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Riverside Park

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​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​Park Address: 100 Canal St, Ann Arbor MI 48105​

Ac​ce​ss          Am​enities          His​t​​​​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, ​alcohol is prohibited and dogs must be on leash.  ​

Overview​​

​​​Riverside Park is a 15-acre park running along the Huron River, stretching from Maiden Lane to Broadway Street just north of downtown. View the Ann Arbor Parks and Nature Areas Map for location context. The B2B Trail runs through the park, making it an important connection. Thanks to the B2B the park has connections to Argo Park, Island Park​ and many more parks and areas of the city. The park features picnic tables and grills, a playground, an open grassy field and softball diamond. There is a grove of redbud trees​ in the park that is dedicated to Veterans of World War I. This section of the river is great for fly fishing, with several areas easy to access.​​​​​

PFAS "Do Not Eat Fish" Advisory: The MDHHS has issued a “Do Not Eat Fish” advisory for the Huron River and advises people and their pets to avoid foam on the Huron River. Learn more about PFAS information from the City of Ann Arbor here​.

Access and Parking

The park has about a dozen parking spaces off of Canal Street, which are reserved for park parking after 5p.m. and on weekends, but are reserved for University of Michigan permit parking from 6 a.m. -5p.m. Monday through Friday.

The park is accessible by foot and bicycle using the B2B Trail and other nearby streets. Wall Street has bike lanes and sidewalks. Maiden Lane has sidewalks but no bike lanes.​​ There are some bike racks in the park at the playground.

Public Transportation: There is a bus stop​ near the western side of the park off of Broadway Street, which is a short walk from the western entrance to the park, and a bus stop​ on the eastern side of the park off of Wall Street. ​​Visit The Ride for schedule and route details or check out the parks ride guide. 



Amenities



Volunteer 

There are many opportunities for volunteering and getting engaged with the Ann Arbor Parks and Recreation Services Unit. GIVE 365 and the seasonal Adopt-a-Park Program offer volunteer opportunities ranging from a 90-minute commitment to a more long term ongoing role. If you are feeling the call to volunteer or give some time, reach out or explore the websites 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. Alternatively if you have a special project or park improvement idea that you want to donate your time and energy toward, a great place to start is through Adopt-a-Park and the proposing a special park project​ guide. For information on donating a tree through Adopt-a-Park, the tree donation guide​​​​​​​ can help you get started.


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 about the early history of the land here​.​

The land ​​that comprises Riverside Park mostly overlaps with the original land purchase of Allen Rumsey and Elisha Walker Rumsey, which was the first plot of land of the village that became the City of Ann Arbor. The original deed from 1825 was only recovered in 1974 (read more about it and Riverside's early history in this article​ from the Ann Arbor News).

Riverside Park's land was acquired by the city over a nine year period from 1925-1934. The land was being used as an unofficial dump, and cleaning up the eyesore of an area was a major reason for acquiring the land. This​ was a difficult undertaking, as it was split between many different owners. Eli Gallup​, the parks director and namesake of Gallup Park, led and presided over this lengthy land acquistion process. Gallup was the parks superintendent from 1919-1957 and acquired nearly 1,000 acres​ of land along the Huron River for the parks system. In total sixteen different parcels had to be acquired. Gallup enlisted workers during the Depression using the federal Works Progress Administration program to help clean up the area. ​The playground was built in 1934. The park was named "Riverside Park" which had also been the name of the park across the river, now known as Broadway Park​, but was not commonly used to refer to it. Read more about the history of Broadway and Riverside Parks and Gallup's acquisitions in this Ann Arbor Observer article​ from the AADL.


Junkyard land that became Riverside Park (Source: AADL)


Riverside Park as seen from the air in 1967​

In the 1980s and 1990s, the city struggled with maintaining the wa​ter levels just past the Argo Dam, which caused accelerated erosion at Riverside Park and other areas along the Huron River. Several shoreline restoration projects have happened in the park along the river banks as a result. In one instance, two people in a canoe nearly died​ when their canoe was sucked through the dam in a sudden surge of water.​ An article from the Ann Arbor News in 1987 details efforts to manage the water levels. Today, canoers, kayaykers and rafters float past Riverside Park after embarking from Argo Park and often traveling through the Argo Casades, on their way down river to the Gallup Park Canoe Livery.


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