Scarlett Mitchell Nature Area


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Scarlett Mitchell Nature Area is a 50 acre wooded nature area in southeast Ann Arbor next 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. View a map​ showing how the properties combine into one nature area.

The combined areas of Scarlett Mitchell Nature Area, Michell Scar​lett 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.​

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. – Midnight



Unpaved Trails



Access and Parking

Parking is available at the schools (Mitchell Elementary and Scarlett Middle School) which border the nature area. The main trail entrance​ to Mitchell Scarlett Woods, which provides access to both parts of Scarlett Mitchell Nature Area, is loc​ated 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 Transportation

The nearest bu​s stop is on P​latt 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​​.​​



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 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


Volunteer in the parks

Looking to make an impact in a park or nature area? Ann Arbor Parks and Recreation provides volunteer opportunities for almost every interest, ability, and commitment level.

Learn more about volunteer opportunities
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A2 Fix It

A2Fix It - Service request tool

A2 Fix It is an online system you can use to report any maintenance issues or other problems during your park visit. When reporting an issue in a park please include detailed location information in the "details and description" section near the end of the request process. Pictures that provide location context are very helpful.

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