Narrow Gauge Way Nature Area

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Overview

Narrow Gauge Way is a 13.5 acre nature area located on the east side of Ann Arbor. View the Ann Arbor Parks and Nature Areas map for location context. The diverse trees located throughout the area provide habitat for terrestrial wildlife including rabbits, deer, and squirrels. ​Just some of the many native plant species found here include oak, hickory, maple, sycamore, sassafras, basswood, and black walnut trees as well as ragwort, jack-in-the-pulpit, richweed, Christmas fern, and lopseed.​​ The creek that flows through Narrow Gauge Way is a small branch of Millers Creek, which is the steepest tributary to the Huron River in all of Ann Arbor! ​

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. – 10 p.m.


 
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Access and Parking

​There is limited street parking available on Narrow Gauge Way, on the north side of the nature area​​.

The nature area is accessible on foot at two unmarked entry points: one where Narrow Gauge Way and Watershed Court meet, and one in the middle of the nature area property that borders Green Road. For both access points, the incline down to the stream bed requires caution and steady footing. Once in the area, discernible footpaths can be found, especially along the streambed located in the northern end of the nature area. 

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Public Transportation

The ne​a​rest bus stop is at the corner of Glazier Way and ​Bardstown Trail, which is about 0.5 miles away and a 10-15 minute walk from the nature area. Visit TheRide​ for closest stops and route details or check out the parks ride guide​​. ​​​

History​​​

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 a​bout the early history of the land here.​​

The City of Ann Arbor purchased the land that comprises Narrow Gauge Way Nature Area in 2007 from Narrow Gauge Holdings, Inc. and Sondra Gunn Properties for $1.8 million dollars. The money used for the purchase came from the city's Greenbelt Program. The Greenbelt program is an innovative land preservation program that has protected thousands of acres of farmland and open space surrounding the city of Ann Arbor.

The name of the nature area comes from the "narrow gauge rail" constructed by the former property owner, the late Harold Allen. Dr. Harold Allen was an aeronautical and research engineer at the University of Michigan from 1939 to 1972. He loved trains and started construction on the railway that adjoined his house in 1962. Harold used the small locomotive to haul maple sap and firewood to his house from the surrounding woods. 

2010 Park Focus: Narrow Gauge Way by Drew YoungeDyke



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