Lots to enjoy this Memorial Day weekend at Michigan's Metroparks, social distancing included

Michigan's unofficial start to summer will feel a little extra special this year as many residents plan to emerge from self-quarantines and lifted restrictions to enjoy the warm weather forecasted for the weekend.

Among locations anticipating an influx in visitors are the dozen Metroparks that dot the tri-county area, which has updated rules to match current restrictions in place across the state. Many of those rules have changed in the past week alone.

An array of outdoor activities will be allowed with disc golf courses and fairways being open to visitors. The trails and bike paths will be open, although officials request anyone using them to maintain social distancing rules still in place. 

Fishing, kayaking, canoeing, and swimming are all permitted, however people should take note that shorelines at Baypoint Beach in Stony Creek Metropark and Maple Beach in Kensington Metropark are closed due to construction.

Grills and picnic shelter will be available for use, but half of the picnic tables beneath the shelters have been removed to maintain social distancing.

While the restrooms are in the process of reopening, several publically enclosed facilities like nature centers, boat rental facilities, playgrounds will remain closed.

Staff with the Metroparks will also continue monitoring parking capacity at the parks, temporarily closing them off if more than 60% of the spots are filled.

On Thursday, Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer said small gatherings of 10 people or less could resume immediately. Even with the loosened restrictions, both Whitmer and public officials strongly recommend keeping personal distance away from residents. 

For more information, people should visit www.metroparks.com/covid