Black Pond Woods Nature Area is a 34 acre woodland nature area on the north side of the city between Traver Road and Pontiac Trail. View the
Ann Arbor Parks and Nature Areas Map for location context. It is bordered by
Leslie Golf Course on its east side,
Leslie Park on its north side, and the
Leslie Science and Nature Center on the south side. The park features trails winding through the woods of oak, hickory, maple and dogwood. The spring wildflowers offer a terrific show. The titular Black Pond is a vernal, or seasonal, pond that supports a variety of wildlife.
Black Pond Woods is named for a small, vernal pond whose basin was formed by a slow-melting remnant of glacial ice. Tannins and humic acids from leaf litter cause the water color to be dark brown, thus giving rise to the name “Black Pond.” The water in the pond is collected entirely from rainfall that drains into the basin since there are no incoming springs or stream. The pond is, therefore, at its height in the spring and dry during summer months, effectively excluding fish from its inhospitable conditions.
The woods surrounding the pond itself are noteworthy as well. Black Pond Woods has two distinctive habitat types within its boundaries, and a third type, the wet meadow, is in Leslie Park adjoining the area. The woods surrounding the pond and comprising most of the northern and western areas of Black Pond Woods are mature oak-hickory forest. A large area adjacent to the Leslie Science Center boundary and into the central region of Black Pond Woods had historically been fallow fields and is currently growing in with shrubs and herbaceous savanna plants. There is also a wet meadow located in the woods of Leslie Park. Each of the three habitat types hosts a different diversity of native plants and animals which contribute to make the overall biodiversity of Black Pond Woods relatively high.