Park Address: 2255 Placid Way, Ann Arbor, MI 48105
Hours and Rules
Open 6 a.m.-midnight with quiet hours beginning at 10 p.m. 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. Smoking is prohibited, and dogs must be on leash.
Foxfire South Nature Area is an 19-acre natural area located in northeastern Ann Arbor. View the Ann Arbor Parks 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 our 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.
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 Park, Foxfire East Park, Buttonbush Nature Area, Traver Creek Nature Area, Tuebingen Park, and Stapp Nature Area.
Public Transportation: The nearest bus stop is at the corner of Dhu Varren Road and North Foxridge Court. Visit The Ride for closest stops and route details or check out the parks ride guide.
Using a phone? - Click for a GPS Tracker and Wayfinding Map
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 within the community. 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 here. For special projects ideas in natural areas, Natural Area Preservation staff will guide you and provide project guidelines unique to natural areas.
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 about the early history of the land here.
Read a Natural Area Preservation (NAP) Newsletter featuring the park and the flora and fauna within:
Park Focus: Foxfire South Nature Area by Kathleen Gosselin, 2020
Updated February 2023. Email [email protected]a2gov.org for incorrect/outdated information.