Hiking, Tribal Style

by Weam Namou


Last year my cousin raved about this one park that she said we “must go to.” So we did. It was Bloomer Park in Rochester. They have a number of playgrounds and picnic areas and countless gorgeous trees to stare at. But our favorite discovery was the hiking trail we accidentally came across. We went up and down peaks, walked over fresh fallen leaves, amongst trees bunched together like parsley. The sun glistened over the small river beside us, bikers passed us by, and our children picked up sticks to use as canes as we moved forward.

The trail walk is around 90 minutes. Trying to find our way back to the picnic and playground area is usually not easy. Once we even ended up in a subdivision. It was a sight! Twenty people between the ages of 60 and 3 just roaming around a quiet neighborhood, looking dazed and confused. The experience was exhilarating and ever since that first time, we have gone back often for more hikes and picnic food or in today’s case, a barbecue.

Bloomer Park is named after Howard Bloomer, who was born in Baltimore, Maryland in 1871. Later in life, he received his law degree from Detroit College of Law. After law school, he helped found the Macgregor and Bloomer Law Firm. Two of his famous clients were John and Horace Dodge, the founders of Dodge Motor Car Company.

In the 1920’s, Bloomer persuaded the Dodge Brothers to donate 11 parcels of land to the State of Michigan to form state parks and recreation areas. Bloomer and his wife donated 47 acres along the Clinton River to the state in order to create Bloomer State Park #2.

Our family is grateful to Mr. Bloomer’s philanthropy.