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Dicken Woods Nature Area

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​​​​​​​​​​​​Address:​ 1405 S Maple Rd, Ann Arbor MI 48103​​​​

Access          Amenities          History


Hours and Rules

Open 6 a.m.-midnight with quiet hours beginning at 10 p.m.​ Refer to Chapter 39 of the City of Ann Arbor Code of Ordinances for park regulations and rules. Smoking is prohibited, and dogs must be on leash.  ​

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.​

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.

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


Amenities

 

Volunteer

There are ongoing and limitless opportunities for volunteering and getting engaged with the Ann Arbor Parks and Recreation Services Unit. Natural Area Preservation has volunteer opportunities that support their mission to protect and restore Ann Arbor's natural areas and to foster an environmental ethic among its citizens. If you are feeling the call to volunteer or give some time, reach out or explore the website above to see what’s upcoming or how to get involved.​​​​

Report a Problem - A2 Fix It

To report any maintenance issues or other problem during your park visit, please report through A2Fix It. When reporting an issue in a park please include location details. There is a details and description section near the end of the request process to help you provide this. In addition, users can utilize the pin (website) or X (mobile app) feature to provide specific location information inside the park. Finally, please consider including a wide angle photo or include background landmarks, which helps staff find and fix the problem.​

Gifts and Donations

Information on donating to the parks and the Guide to Giving can be found he​re​. For special projects ideas in natural areas, Natural Area Preservation​ staff will guide you and provide project guidelines unique to natural areas.​​​​

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



Updated November 2021. Email [email protected] for incorrect/outdated information.​​​​