Rouge Park

Rouge Park, on the city’s far west side, is Detroit’s largest park; in fact, at nearly 1,200 acres, it’s about 40-percent larger than New York’s Central Park.
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Photograph courtesy of The Walter P. Reuther Library, Way Ne State University

1936

There are few more exhilarating outdoor winter pleasures than sledding and tobogganing, and these hardy souls at Detroit’s Rouge Park seem to be having a high old time coasting down a slide on a hill. Rouge Park, on the city’s far west side, is Detroit’s largest park; in fact, at nearly 1,200 acres, it’s about 40-percent larger than New York’s Central Park. The City of Detroit bought the expanse from several farmers for $1.3 million in the 1920s. Technically, it should be called River Rouge Park, named for the river that meanders through the area for more than two miles, but metro Detroiters simply refer to it as “Rouge Park.” Home to an 18-hole golf course, three swimming pools (two of them Olympic-size), 14 baseball diamonds, 11 tennis courts, and other amenities, the park last fall added a large stone sculpture to its grounds, titled Growing Together, by artist Larry Halbert. Friends of Rouge Park, an organization devoted to protecting and improving the park, was formed in 2002.

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