Foxfire South Nature Area

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Overview

Foxfire South Nature Area is an 19-acre natural area located in northeastern Ann Arbor. View the Ann Arbor P​arks and Nature Areas map for location context.

Foxfire South Nature Area is one of a number of city park properties with no trails or amenities. These natural areas represent a unique recreation and conservation feature of the city’s park system. In these relatively few spaces across the city, off-trail exploration is encouraged – a rare opportunity to meander through a wild space in o​ur urban context. Visitors are also invited to reflect on the conservation value and biodiversity of these spaces, where the Parks & Recreation’s Natural Area Preservation staff and volunteers work to steward, restore and inventory the natural communities throughout the city’s parks.

Foxfire South contains habitat for locally uncommon butterflies such as the Acadian Hairstreak, which is found along streams and in wetlands where willows occur.  The plentiful wetland wildflowers here provide nectar sources for these butterflies, and the Natural Area Preservation Program is restoring this area to improve habitat and reduce invasive species.

The ecosystem consists of woodland, wetland and shrubland. Glaciers once melted here, depositing the gravel and other rock that form the hills. There is also a small wetland that connects to the Dhu Varren Woods Nature Area wetland. This wetland generally keeps visitors from crossing between the two nature areas.

American toads, spring peeper frogs, and pileated woodpeckers have been observed in the park. Native plants of note include sedge, whorled loosestrife, shrubby cinquefoil, pawpaw, rue anemone, flowering dogwood, small fringed gentian, sharp-fruited rush and northern bog violet. The not-so-common black maple may be found down by the creek. Native plants of note include sedges, whorled loosestrife, pawpaw, flowering dogwood, small fringed gentian, and sharp-fruited rush. The not-so-common black maple may be found down by the creek. Bitternut and shagbark hickories abound at the tops of the hills.​​​

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


 
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Access and Parking

There is street parking available on Placid Way, Meadowridge Court, and Omlesaad Drive. Both sections of Foxfire South border Placid Way Park, which has a paved pathway through the middle. The area can be accessed from Placid Way but there are no paths, there is dense brush, and the terrain is steep in some places. There is also some parking at Placid Way Park as there is a small parking area​ with approximately four parking spaces at the south entrance of the park on Placid Way.

A small section of the park is accessible via the trails in Dhu Varren Woods Nature Area​ which borders the area.

The park is accessible on foot and bicycle using the surrounding neighborhood streets. Nearby Dhu Varren Road has bike lanes and sidewalks but not between Omlesaad Drive and Birchwood Drive.

Nearby parks (generally less than a 10-15 minute walk) include Placid Way Park​, Dhu Varren Woods​ Nature Area, Olson Park, Foxfire North Park, Foxfire West ParkFoxfire East Park, Buttonbush Nature Area​, Traver Creek Nature Area​, Tuebingen Park, and Stapp Nature Area.

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Public Transportation

The nearest bus stop ​is at the corner of Dhu Varren Road and North Foxridge Court. Visit TheRide for closest stops and route details or check out the parks ride guide. ​​

History​​​

Ann Arbor's city parks sit on the ancestral and traditional homelands​ of several indigenous Native peoples. Read a land acknowledgement​​ from the city and learn more a​bout the early history of the land here.​​

Read a Natural Area Preservation (NAP) Newsletter featuring the park:​
Park Focus: Foxfire South Nature Area by Kathleen Gosselin, 2020​​



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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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