Crosswinds Marsh is one of the largest man-made wetlands in the country. It was built to replace the wetlands that were going to be paved over to expand Wayne County's Detroit Metro Airport. The Michigan Department of Environmental Quality required the airport to move away any threatened or endangered plants and animals and create one-and-a-half acres of new wetlands for every one-acre impacted by the construction.
Thanks to the passage of the parks mileage in 1996, Wayne County Parks now manages the marsh so the public can enjoy it. Wayne County, together with Sumpter Township, purchased over 900 acres of farmland that believe it or not, was once wetland that had been converted into farm fields by draining the land...in a process that took over a year.
Metro Airport and the landscape architecture firm of JJR incorporated, redirected the drains, excavated enormous ponds and moved thousands of tons of dirt. They flooded former farm fields, planted new wetland plants and transplanted endangered species from metro Airport. Boardwalks were built to give the visitors and intimate view of life in the wetlands.
There is always something to do here, even if it's just sitting and watching. Take a leisurely stroll along the boardwalk or a fast-paced hike on a longer trail. Those who like to fish will find a peaceful setting on the two fishing docks. For those who wish to bring their own horse, a wide gravel equestrian trail encircles the marsh. You can follow self-guided interpretative hiking trails. Canoe rentals are available for large groups, but reservations are required and can be made by calling Crosswinds Marsh at (734) 654-1220. You may also want to inquire about the two annual event where canoeing is available free to the public.
Learn about, experience and enjoy the unique environment of Crosswinds Marsh.