Belle Isle Park is a jewel on the Detroit River. The public park offers many things to do and see,
as well as lots of places to relax, picnic, bike, jog, fish and more. Belle Isle Park is
accessible from the Detroit RiverWalk
bike lane and sidewalk across the MacArthur Bridge.
Belle Isle Park's attractions include:
- Beach and Waterslide - Belle Isle has Detroit's only public swimming beach, which is on
the Detroit River. The Waterslide is adjacent to the beach and can be used for a fee.
- Belle Isle Nature Zoo - The facility features nature exhibits and the Deer Encounter.
The zoo is affiliated with the Detroit Zoo and is open 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on 362 days a year. It is closed
on Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Years Day.
- Anna Scripps Whitcomb Conservatory - The Conservatory was designed by Albert Kahn and opened in
1904. Home to palms, cacti, succulents, ferns and tropical plants, the Conservatory hosts
one of the largest orchid displays in the country. Formal perennial gardens, a rose garden and a lily pond
are located outdoors near the Conservatory.
- Livingstone Memorial Lighthouse - The tower for 80-foot-tall structure was designed by Albert Kahn, and the lighthouse
began operation in 1930. The lighthouse's beacon is 11,500 candlepower and helps guide vessels using the
Detroit River. Several unique harbor lights in the Detroit River and the nearby Windmill Point Light are viewable
in the area near Livingstone Memorial Lighthouse.
- James Scott Memorial Fountain - The beautiful fountain dates back to 1925 and is
constructed of Vermont White Marble. It is named for James Scott, who bequeathed a $500,000 grand to build the
fountain and a life-sized statue of himself.
- Dossin Great Lakes Museum - The museum features exhibits related to Great Lakes shipping and maritime history, including the
world's largest collection of scale-model Great Lakes ships and the Miss Pepsi championship hydroplane. The
museum is open on Saturday and Sunday from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.
- Nancy Brown Peace Carillon Tower - The tower was dedicated in 1940 and rings on the hour and
- Belle Isle Casino - The casino is not a gambling casino, but a place for meetings and events.
Albert Kahn designed the Spanish-inspired building in 1907.
Belle Isle Park has a bike route that circles around the outer edge of island.
The bike lane is located along the left-side of the drive that winds around the park.
The bike route is very popular with area cyclists. Joggers and walkers also like to use the
bike route and outer drive for exercise.
Fishermen enjoy casting their lines into the Detroit River to catch walleye, catfish, perch, and smallmouth bass from Belle Isle, and the park has several fishing piers. Catch-and-release fishing is recommended due to chemicals that may be found in the river. A valid fishing license is required to fish on Michigan waterways, and you can get a Michigan fishing license online at the Michigan DNR E-License web site
and at bait shops and sporting goods stores.
Baseball diamonds, basketball courts, tennis courts, handball courts, and a football field are located in the middle
of the park.
Numerous picnic shelters and playgrounds are located on Belle Isle. The picnic tables on the southwest corner of the
park provide great views of boats using the Detroit River and downtown Detroit.
Belle Isle Park is home to the Detroit Yacht Club and the Detroit Boat Club; both are located on the
northside of the park.