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Kuebler Langford Nature Area

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​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​ Park Address:​ ​101 W Huron River Dr, Ann Arbor MI 48103​

Access          Amenities          Hist​ory


Hours and Rules

Open 6 a.m.-midnight with quiet hours beginning at 10 p.m. 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.​

Overview

​​Kuebler Langford Nature Area is a 31-acre natural area just north of M-14 where it is tucked into the sharp curve of Huron River Drive. View the Ann Arbor Parks and Nature Areas map for location context. Hilltop Nature Area, once known as Camp Hilltop, borders the park on the north. There are unpaved trails winding through the park which are accessible from the entrances. These trails bisect the park from east to west and connect to trails in Bird Hills Nature Area across Beechwood Drive​.

Part of the park is an old field area, with very little top soil. Interestingly, some plants here are native dry prairie species such as round headed bush clover and stiff goldenrod. A deep ravine bisects the park from west to east, and a moist woods, like that found in Bird Hills Park, covers the steep slopes and the area north of the ravine. Further east along the ravine a dryer forest dominates with large black and white oaks and an understory of witch-hazel and hazelnut shrubs.​​

Access and Parking

There is some parking available on Beechwood​​ Drive​ and some shoulder parking on the east side of the park along the western shoulder of Huron River Drive.

The park can be reached on foot and bicycle by walking and riding along the neighborhood streets to the south of the park, using the Beechwood Drive entrance.​ There are some bike racks at this entrance.

The Beechwood Drive entrance is also an entrance to Bird Hills Nature Area. The park has trail connections to Hilltop Nature Area​ to the north. 

Public Transportation: The nearest bus stop​ is on Sunset Road, about a five minute walk from the Beechwood Drive entrance. Visit The Ride for closest stops and route details or check out the parks ride guide. ​​

Amenities

  • Unpaved trails


Volunteer

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 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 he​re​. For special projects ideas in natural areas, Natural Area Preservation​ staff will guide you and provide project guidelines unique to natural areas.​​​

History

Controversy and pressure from the public led to the creation of Kuebler Langford Nature Area.​ In the late sixties and early seventies there was contention over a plan to develop the site. The City of Ann Arbor Planning Commission wanted to rezone the site to become high-rise housing  and there was a developer ready to build, while the Ann Arbor Park Commission wanted the city to buy the site to use it as parkland. A vote by the Planning Commission to rezone the area failed in 1969​ because a unanimous vote was required to pass it. Concerned citizens urged the city not to let the land be developed, citing concerns over erosion and the natural features and des​​cribing Huron River Drive as a "park road" that was not prepared for the traffic that would come with the development. In 1975 City Council relented to public sentiment and voted unanimously to purchase the site. 4.6 acres were sold to the city by G. Robert Langford and Elizabeth H. Langford for $15,000 and ​22.8 acres were sold to the city by Henry and ​Helen Kuebler for $150,000​​​. The nature area was named after the families who sold the land to the city. See a map showing the origin​al parcels.​

G. Robert Langford, one of the namesakes of the park, started a company in Ann Arbor called Economy Baler, which was once the largest business of its kind in the world. Read more about Langford's company here.

The land was used as a staging area for construction on M-14 in the late 1970s, causing some problems with erosion. Efforts to manage erosion in the area are still underway to this day. 

Several smaller land acquisitions have led to the park taping the shape that it is today. The city acquired 6 lots from the Ganzhorn Hills subdivision in 1993, which forms the portion of the park that runs along Beechwood Drive on the park's western edge. A small portion of land off of the southern side of Hampstead Lane, from that same subdivision, was acquired by the city and added to the park in 2011.

To learn more about the history, restoration efforts, and natural features of Kuebler Langford, check out these NAP Newsletters that have featured the park:​​

​2000 Park Focus: Kuebler Langford Nature Area by ​Jennifer Maigret​

​2019 Park Focus: Kuebler Langford Nature Area by ​Amy Lipson​



Updated March 2022. Email [email protected] for incorrect/outdated information. ​​​​