Recreation in Nature Areas

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​​​​​​​​ 3875 E. Huron River Drive, Ann Arbor, MI 48104


Remy Long,
Deputy Manager

Tina Stephens,
Volunteer and Outreach Coordinator

Becky Hand,
Stewardship Specialist

Rachel Maranto,
NAP Supervisor

​​ ​"Do Not Eat Fish" From the Huron River Advisory Iss​ued by the State of Michigan​

The advisory includes that "touching the fish or water and swimming in these water bodies is NOT CONSIDERED a health concern ..." and "an occasional swallow of river or lake water is also not considered a health concern." Therefore, the Gallup and Argo canoe liveries will maintain full operations. Read the full advisory​​.


Wildlife viewing is one activity that can be enjoyed in many of our parks and natural areas.  Check out our birds brochure (pdf) for a checklist of the breeding birds of Ann Arbor, or our coyote factsheet (pdf) to learn more about these creatures.  You can also join our bird and herp surveying efforts. Learn about the seasonal Safe Passage Great Lakes Days to help protect migrating birds.


Something wrong with a trail?  Is a tree fallen, has the trail been washed out, or are you just plain not sure where the trail is?  Drop us an email at [email protected] or give us a call at 734.794.6627! 

You can also hike a trail in the Ann Arbor parks. We’ve selected six trails for you to explore! We’ve compiled some important statistics that will help you enjoy your hike through Bird Hills Nature Area, Black Woods Pond Nature Area, Cedar Bend Nature Area, Furstenberg Nature Area, Mary Beth Doyle Park and Marshall Nature Area. Please see the two-sided map to guide you.​

Dogs in the​ Par​​ks

Dogs are required to be on leash in all City parks, with the exception of Olson (pdf) and Swift Run, which have specific areas set aside for off-leash play.  More information about Ann Arbor's dog parks are available here. Please refer to Chapter 107 of the City of Ann Arbor Code of Ordinances for more information about the terms of the requirement.

Why do we require dogs to be on leash in parks?

  • Wildlife may not survive an encounter with a free-roaming dog. Even a very friendly and obedient dog may innocently destroy the homes of ground-nesting birds or stress smaller mammals.
  • Keeping your dog on designated trails helps prevent erosion and destruction of trailside plants.
  • Many park visitors feel scared when they are approached by free-roaming dogs.
  • Dog feces are an unpleasant experience for all park visitors. With up to 100 dogs per day visiting some parks, they disrupt the natural balance of the ecosystem by adding excess nutrients to the environment. (For more information about the impact excess nutrients can have on park ecosystems, please see our "Park Neighbors and Yard Waste" factsheet here (pdf).)

Rules to Re​​me​​​​mber

  • Please stay on trails.
  • Do not collect plants or other materials.
  • Do not litter.
  • Do not erect structures.
  • Keep pets on a leash.
  • No camping.

Activities Requ​iring Permi​​​ts

In an effort to keep Ann Arbor's natural areas healthy, some activities have a permitting process.  If you're interested in these activities please contact us!

Geocaching Placement Guidelines and Permit 

Park and Natural Area Brochures a​nd Maps

Information regarding a few selected natural areas can be found in these brochures:  

Bandemer Park & Argo Nature Area (pdf)
Barton Nature Area (pdf)
Bird Hills Nature Area (pdf)
Cedar Bend Nature Area (pdf)
Dicken Woods Nature Area (pdf)
Furstenberg Nature Area (pdf)
Huron Hills Golf Course Woods (pdf)

Bird Hills, Barton, Hilltop, Kuebler Langford, Sunset Brooks, and Argo connection map - North Central Area (pdf)

For more information on visiting any of Ann Arbor's parks or natural areas, please visit the city's Parks and Recreation site.  Here you will find a map showing all of the parks and natural areas, a short description and list of features for each area, and links to maps of each area which show trails. For further information on programming in the parks, such as classes, canoeing, and other activities, please click here.