Palmer Park is comprised of 296 acres of lawns and historic woodlands, tennis courts, splash park, hiking and biking trails, Lake Frances and its lighthouse, an historic log cabin, the Detroit Mounted Police and more. Located between McNichols and 7 Mile Roads and west of Woodward Avenue in Detroit, it has been a treasured nature park and recreation site for more than 100 years.
Designed in the late 1800s in part by Frederick Law Olmsted and Charles Eliot, and donated by Thomas W. Palmer to the City of Detroit, Palmer Park links Detroit's splendorous and philanthropic past to today's need for public forests and green spaces in the city. The park is bordered by impressive historic neighborhoods, the private Detroit Golf Club, and the Art Deco Palmer Park historic apartment district.
Palmer Park is the largest Virgin Forest (also termed primary forest, primeval forest, late seral forest, ancient woodland) in the Tri-County area, and one of only seven in the City of Detroit. In Palmer Park, there is a true Oak-Beech Climax forest and some of the oaks exceeding 350 years in age were planted by Mother Nature herself. Improvements and changes made by PFPP in the park are mindful of this, and aim to ensure that the park will become self-sustaining, protected and a treasure to be enjoyed by all for generations to come.
Come all who enjoy the country breeze, Or odor sweet of the forest trees, The fragrance of the pretty flowers, Or feel the need of idle hour;
Come you vernable sires and dames, And teach the children at playing games; Join heart and soul in the merry thong, And let happy hours your lives prolong. You men who bear the burden of toil, Come here and rest on your own free soil, And freed for a while from care and strife, Drink your heart’s full of the joy of life.
Come here you weary mothers and rest, Lay your burdens down on Nature’s breast; And watching your children romp and play, Let your cares and sorrows fly away.
Come boys and girls you are welcome too, The whole of this park is free to you; You can jointly play games that are mild, Or roam as deer through the forest wild.