Manly W. Bennett Memorial Park

Hamburg Township
10405 Merrill Road
P.O. Box 157
Hamburg, Michigan 48139-0157
(810) 231-1000

About Manly W. Bennett Memorial Park

Manly Bennett Park Straddling Merrill Road, this former Huron-Clinton Metropolitan Authority property was transferred to the township of Hamburg to become a recreational area for the residents of Hamburg. Bennett Park is roughly 300 acres in size and includes upland, marsh and some Huron River floodplain. Although many sports fields and a model airplane area ensure that you won’t be birding here in solitude, there are a great many reasons to walk the trails and explore this park. The eastern section, bounded on the north by land adjoining M-36, is accessed either via the Lakeland Trail (parking and access at Merrill Road) or the parking lots for the baseball fields. During evenings in early spring, woodcocks can be seen performing their aerial displays in the skies above the hilly terrain. The marshes bisected by the railroad tracks have provided cover (and possibly breeding sites) for both Virginia Rail and Sora as well as Least Bittern. Marsh and Sedge Wren are possible here in addition to large numbers of Red-winged Blackbirds, Swamp Sparrows, Yellow Warblers and Common Yellowthroats. Large numbers of cuckoos pass through in mid to late May - they can be heard and sometimes seen along the Lakeland Trail. The parklands west of Merrill can be reached by the same Lakeland trail head, or via the soccer field lot (which can be amazingly busy on Saturdays!). Trails along the edge of the soccer fields provide access to a small dogwood-filled marsh which can be alive with White-throated Sparrows in spring and fall as well as an upland cedar lined trail leading to a boardwalk which ends at with a Huron River overlook. This short boardwalk winds through a beech maple floodplain rich in ferns and sometimes migrating warblers. The old field habitat through which the trail system runs can harbor good numbers of migrant sparrows (field and chipping breed here) as well as variable numbers of bluebirds throughout the year (even in winter). In May, as in most of the county, raptors can be seen anywhere, but Broad-winged Hawks seem especially fond of spending time in this area.

Visit Hamburg Township's Parks & Rec. Page