Furstenberg Nature Area is a 38 acre park near the center of Ann Arbor on Fuller Road just west of Gallup Park. View the Ann Arbor Parks and Nature Areas map for location context. Most of the park’s border lies along the Huron River. The park contains wetlands, woodlands, prairie, and oak savanna. A half-mile paved trail loops through the park, and a granular trail goes through the prairie and woods, connecting to 1/4 mile of wetland boardwalk which connects to the western edge of Gallup Park. Natural Area Preservation staff and volunteers have been making ecological improvements to this area since the mid-90s through controlled burns and invasive shrub removal. Burning is a restoration practice that was first used at Furstenberg in 1996.
One of the most delightful activities to do within Furstenberg is
to watch wildlife. The system of trails winding through the park
hold benches and viewing points to catch a glimpse of some of the
interesting species that establish themselves in the spring. The
swaying cattails of Furstenberg’s marsh offer a chorus of animal
vocalizations. Several frog species call here in the evenings from spring through early summer - first Spring Peepers, then American Toads, then Gray Treefrogs, and finally Green Frogs in the late summer. During the day, Red-winged blackbirds make their
famous “konk-la-ree” song, an indicator of the spring. Along the
Huron River, there are more observation opportunities. The rare
Trumpeter Swan will take a breather here in winter before making its way to small ponds in Ann Arbor and the surrounding area to nest in the spring. Painted turtles, after a long winter
snooze, will begin to sun themselves during the first balmy days at
Furstenberg. Wildlife is abundant and exciting at this park.
An interpretive brochure leads the visitor through a series of numbered posts explaining the natural ecosystems.
Access Points and Parking
There is a parking lot at the main entrance to the nature area at 2626 Fuller Road. The park can also be accessed from Gallup Park via pedestrian bridge and trails or from Huron High School across Fuller Road. Furstenberg Nature Area has a bike rack as bikes are prohibited on the boardwalks within the park.
Parking for Gallup. Because Gallup Park can reach parking capacity, consider parking at Furstenberg for a pleasant 20 minute walk to the Gallup canoe livery.
Public Transportation: There are not any convenient bus stops within a 10 minute walk to Furstenberg Nature Area. However, there are a few options for a 12-15 minute walk. Visit The Ride for closest stops and route details or check out the parks ride guide.
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 tug 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. Keep in mind that parks are large spaces and A2 Fix It requests can be difficult to find without detailed information. 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.
The land that is now Furstenberg Park was owned by Huron Farms Company (later succeeded by Detroit Edison) until 1939. It was then purchased by Albert and Elizabeth Furstenberg. In 1971 the area was acquired for $90,000 by the City of Ann Arbor to “preserve and protect the Huron River Valley”. The purchase was financed with a H.U.D. Open Space Grant for use as “park purposes.”
The land was largely undeveloped as a park through the 1980s. In 1986 it was even used by the City for clean fill dumping. In 1992, several improvements including trails, benches, and a marker were added with the support of private donations toward the Dr. Edward O. Gilbert memorial fund. In 1993, a major grant was acquired from the Michigan Department of Natural Resources to preserve the river frontage. These improvements were implemented in two phases and included a boardwalk, restrooms, parking, and a bridge connecting Furstenberg to adjacent Gallup Park. The bridge’s opening, along with the official grand opening of the park, happened in 1996. The landscape architect who designed these improvements, Peter Pollack of Pollack Designs in Ann Arbor, was given an award from the American Society of Landscape Architects for his design.
To read more about Furstenberg Nature Area history, volunteer efforts, ecological restoration and other Natural Area Preservation activities, check out the NAP Newsletter features that have highlighted Furstenberg:
1996 Park Focus: Furstenberg Park Nature Area by Deb Paxton
2005 Park Focus: Furstenberg Nature Area by Amanda Sprader
2018 Park Focus: Furstenberg Nature Area by Alex Cherry