With over 140 parks, nature areas, and trails, outdoor activities and adventures await you no matter where you may find yourself in Ann Arbor. Explore miles of trails while you wander through wildflower gardens, oak savannas, and wetlands. Parks dotting the Huron River provide easy water access for canoeing and kayaking, while protected bicycle paths are perfect for cycling. Or, simply take a leisurely stroll as you soak in the picturesque surroundings of gorgeous Ann Arbor.
Matthaei Botanical Gardens and Nichols Arboretum
As one of the many treasures on the University of Michigan campus, the Matthaei Botanical Gardens and Nichols Arboretum are a catalyst for social and ecological change. Founded in 1907 with just 80 acres, today, the gardens have grown to more than 700 acres of wildlife, research areas, and nature preserves. The diverse collections of wetlands and woodlands, perennials and shrubs, ferns, and vines are truly a sight to behold. With opportunities for strolling through miles of trails or admiring from afar in some of their observation decks, you’ll find something exceptional no matter how you choose to explore this renowned space.
Bird Hills Nature Area
This is an incredible destination for nature lovers looking for a peaceful escape. Bird Hills Nature Area is the largest natural area in the city, with 146 acres of wetlands, woodlands, meadows, and rolling hills. There are five trailheads and trail connections to Barton Nature Area and Kuebler Langford Nature Area. The unpaved trails take visitors through beautiful forest foliage, including beech, sugar maple, flowering dogwood, oaks and hickory, and various spring wildflowers. With lush vegetation throughout the park, it’s an excellent spot to slow down and take in the beauty of Michigan while enjoying what the outdoors offers.
With its winding paths leading through the woodlands to the Huron River, it's easy to immerse yourself in the tranquility of Gallup Park. This popular 69-acre park features plenty of wildlife, from ducks and geese around the river's edge to an abundance of songbirds flitting around the trees. Hop aboard a canoe, kayak, or paddle boat for a leisurely ride down the river. And, when you pack a lunch, you can spend an entire day here unwinding in one of Gallup Parks' numerous picnic shelter areas.
Nelson Meade County Farm Park
Immerse yourself in the natural beauty and rich history of Ann Arbor at Nelson Meade County Farm Park. Dating back to a 127-acre tract of land purchased from Claudius Britton in 1836, the land today combines the Britton Woods Nature Area, County Farm Nature Area, and County Farm Park Gardens. Trillium and other wildflowers reflect the environment in pre-settled times, while renewed habitat created lush fields where rabbits, pheasants, woodchucks, and plenty of birds roam free. Experience the land of Ann Arbor as it was meant to be!