水車小屋がそこに。。。現れそうなハドソンミルズ (Hudson Mills) – Hudson Mills Metropark, Dexter, Michigan

アナーバー(Ann Arbor)やデトロイト近郊の都会の喧噪(ちょっとオーバーかな? 笑)を離れてみたくなったら、ハドソンミルズ (Hudson Mills Metropark) に来てみよう。


If you feel like escaping the hustle and bustle of big cities like Ann Arbor or other metro-Detroit cities, Hudson Mills Metropark is a good place to go (I am not kidding!  To many Japanese and other Asians, Ann Arbor and metro-Detoroit are far from urban areas, but to many Michiganders, they are sometimes too urban…)


これはHuron Riverで、この公園内を通り抜け、Ann Arbor, Ypsi等を通り、はるばるエリー湖(Lake Erie)まで続く、ミシガン南西部にとって「大河」のようなもの。Hudson Millsに来る前はKensington Parkも通る。だから、「小川」ではないのだが、この公園の中では「小川のせせらぎ」という表現がぴったりの様相だ。

10月のとある土曜日に、久々にHudson Mills に行った。

Murmuring sound of a small river – This is Huron River.  It flows through Hudson Mills Metropark, Ann Arbor, many other towns, and then flows into Lake Erie.  It’s like a mighty river for Southeastern Michigan.  The upstream flows through Kensington Metropark, I believe. So, Huron River is really never a small river, but it is when it flows through Hudson’s Mill.

These are the photos I took when I went there on an October Saturday for the first time in several years.




One car after another comes in carrying a kayak or a canoe on the top of the roof.





Admission $5 per car.  Beautiful fall colors.  It’s an October Saturday afternoon. It’s not too much to say that most American men are watching a football.  So there were noticeably many women by themselves.




I saw a woman power walking.  I saw another woman riding a racing bicycle.  Lots of people were walking their dogs. A lot fewer people than in summer because there are football games on autumn Saturdays. American men in the parks on an autumn Saturday afternoon must belong to the minority group who are not interested in football.




There was a group of people who were fishing in the river. The entire park is very quiet and empty.

I have been here several times for a picnic with my family and for a picnic with my husband’s colleagues and their families. Those are my fun memory. It’s a very clean, serene, and fun park.  It covers 1,549 areas, which is very large.


One of the benches in the park.  Apparently this person passed away at the age of only 44. He must have liked fishing in Hudson Mills.  We see a lot of benches in parks in the U.S. with deceased persons’ names on them.  Their families must have donated them in memory of their loved ones. Often these benches have humorous tribute sentences like this one imprinted – I like reading them.


One of the softball diamonds in the park – empty on an autumn day.


Fall colors stand out against the blue sky on the spacious ground.


A group of boys playing soccer.


Two little kids playing with the slide.

ローラーブレード(Rollerblading)を安心してできるtrail がたくさんある。ヘルメット着用などのルールは、アナーバーの公園にはまずないが、この公園もそう。(昔ヒッピーのメッカだったアナーバーはちょっとルーズなところがあるが、その影響がここにも及んでる?)

This park has a lot of trails where you can rollerblade safely. Parks in Ann Arbor generally do not require helmet use; this park is the same. Maybe it’s Ann Arbor’s influence?  I sense Ann Arbor is a little loose on that kind of things because Ann Arbor still has the legacy of a big hippie town).


Pretty mystical-looking woods, which makes the slide look mystical and lonely.


I feel as if I would spot squeaky mills around here.  Actually long time ago, there really were mills in this area.


There is a very inviting uphill trail along the river.


At the top of the uphill trail is the very cozy sunny corner. Enjoy being under the sun listening to the murmuring sound of the river.



A kayak passed by.  It reminded me of Arashi-yama of Kyoto, Japan.



The kayak turned around went back the downstream.  Nowadays kayaks seem more popular than canoes.

(余談)昔、ある秋の週末、夫の同僚たちとここでピクニックした時、同僚の女性(米人)が自分のカヌーを持ってきて、この川でカヌーに乗った。と、突然彼女はカヌーから飛び下りて、股まで川につかってカヌーの方向を360度回転させ始めた。ジーンズをはいたままで。私は驚愕した。「ジーンズが濡れちゃうよっ!」そしたら、彼女の反応は「それがどうしたの?」 (米人の)亭主に聞いても「ごく当たり前のこと」。カルチャーショックを無数に経験したが、そのひとつを味わった日だった。

Long time ago, when I and my family came here for a picnic with my husband’s colleagues and their families, one of the colleagues (an American lady) brought her canoe. She was canoeing in the river for a while, and suddenly she jumped out of her canoe in the shallow river.  She was in the water up to her thighs.  I was shocked and worried that her jeans would be wet.  Her reaction was “yes, my jeans get wet.  So what?”  My (American) husband’s reaction was similar “yes, when you canoe, you can get wet like that – it happens.”  That was one of numerous culture shock I experienced in this country.


上に通るのはN. Territorial Rd.

Go down the trail.  There is more walking trail. The bridge above is N. Territorial Rd.


This walking trail is very inviting, too.


この上流は、Kensington parkへと続いている筈だ。

Walk under the bridge. The upstream should flow through Kensington Metropark.


Turn around and head back to Hudson Mills Metropark.  The entrance is on the left.


Back on the previous walking trail.

Hudson Millsの歴史が説明してあるサイン。

Huron River の水力を利用して、19世紀にsawmill(製材所)、gristmill (製粉所)が作られ、それにつれてこの一帯に集落ができたらしい。 年間6000バレルの製粉量だったというから、なかなかの規模のオペレーションだったようだ。

There is a sign that explains the history of Hudson Mills.


