Hansen Nature Area


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​Hansen Nature Area​ is on the west side of the city off South Maple Road​. This park has the highest elevation (990 feet above sea level) of any city p​ark. View the Ann Arbor Parks & Natural Areas​​ map​ for location context. This 9-acre neighborhood park has a beautiful woodland accessible from the Grace Bible Church parking lot. You will find a half mile trail through the woods, making Hansen Nature Area a beautiful spot for a walk. There is also a small open area with a small play structure along Maple Road.

The woodland is very open, and in spring the forest floor is blanketed with trout lilies. The small pond in the western section of the park is home to painted turtles, spring peepers and chorus frogs. The circular unpaved pathway directs hikers through an oak hickory forest scattered with wildflowers like Jack-in-the-pulpit and mayapples.​

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



Nature Trail


Bike Rack




Landfill Bin



Access and Parking

Parking is usually available in the parking lot of Grace Bible Church which is next to the property. For trail access, look for the trail head to the west of the parking lot. The playground is to the east and visible from Maple Road.

Public Transportation

There is a bus stop on Maple Road near Hansen ​Drive, about a one minute walk from the park. Check out The​​Ride Guide​​​ for more details.​ ​​



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 le​arn more a​bout the early history of the land here.​​

Aerial photos from 1940 show this area as one of the few pockets of woodland left untouched in this​ part of the city. Surrounding the area in the 1940s were orchards and farmland which gave way to housing developments in the 1960s. In March of 1964, H.E. Hansen sold the 10.3 acre parcel to the City with the wishes that it be preserved as a public park area. Mr. Hansen resided in a farm next to the undeve​loped land. In these 1920s-1940 era photos you can see the park land in the background. In the fall of 1964, the property was officially ​named Hansen Park in honor of Mr. H.E. Hansen. A questionnaire was sent to neighbors to receive input on what they wanted in the park. Neighbors requested a walking trail and some wanted a playground for their children. During a public meeting, people were asked to vote on whether a playground should be built or not. ​The playground vote passed, and Parks and Recreation began plans for a small “tot play area, with a split rail fence since it is so close to Maple Road.” The playground is still in use and guarded by the split rail fence.​

Ecological restoration efforts started in 1997 under NAP’s leadership. Work in Hansen began with building the trail and removing invasive species. In 2003, NAP conducted a prescribed burn throughout the entire park. Prescribed burns are used to remove invasive plants and help native plants. ​Spreading native seeds after the burn also helped to strengthen the native plant population. After the burn was conducted, a neighbor wrote that “Hansen is carpeted with yellow trout-lily – really beautiful. Also some large patches of toothwort, and smaller spots of wild geranium and May-apple with a few happy Jack-in-the-pulpits and a couple trillium. Do you suppose that burn had anything to do with it?” The controlled burn likely did encourage the native wildflowers to flourish. Visit Natural Area Preservation (NAP) for more details on the efforts to protect and restore Ann Arbor’s natural areas. Check out the links below for NAP Newsletters featuring more reading on Hansen:

An aerial photograph from 1947 with parcel lines drawn, Hansen is the wooded area with the pond
An aerial photograph from 1947 with parcel lines drawn, Hansen is the wooded area with the pond


Volunteer in the parks

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.

Learn more about volunteer opportunities
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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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