Abandoned Belle Isle Zoo Adventure

On Monday, October 21, 2013 Bryan Levy and I headed to Belle Isle to explore the abandoned Belle Isle Zoo, which first opened in 1895 and closed for good in 2002.  The last time we were on the island we happened upon the entrance to the zoo, and walked around a bit but since it was getting dark, we decided to wait for another time to explore.

The weather was rainy, but the rain had started to let up, giving us the run of the place practically.  We parked near the entrance to the zoo and grabbed our gear.  This time we looked at a map prior to our trip so we knew which direction to walk in to find the round buildings and animal enclosures we wanted to explore.

As we walked along the trail, the first building we came across was the animal stables.  We pushed the heavy doors open to let some light inside to take our photographs.  While I liked the images in color, the lines and lighting called for black and white I think.




This image was taken from inside one of the animal enclosures. Yeah it was kinda creepy in there, if you would have walked inside the building you wouldn’t have even seen me in the dark shadows taking this image.




Walking outside the door of this building we came upon other buildings, some of them the round buildings visible on Google Street Maps.






This building appeared to house some sort of display back in the day.




The bench sat inside the walkway of the building, with some old Belle Isle tickets on the seat of the bench.




It was starting to get dark, so the last image I captured inside the park was just inside the zoo entrance.




As we were walking back to our car, we noticed the sky’s cool shade of blue just outside the entrance. The gnarly tree adds to the creepiness of the scene.




The lack of traffic on the bridge allowed me to capture this image down low in the middle of the road. I like the simplicity and vast feeling of this image, like you follow the road line and walk right into the middle of the photo.




We didn’t get to see every square inch of the zoo, and plan to make another visit to the zoo soon!


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6 thoughts on “Abandoned Belle Isle Zoo Adventure

    • Alanna St. Laurent
      Alanna St. Laurent says:

      Thanks Kathleen! You are right it is very cool to find artifacts from the past that are still there, I think it adds realism to the scene, like that is how it was left the last time the place was used. Many abandoned locations today have been scrapped or artifacts long gone.

    • Alanna St. Laurent
      Alanna St. Laurent says:

      I am not sure what the name of the road is where it is off of, its not too far down the road from the Conservatory/Aquarium. Since the state took over the maintenance of Belle Isle it has been closed up.

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