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South Pond Nature Area

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Park Address: ​3880 E Huron River Dr​, Ann Arbor, MI 48104​​

Acc​e​ss           Amenities           Hi​st​o​ry

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.


South Pond Nature Area is a 16-acre park located north of Huron River Drive and south of the B2B Trail in Gallup Park ​​and the railroad tracks. View the Ann Arbor Parks & Nature Areas Map for location context. South Pond is comprised several disconnected areas of land surrounding a large pond. The most visible part of the park is the pond itself, to which Chalmers and Malletts Creek drain. This area has an interesting natural history​ as the pond was once a prairie, before the Dixboro Dam was constructed, and is now becoming a marsh. Across the pond is a piece of land that is a beautiful example of an oak savanna. This natural area is being restored​​ by the staff and volunteers of the Natural Area Preservation unit​​​​. This includes prescribed burns and removal of non-native invasive plants. South Pond is also home to the Natural Area Preservation (NAP)​ office.


​Access and Parking

Some parking is available at the Natural Are​a Preservation (NAP) office​ at 3875 E Huron River Drive, but space may be limited. 

There are no sidewalks or bike lanes along Huron River Drive. There is no bus stop within a 20 minute walk of South Pond.

​​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 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 park​s 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​.​​

South Pond Nature Area was once a prairie. Around 1918 there was a railroad that was developed in the prairie area. Later on Swift Run Creek was dammed and the rerouted towards Mallets Creek. The combination of building the railroad, rerouting the river, river level rising due to damming the river​ and the impact of dredging created South Pond.​ The parcel that the Natural Area Preservation (NAP) office resides on was purchased by the city in 2009, although the occupants remained in the home on a life estate plan until 2013. In 2013, the parcel became park land as a part of South Pond. NAP's offices moved to the building here in 2014.

Read a NAP newsletter highlighting the history and natural features of South Pond, which was about to become home to NAP's office:​

2014 South Pond—Prairie, Pond, Marsh...Home by Dave Borneman​​

​​Updated April 2023. Email [email protected] for incorrect/outdated information.​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​