Dicken Woods Nature Area

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Overview​

Dicken Woods Nature Area is a 10-acre natural area located on the western edge of Ann Arbor at the headwaters of the Allen Creek and Mallets Creek watersheds. View the Ann Arbor Parks and Nature Areas map for location context. It is bounded by Pauline Boulevard to the north, South Maple Road to the west, and neighborhoods and Dicken Elementary School on the south and east. There is a loop trail accessed from the end of Dicken Drive, and the park serves as a valuable recreational area and outdoor classroom for children and people of all ages. The Dicken Drive entrance has informational pamphlets available. A chipped footpath with a boardwalk over a seasonal wetland connects the ends of Dicken and Carol Drives, and a branch of this trail extends into the Dicken schoolyard using a network of smaller boardwalks on the school property.​ There are a variety of ecosystem types, including old field, mesic forest and vernal ponds.​

Park Notices

Unless otherwise posted per City Council resolution, when a park is closed, no person shall remain in or enter it other than to quietly sit or walk.​

Refer to Chapter 39 of the City of Ann Arbor Code of Ordinances for park regulations and rules.

Park Hours

6 a.m. – Midnight

Amenities

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Unpaved Trails

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Pollinator Garden



 
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Access and Parking

There is street parking on Dicken Drive on the southern edge of the park. There is street parking on Carol Drive​ on the southeastern edge of the park.​

The park is accessible on foot and bicycle by walking or biking along the neighborhood streets to the south and east. There are bike lanes and sidewalks along Pauline Boulevard, and there are sidewalks but no bike lanes along South Maple Road.

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Public Transportation

There are bus stops immediately adjacent to the park on South Maple Road and on Pauline ​Boulevard.​ ​Visit TheRide​ for closest stops and route details or check out the parks ride guide​​. ​​​​

History​​​

Dicken Woods was historically used for farming, and a farmhouse was on the western side of the property until the early 1980s. Its foundation is still present, and cultivated flowers can be found surrounding it. Apple trees from the old orchard are scattered throughout the area. In the central area of Dicken Woods, evidence remains of an irrigation system, and many strawberry plants can be found.

The land was acquired by the city in 2004, after members of the community formed the Friends of Dicken Woods organization, with the goal of saving the natural area from development. The area is now thick with invasive shrubs which are being removed through volunteer efforts. Native oaks are being planted and will mingle with the dogwood and hawthorn already here. 

Read a Natural Area Preservation (NAP) newsletter article detailing community involvement in the early days of the park:

2006 Park Focus: Dicken Woods by Erica Uramkin



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Looking to make an impact in a park or nature area? Ann Arbor Parks and Recreation provides volunteer opportunities for almost every interest, ability, and commitment level.

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A2 Fix It

A2Fix It - Service request tool

A2 Fix It is an online system you can use to report any maintenance issues or other problems during your park visit. When reporting an issue in a park please include detailed location information in the "details and description" section near the end of the request process. Pictures that provide location context are very helpful.

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