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Scarlett Mitchell Nature Area

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​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​Address:​ ​​​3801 Platt Rd, Ann Arbor MI 481038​

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Hours and Rules

Op​​​en 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.


Scarlett Mitchell Nature Area is a 50 acre wooded nature area in southeast Ann Arbor adjacent to Scarlett and Mitchell schools and Mitchell Scarlett Woods. View the Ann Arbor Parks and Nature Areas map​ for location context. Scarlett Mitchell and Mitchell Scarlett together form one beautiful wooded area filled with trails and plenty of greenery. Access to the combined area's main entrance​ is from the schools’ parking lot, where parking is available. A trail through Mitchell Scarlett woods connects to the sections of the park.

The combined areas of Scarlett Mitchell Nature Area, Michell Scarlett Woods and Turnberry Park allow for a great diversity of plant and animal life. Scarlett Mitchell Nature Area contains a diverse wetland and a wooded area. The ​wetlands are great areas to look for birds, facilitated by many bird boxes throughout the park. The wetlands also support a sizable population of reptiles and amphibians. A trail loops through these areas, however it is a seasonally wet area, so be prepared, especially during the rainy spring months. This nature area is undergoing restoration efforts by the staff and volunteers of Natural Area Preservation, including prescribed ecological burns and removal of non-native invasive plants.​

Access and Parking

Parking is available at the schools bordering the nature area. The main entrance to Mitchell Scarlett Woods, which provides access to both parts of Scarlett Mitchell Nature Area, is located just behind Scarlett Middle School.

There is a small entrance to the nature area's eastern portion off of Turnberry Lane​. Street parking is available at this entrance. There is an entrance to the area's western portion off of Platt Road. There is a small pullout with room for two cars to park at this entrance.

The park is accessible on foot and bicycle by walking and riding along the neighborhood streets. There are no bike racks at the park. There are bike lanes along nearby Platt Road.​

Public Transit:​ The nearest bu​s stop​ is on Platt Road, about a 10 minute walk from the main entrance. 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



  • Unpaved trails, view trail 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 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 he​re​. 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 acknow​ledgement​ from the city and learn more about the early history of the land here​.​​

The two separate sections of Scarlett Mitchell Nature Area were two separate acqui​sitions of land, decades apart. The first was the eastern portion, 25 acres in size, acquired by the city to use as parkland in 1975. The land was bought from Laser Systems Corporation. This land was adjacent to the extant Mitchell Scarlett Woods (then known as Scarlett Mitchell Woods). In the late 1960s and early 1970s​ the school district ​​had planned to use the Mitchell Scarlett Woods area for a high school, but that plan was dropped after the community rallied to preserve the natural area.​

The western portion of the park adjacent to Platt Road and I-94, also 25 acres, was acquired by the city in 2001. This parcel was previously known as the "Finkel Property." A Michigan Natural Resources Trust Fund grant helped make this land acquisition possible. Nearby residents, neighbors, and members of the schools wrote to the city to voice their support for this acquisition for the purpose of keeping it a natural area.​

Judith and Manfred Schmidt have spent decades advocating for the preservation of the Scarlett Mitchell area's green ​spaces. See a video featuring them and their story here​.​

Read an article from the NAP Newsletter in 2003 detailing the variety of species found within the natural area and restoration efforts:

2003 Park Focus: ​Scarlett Mitchell Nature Area by Maggie Hostetler

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