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Rollerski on Hines Drive: Closed to Autos Every Saturday

Go Rollerski!

Sun, May  14, 2006 - By Mike Muha

A six mile section of Hines Drive is closed to automobiles from Outer Drive Road going west to Ann Arbor Trail, from 9:00 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. every Saturday from May 6 through September 30, 2006 for walking, cycling, inline skating - and rollerskiing!

Hines Drive is an 18-mile road that winds between Northville and Dearborn, through Wayne County's Hines Park. Much of the road has been resurfaced in the past several years. The closed section of road is wide, has mostly great pavement, and one easy hill.

Part of the park is located on a flood plain for the Middle Rouge River - including parts of the six-mile segment closed to cars. The road, bike path, and grass areas along Hines Drive as it goes under Middlebelt Road were submerged under several inches of water yesterday from all the the rain we've had over the past several days. I saw some bikes going through it, but it would have meant water-filled ski boots to rollerski through.

Lesson: Wait a day after it rains. You can also listen to radio traffic reports - they indicate when the road is impassible.

There are also paved bike paths of varying quality and hiking trail throughout the park. Parking is available at Warrendale (Warren Ave. east of Telegraph), and Nankin Mills Picnic Areas (Hines Drive and Ann Arbor Trail).  I recommend rollerskiers park at the Merrimen Road entrance (Merrimen Hollow Rec Area), just north of where Merrimen crosses over Hines Drive. The road from Merrimen going east has not been repaved and has a number of bumps and slippery repairs. Still skiable, but not the smooth road like newer pavement heding east from Merrimen.

In any case, there are barriers across all the roads leading to any Hine Drive entrances during the Saturday closure. You can legally drive around the signs to get to the Nankin and Merrimen Hollow parking areas - signs on the barriers ban all traffic except cars going to those parking areas.

Google map to Nankin Hills Pinic Area:
http://maps.google.com/maps?f=q&hl=en&q=33175+Ann+Arbor+Trail,+Westland,+MI+48185

Hines Park web site:
http://www.waynecounty.com/parks/hines.htm 

Map of Nankin Hills Pinic Area:

Nankin Mills Picnic Area

Map of Merrimen Hollow:

Nankin Mills Picnic Area