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AARP AARP States Michigan Health & Wellbeing

Enjoy a Stroll With Friends Along the Detroit Riverfront


Twice a week during the summer, hundreds of people are expected to flock once again to the Detroit Riverfront to enjoy the outdoors, exercise and see friends, as part of a free walking program for residents age 50-plus.

AARP Michigan is now in its third year of sponsoring Detroit Riverwalkers, which is coordinated by the nonprofit Detroit Riverfront Conservancy.

“It’s wonderful walking near the water, with the sun and the breeze and everything,” says Stephanie Randolph, 65, a volunteer who frequently staffs an AARP Michigan information table on Riverwalkers days.

This summer’s program runs June 11 to Aug. 22, 8–10 a.m. on Tuesdays and Thursdays at Cullen Plaza, 1340 Atwater St., in downtown. The outdoor meetups often include activities such as fitness classes, blood pressure screenings and free snacks.

“It’s one of the few places where you can see people from ... all generations, all different backgrounds coming together,” says Renee Rodriguez, the conservancy’s program manager.

The 3.5-mile area along the Detroit River’s east riverfront is open to residents every day of the year, but Riverwalkers is one of the conservancy’s signature health and wellness programs.

Participants walk at their own pace and distance and can also join groups. Research shows that walking even just under 4,000 steps a day has health benefits.

“Some people walk three miles, and some only walk through the program space,” says Rodriguez, noting that the events usually attract between 400 and 500 people.

Others just like to sit and enjoy the fresh air, says Randolph, a retired automotive engineer who drives about 20 minutes from her home in Livonia to join in.

Learn more about the conservancy at

—David Lewellen

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