Dexter + Ann Arbor Photographer Betsy's Photography

Portrait Photography Location Recommendations: Dexter, MI


Baker Woods Preserve

Trinkle Rd, Dexter, MI

The Baker Woods Preserve is a 70 acre site with wooded areas and several open meadows. Mill Creek runs through the site as well. The trail loop is just over one mile.

Parking is available, but no other facilities are on site.

Burns-Stokes Preserve

N Zeeb Rd, Dexter, MI

The Burns-Stokes Preserve is a 29 acre area along the Huron River that has been protected since 1980. Most of the site is wooded, and there are several trail loops:

  • Mill Pond Trail (0.33 miles)
  • Prairie Trail (1 mile roundtrip)
  • River Trail (0.2 mi offshoot of Prairie Trail)

Both the Prairie and River Trails go down to the bank of the Huron River. Depending on the time of year, the ground may be wet, and the river may have risen into the "floodplain forest."

Parking is available, but no other facilities are on site.

Community Park

Ryan Dr, Dexter, MI

Community Park is a five acre park with a lot of playground structures, a pavilion, and a grassy open area. There is a short walking path as well. It may be a suitable location for clients with small children seeking casual portraits outdoors.

Dexter-Huron Metropark

Huron River Dr, Dexter, MI

Dexter-Huron Metropark is a 120 acre park situated between Dexter and Ann Arbor. There is a paved walking path that goes along the edge of the river, as well as a rustic trail and a walking labyrinth. The park has many mature trees and grassy areas throughout. There is a restroom on site.

First Street Park

Second St + Edison St, Dexter, MI

First Street Park is a very small park with a grassy open area and a number of horsehoe pits. Portable toilets are available during summer months.

Lions Park

Ann Arbor St + Edison St, Dexter, MI

Lions Park is a very small park (less than half an acre) with a grassy open area (on the side of a hill), a playground, and a small gazebo. There is a parking lot.

Mill Creek Park

Main Street, Dexter, MI

Mill Creek Park is a six acre park that runs along the edge of Mill Creek on both sides of Main Street. Technically, there are two parks:

  • Mill Creek Park North (just over two acres)
  • Mill Creek Park South (four acres)

There is a playground and climbing rock for kids (behind the fire station). The park's walking path and boardwalk connects to the more than 40 mile long Border-To-Border Trail (B2B Trail), so you can walk or bike all the way up to Hudson Mills Metropark. Portable toilets are on site.

A stairway (with bike ramp!) now allows visitors to get from the park up to Alpine street (where the Library and Farmer’s Market are located). There are also boat launches for kayaks/canoes (one on each side of Main St). The water is almost always nice to wade in, and feels great during hot summer Michigan days. On rare occasion the water is too high, and the current too fast, but usually my older (i.e. teen or adult) clients are able to comfortably wade into the shallows of the water.

I have enjoyed creating family photos, high school senior pictures, and portraits of toddlers all in various areas of Dexter’s Mill Creek Park. It offers a nice variety of settings for most types of portrait photography sessions — and, most importantly, there are some nice shady spots to keep you out of the heat of the midday sun!

Miller-Smith Preserve

Dexter-Chelsea Rd, Dexter, MI

The Albert J. Miller & Robert & Nancy Smith Preserve is 29 acres of natural preserve area. It has a trail almost one mile in length that leads through mature woods and more swampy wetland areas as well.

There is a parking lot at the preserve, but no other amenities are available.

Monument Park

Ann Arbor St + Central St, Dexter, MI

Monument Park is a small park (less than half an acre), but is the epicenter of many Dexter events (Dexter Daze, Apple Daze, holiday parades, etc). It has a memorial statue of Colonel Harrison H. Jeffords (who fought in the Civil War), and a large gazebo. I've done a number of family + senior portraits here over the years. If you want iconic Dexter, then including the gazebo at Monument Park is one great way to accomplish that goal.

Parking is on the street, and may be limited. Depending on the events taking place in downtown Dexter, Monument Park may be crowded.

Hudson Mills Metropark

North Territorial, Dexter, MI

Hudson Mills Metropark is another nice park just north of town in Dexter. It features an extensive trail system, playgrounds, ball diamonds, a disc golf course, and access to the Huron River. There are grassy open areas and wooded areas as well.

I’ve done a number of senior portraits + family portraits here over the years, and they always look fantastic. Depending on the location within the park you want for your portraits, a fair amount of walking may be required.

Peace Park

Ann Arbor St + Central St, Dexter, MI

Peace Park is another small park (less than half an acre) in Dexter. With an open grassy area and benches for seating, this may be a nice outdoors option for clients who don't want to walk too far. Parking is on the street.

Sloan Preserve

Baker Rd, Dexter, MI

Sloan Preserve is a 50 acre natural site owned by Scio Township, with several trail loops that lead out to Mill Creek. There are wooded areas, open meadows, and access to the creek as well. During certain times of the year, the path may be muddy, and one trail loop does require crossing a stream.

I've photographed a number of senior portraits and family portraits here, and it is gorgeous. Watch out for poison ivy along the side of the trail (they may have eradicated this since last season).

Parking is available, but no other facilities are on site.

Trinkle Marsh Preserve

N Dancer Rd, Dexter, MI

Trinkle Marsh Preserve is a 151 acre preserve with both unimproved and paved trails to birdwatching/observation platforms overlooking the marsh. The total trail length is less than half a mile, so you will not be able to access most of the preserve (some of which is still active farmland). Where you are allowed to walk -- enjoy the natural setting and abundance of waterfowl!


The City of Dexter's website has information about many of the various parks mentioned on this page. Visit the Metroparks website to learn more about purchasing a day or annual vehicle pass for park access. Maps and information regarding Washtenaw County Parks + Preserves can be found on their website.