これは、左手の方。これを進んで行くと、Activity Center の建物、テニスコート、砂場、バスケットボールコートなどがある。

The small river and walking trail were to the right from the park entrance. If you go to the left from the entrance, you will see this sign.  Keep driving to the Activity Center, tennis courts, a sand box, a volleyball court, and more.



Skateboards are not allowed. Rollerblads are OK – as long as you stick to the trails where cars can’t enter.




Tennis courts – all empty. I bet people from Japan (and other Asian countries) can’t believe to see a lot of tennis courts here (in Michigan) often not used by anybody. As far as I know, there are very limited number of tennis courts available for public in Japan due to the limited land for use. When I came to Michigan, I could not believe my eyes to see empty tennis courts.  I went crazy and took this opportunity to try to learn how to play tennis (I never become good at it).  I noticed a lot of people in the tennis courts around here are Far East Asians.  They probably must be feeling the same as I did.


There is a beach volleyball court, too.

Activity Center。広い広い駐車場がある。

Here is teh Activity Center.  There is a very big parking area adjacent to it.

Activity Centerの内部。


Inside the Activity Center.

Years ago, my company had a group training for my department here in Hudson Mills (it was NOT fun..).  After the training, I remember I bought a drink from the vending machine inside this Activitiy Center and had chats with my coworkers.


Activity Centerでサイダーやクラフトを作る催し物があるので、親子で参加してね、というポスター。

Halloween is just around the corner.

There was this poster in the bulletin board about an event for kids and parents to make cider and crafts.



There was a girls soccer game going on.

Girls soccer has become very popular these days.

The infrastructure in the U.S., like parks and sports fields, is very impressive.

trail 使用にあたってのルールが。

A trail sign next to the tennis court

Trail が公園中に。


Trails are all over the park.  Cars not allowed.




Disc golf course. Only $2 a day – cheap.  Looks like you have to call the office to use the course.



What is disc golf?  After living in the U.S. for 26 years, I never knew what it is. I Googled and found explanations; you try to throw, with as few try as you can, a disc into a basket attached on the pole.  Discs look like frisbees.  There seem to be disc golf clubs you can join.


The website of Ann Arbor Area Convention says Hudson Mills also has a 18-hole golf course.  Where?  I have not found it yet.


The website also says they have canoe rentals also.  Where is the rental office?

Ann Arbor Area Conventionのウエブサイトにはそう書いてあるので、興味ある方は下記参照(問い合わせのTEL番号が記載してある):

If you are interested in disc golf course, canoe rental, etc., check out the website below (the website shows the phone number for inquiry):


さて、Hudson Millsへの行き方だが:

North Territorial Roadにある。これを読む方はたぶんデトロイト近郊にお住まいに違いないから、東から来ることになる。US-23をN. Territorial で下り、Webster-Church Rd, Mast Rdとの交差点を越え、Huron River Driveとの交差点を過ぎるとすぐ左側(南側)に入口がある(下の写真)。 このNorth Territorialという道は、市外の田舎道の典型みたいなもので、びゅんびゅん飛ばす車が多いから、気をつけた方がいい

Finally, Hudson Mills Metropark is located on N. Territorial Rd. If you are interested in this post enough to have read this far, you probably live in metro-Detroit.  Take US-23.  Exit at N. Territorial.  Go westbound, pass Webster-Church Rd, Mast Rd, Huron River Dr. and then immediately you should see the entrance sign on the left (south) side (photo below).  Caution – N. Territorial is one of those rural roads where some people drive like maniac. I suggest you turn on the turning signal way in advance, so that you won’t be hit in the back by one of those tailgaters.

(N. Territorial Rd からの入口)



余談だが、以前、「Stop tailgating me, or  I will flip my bugger on your windshiled」(私にtailgateするのをやめろ。さもないと、鼻くそほじってお前の車の窓にはねつけてやるぞ)というステッカーを貼った車をちらほら見かけたものだ。ちょっと品がないが、これは名言だった! tailgateされる者の怒り心情をまさに言い得て妙なり。

I dislike tailgaters.  Michigan has a lot of tailgaters. After having lived in Michigan for over 20 years, however, I find myself be a tailgaters sometimes.  Oh no. Evil ommunications corrupt good manners. While ago, I used to see some cars with bumper stickers saying “Stop tailgating me, or  I will flip my bugger on your windshiled”.  It’s a little vulgar, but it very well expressed the frustration and anger of drivers tailgated, including myself!


Plenty of parking space all over the park.


(Below is borrowed from Google Maps)

It’s 19km to the northeast of Ann Arbor.  The area is beautiful and serene with lots of trees and water.



We have a terrible image of Detroit, but if you drive away for just one hour towards the suburbs from the city of Detroit, there actually are many beautiful places abundant in serene nature.  Hudson Mills is one of them.

In Hudson Mills, you can fish in the river, picnic and barbecue, bring your bicycle and ride it on the trails, rollerblade on the trails, walk, walk your dog(s), jog, canoe, kayak, play tennis, or play volleyball, basketball, soccer, or softball. In winter, you can country ski on the trails (you have to bring your own skis).  Or you can just enjoy looking at the nature, take photograpy. It’s a well-rounded and versatile park all year around.

About tukusigal

もう長いことミシガンに住んでいる日本人オバさんの、自分なり、それなりのミシガン湖地方見聞記でーす。I am a long-time resident of Michigan. I am here forever. A middle-age Japanese woman. I love Imari porcelain, so my profile photo is an Imari vase which I bought in Imari, Saga, Kyushu, Japan. When I retire (when...?), I reveal my photo - but by then I may be too wrinkled (lo).
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