Park Address: 1975 S Huron Parkway, Ann Arbor, MI 48104
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.
Hickory Nature Area is a small 2-acre natural area on the north side of Ann Arbor. It is bordered by M-14 to the west and by Dillon Drive to the east. View the Ann Arbor Parks & Nature Areas Map for location context.
Hickory 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 and recreation’s Natural Area Preservation staff and volunteers work to steward, restore and inventory the natural communities throughout the city’s parks.
The park entrance is close to private property— be sure to refer to the map to stay within park boundaries. The habitat here is dry-mesic forest, which is dominated by oaks and hickories. A small grove of hickory trees on the west side of the park gives this area its name. Other plant species that can be found in the park include trillium, prickly gooseberry, ironwood, and hackberry. The entrance to the park is off of Dillon Drive, but a trail system has not yet been developed.
Access and Parking
The park has one access point off of Dillon Drive. Street parking is allowed on the road.
The park is accessible by foot and bicycle using the neighborhood streets, which have sidewalks. There no no bike racks at the park. Pontiac Trail, the closest major road, has bike lanes and sidewalks.
There is a bus stop on Pontiac Trail about a 5 minute walk from the park. 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 among 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.
As far back as the 1940s and 1950s, this area was cleared and used for farming. Beginning in about the 1960s, portions of the farm fields began to be abandoned and the current forest started to take root. Many large landmark trees, such as white oaks, shagbark hickories and sugar maples, which had been part of the fencerow around the farm fields, are still alive and well today.
Hickory Nature Area was acquired by the City of Ann Arbor in March of 2019. The land was dedicated to the city by the developer of the surrounding housing development. City Council approved naming the area "Hickory Nature Area," after the hickory trees found within the area, in September 2019. Hickory is the first acquisition in what may become a larger network of protected natural areas in this part of the city.
Updated April 2023. Email [email protected]
for incorrect/outdated information.