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Home / Oakland County / Addison Oaks County Park Unveils Out-of-This-World Solar System Trail

Addison Oaks County Park Unveils Out-of-This-World Solar System Trail

addison oaks solar system trail

Addison Oaks County Park near Rochester has launched a stellar new attraction: the Solar System Trail. This innovative trail along the popular Buhl Lake Loop provides fascinating insights into space with models of the solar system and the sun, making it a must-visit for both campers and day-use guests year-round.

Discover the Solar System on Earth

The Solar System Trail features two scale model displays:

  • Planet Size Model: Demonstrates the size of planets in comparison to the sun.
  • Distance Scale Model: Represents the solar system’s layout with the size of the sun and planets and their scaled locations along the Buhl Trail.

Tom Hughes, Chief of Park Operations and Maintenance – North District, shared his enthusiasm: “The trail has been generating a lot of excitement. After all, it’s pretty hard to miss an 8-foot diameter sun and planets scaled to size near the Adams Lake Playground. We believe that the Solar System Trail is the perfect addition at Addison Oaks. Campers already enjoy the starry nighttime sky since our rural location offers reduced light pollution and the park is a popular gathering spot for those with an interest in astronomy.”

New Solar System Trail at Addison Oaks County Park

Engaging Day and Night

While the day-use park closes before nightfall, Addison Oaks offers special programming for nighttime sky observation. Events like the Saturn Star Party and Meteors & More provide excellent opportunities for stargazing. The Oakland Astronomy Club also meets regularly at the park, bringing telescopes for public observing nights and offering educational programs for schools, parks, and other organizations.

A Self-Guided Learning Experience – The Solar System Trail

The Solar System Trail offers a self-guided learning experience where guests can walk the 2.5-mile trail at their own pace. Each of the 10 planet stops features an interpretive sign and a three-dimensional planet scaled to size, complete with QR codes linking to NASA for additional information. The trail proceeds counter-clockwise, mirroring the planets’ orbit around the sun.

Kate Pardy, Addison Oaks Park Supervisor, expressed her excitement: “We are looking forward to seeing everyone enjoy the trail. The information is presented in a fun way and is designed to engage guests of all ages as they enjoy being together outdoors.”

Accessibility and Scenic Views

The Buhl Lake Loop, a paved trail with scenic views of Buhl Lake and the historic Tudor-style Buhl Estate, is accessible up to the planet Saturn for individuals with wheelchairs or mobility challenges. The remaining 1.9 miles, including Uranus, Neptune, and Pluto, are not accessible grade.

Walking the entire trail at a leisurely pace takes approximately 45-60 minutes. Modern restrooms and rustic facilities are available along the trail for visitors’ convenience.

Explore Addison Oaks County Park

Addison Oaks County Park spans 1,140 acres, offering numerous recreational activities. Visitors can enjoy hiking, horseback riding, mountain biking, winter fat tire biking, boat/kayak and bike rentals, an 18-hole disc golf course, fishing, geocaching, and picnicking. The park is located at 1480 West Romeo Road near Rochester.

For more information or to make a camping reservation, call 248-693-2432 or visit OaklandCountyParks.com. Join the conversation on Facebook, Instagram, and X (formerly Twitter) at @OaklandCountyParks.

Nearby Attractions in Rochester

While visiting Addison Oaks County Park, consider exploring other attractions in Rochester. The Rochester Hills Museum at Van Hoosen Farm offers a glimpse into local history, and Paint Creek Trail provides beautiful scenery for hiking and biking.

Excerpt: Addison Oaks County Park has unveiled its new Solar System Trail. This inclusive trail features models of the solar system, making it a fascinating destination for campers and day-use guests year-round. Enjoy stargazing events, educational programs, and a variety of recreational activities in a beautiful, safe environment.

Amber Louchart
Author: Amber Louchart

Amber is the proud mother to four beautiful children, Damian (27), Rosaleigh (14), Carlyn (11), and Naomi (8). Her family also includes four cats. She loves being a stay-at-home mom and feels blessed to be able to care for her children full-time and provide them with so many opportunities through Metro Detroit Mommy. In addition to Metro Detroit Mommy, Amber has a passion for hosting karaoke with Malibu Entertainment.  She enjoys the metro Detroit nightlife especially, singing, dancing and meeting new people.