra careful when playing here, with lots of foot traffic and street crossing, having your eyes glued to the map screen just isn’t safe.

9.  Edsel & Eleanor Ford House, Grosse Pointe Shores – This lovely estate makes a wonderful place to hunt Pokemon!  Not only can you enjoy the gardens and the lakefront views, but you can also catch some more rare Pokemon.  We found Meowth, and Graveler here!  There is a $5 entrance fee to walk the grounds, and the hours are daytime only.

 10.  Dodge Park, Sterling Heights – The trails at Dodge Park make for good exercise and fantastic Pokemon hunting!  We saw the elusive Ponyta here!

Some other places we’ve heard tales of happy hunting include: Downtown Rochester, Downtown Birmingham, Greenfield Village (Dearborn), Lake St. Clair Metropark (Harrison Township), Great Lakes Crossing (Auburn Hills), Jewish Community Center (West Bloomfield), and Campus Martius. 

If you want to take your Pokemon Go tracking to the next level, you can also check out another game called Ingress.  It was made by Niantic (the developer of Pokemon Go) several years ago and uses the same Google Maps model.  By looking at the Ingress maps, you can see areas that are more likely to have a high concentration of Pokestops and Pokemon available for catching. The short version of the longer explanation is that Ingress can help you identify hotspots for finding those wily Pokemon!

Check out the Ingress map images here from the Midtown area in Detroit and the Detroit Zoo in Royal Oak, and you’ll see what we mean:

What are your favorite Pokemon Go grounds?  Let us know in the comments!  Happy hunting!