Breathtaking beauty of Belle Isle

Saiful A Siddique | Update:

Mahinda-RajapaksaThe Bangladeshi community from the area often gather together at Belle Isle,  enjoying their favourite pastimes. Sometimes its cricket, sometimes a football tournament and then there is fishing, ever-popular among the seniors,

Belle Isle is America's largest city-owned island park. The 982-acre island remains one of Detroit's premier attractions. It has an incredible range of things to see and do, including five miles of scenic shoreline, cultural institutions, historical monuments, sports facilities, and outdoor recreation. Belle Isle is a place to stop if visiting Detroit. Pack a lunch and enjoy great views of the Detroit skyline, Windsor (Canada), freighter traffic, and the Ambassador Bridge from the beach or shoreline picnic areas. 

There are dozens of great attractions on Belle Isle. The huge white marble fountain welcomes across the MacArthur Bridge onto Belle Isle. It has some really stunning architectural buildings. It has a carillon, great statutes, an art deco lighthouse, guerrilla art along parts of the waterfront, the Ice Tree in winter, the Dossen Great Lakes Museum, the Nature Zoo and the amazing Aquarium. 

James Scott, an eccentric Detroit gambler and socialite, bequeathed a 500 thousand  dollar fortune to build this beautiful display along with a life-sized statue of himself.  The Scott memorial fountain features 109 water outlets in the shape of human heads and animals, and colored light and water shows presented on Memorial Day through September add to the spectacle.  The fountain is a Belle Isle landmark and a popular gathering place for visitors.

Across from the fountain  Belle Isle Casino, a grand two-story Spanish-style building with towers and encircling verandas is now used as a meeting point for individuals and groups on the island.

Discover Detroit's maritime history at the Dossin Great Lakes Museum located along the western shoreline of the island. The museum tells the story of boats, sailors and cargoes on America's inland seas. Dossin visitors can take the helm of a Great Lakes freighter or admire the carved oak and stained glass of an early passenger steamer's grand salon or visit one of the three changing exhibit galleries.Belle Isle is an oasis for those looking for outdoor sports and recreation.  The array of activities found in one place is simply  incredible.  The outdoorsman will enjoy the 200-acre woodlands, inland lakes, bicycle and nature trail.  The conventional sportsman will love the handball, racquetball, and basketball courts, nine baseball diamonds, ten lighted tennis courts, nine-hole golf course, driving range with putting green, running track, soccer field, and swimming beach. Then there is kayaking, biking, running, and just lounging around enjoying the surroundings. Bangladeshi American families also turn out in large numbers at Belle Island, enjoying nature at its best.         

Saiful A Siddique writes from Michigan, USA

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