One of our favorite things to do is getting off the beaten path while we are travelling and experiencing life as a local. A great way to get a glimpse into local life is through walking. This is not always easy as you may not know the route or neighborhood that will be safe or easily accessible. I find that asking the hotel desk clerks or restaurant employee is often a simple way to get decent insight into the local walking scene.
If you are travelling in the Dearborn area, a decent walk would be at Ford Field. This is located between Michigan Avenue and Cherry Hill and Military and Brady in West Dearborn. What is nice about this location is it's ease of parking, and its variety of walking options. Plus, it is usually very well used so you rarely feel as if you are alone in an isolated area, which can be a disconcerting experience if you are travelling.
If you are interested in a short stroll, I would recommend parking in the Cherry Hill lot on the north of the park. According to Mapquest the address to Ford Field is 22051 Cherry Hill. From here you can stroll down a small hill, either paved or if your children prefer on the grassy hill itself. Then I would proceed to the small covered bridge where you can stand and watch the Rouge River pass below you. If you turn around here and return back up your total walk would be less than 1/2 mile. Then your children may want to play on the playscapes at the top. However, if you are interested in extending it you can travel east along the river on the woodchip trail at the end of the parking lot that ends at Brady. You could either turn back here or continue north on Brady to Cherry Hill, turn left on Cherry Hill and return to the parking lot. This would make your walk closer to 1 mile in length.
A longer walk would be to walk the outer border, a large rectangle. From the Cherry Hill parking lot, I would consider walking west to Military. At Military I would turn left and travel down the hill south to Morley. Be sure to keep close tabs on young children as part of this walk feels a bit close to the road. Although Military is posted at 30 mph, this feels quite quick when the autos are but a few feet away from you. At Morley I would turn left, walking through a pleasant historic neighborhood, featuring the Charles Kandt house on the south side of the street. A few blocks past the Kandt house is a charming Little Free Library, be sure to stop and see what the caretaker has available! When you get to Monroe you can either turn left and descend the hill back into the park area. This walk would be approximately 1.5 miles. If you have the energy, you can continue walking to Brady street, turn left here and continue up to Cherry Hill. Turn left at Cherry Hill and return to the parking lot. This would be closer to a bit over two miles.
This area features two playground areas- one at the top near Cherry Hill and the other accessible from the Monroe Street entrance. Dearborn's Ford Field also has large grassy areas to play catch, run or kick a ball, a couple of ball fields, grills and picnic tables as well. It is usually very family oriented and your children will likely soon be playing tag on the playground while you chat with another parent about their favorite restaurants or dessert locations. I have found that many people in Dearborn, like many places in Michigan, are not particularly gregarious, but they are very friendly and helpful once you initiate conversation.
If you are looking to get out of the hotel and tourist experience a bit and live like a true Dearbornite, walking, playing with your children, enjoying a picnic in the park, then you will find your experience at Dearborn's Ford Field to be quite agreeable. It is not lush or home to famous gardens or amazing vistas, but it is quite honest, down to earth and accessible, much like the town and region itself.