Back in 2011 my friend took some hoop shots for my portfolio, and hers. We chose Belle Isle for the location. At that time the island had abandoned exhibits galore. Aquarium, conservatory, train station, and the nitorious zoo, all abandoned. Successfully broke into the zoo (shown in picture).
Attended this years Belle Isle art fair. Haven't taken a visit since my sister and I took a visit in 2012. I was aware they opened a "feed the deer" trail for kids. (deer that will die come hunting season).
The aquarium, conservatory, and train were all re-open! Was super pumped to run into sea horses. Jelly fish too. Disappointed they had no mermaids...
On our journey to foods we passed up a flock of brothers coooking ribs. They clearly saw we smelled the amazing food and flagged us over. Turns out they were selling tickets to purchase food. Also got homemade Arnold Palmers. Sorry Arnie...This tea was far better with had no after taste.
If you visit Michigan, tour Detroit. Especially Belle Isle! All exhibits are free.
I'm in no way suggesting breaking into the zoo or responsible for consequences of doing so.