“In every walk with nature one receives far more than he seeks.” – John Muir
Do you feel trapped in an urban jungle? Need to reconnect with nature? Well, you’re in luck! No need to head to the Appalachians—Washtenaw County offers a variety of quality hiking and recreation trails.
For a longer trip close to Campus, check out the Border to Border Trail (B2B). This paved path is a little over 10 miles and follows the Huron River from Ann Arbor to Ypsilanti. The B2B weaves through many parks (and the Arb!) and offers great views of the river. It also directly connects Ann Arbor to Ypsilanti, and is healthier and more adventurous than driving or taking the bus. The path is marked with easy to recognize signs and is open to bikers, walkers, joggers, and rollerbladers. Look here for a map of the trail.
Another option is the County Farm Park Trail. This is located at the intersection of Washtenaw and Platt Rd, and there is another entrance on Medford. The park has 3 nature trails--all of which are one mile or shorter, and uniquely, it features a 1.4 mile unpaved exercise trail that has 18 fitness stations along the path for those feeling ambitious.
The Hoyt G Post Trail is located within the Parker Mill Preserve on Geddes Rd. The trail is one mile long and runs along Fleming Creek and the Huron River. It features a handicap accessible boardwalk and interactive nature stations; however, note that jogging and biking are prohibited. This trail connects to Gallup Park via a paved path, which also links up to the B2B for those looking for an extended trip. Plan your trip by using this trail map!
If you want to get a little further away from campus, consider the following options:
Independence Lake Park Trail, which is about 12 miles north of Ann Arbor, features a 1.7 mile paved trail that runs along the water. There are also 2 unpaved nature trails that are 1.25 and 2.25 miles long. Look for the Observation tower overlooking Cordgrass Marsh for an excellent view and wetland wildlife. If you’re feeling exhausted after your excursion, head to the Independence Park beach or cool off in the Spray Park.
Fourteen miles away from Campus and just south of Ypsilanti you will find Rolling Hills Park. This park contains 5 miles of paved surfaces for walking, biking and rollerblading, a 3-mile soft surface hiking trail with two observation decks and rolling terrain, and two nature trails under a mile through tall trees. The park also features a fairly complete waterpark with a lazy river, multiple water slides, and a wave pool. Find more information about Rolling Hills Park on Washtenaw's Parks and Rec website.
If you’re looking for a true hiking experience, head to Park Lyndon County Park. The park features two miles of marked nature trails through steep, glacially sculpted terrain. On the southern end of the park, check out the overlook over Lake Genevieve. Most importantly, Park Lyndon connects to the Waterloo/ Pinkney State Recreation Area Trail System. This system features 50 miles of hiking trails, and is perfect for those who want an “off the grid” experience. Go discover your next adventure!
Sunscreen, water, and appropriate clothing are essential!
Map your trail before you head out—especially for the longer hikes in the Waterloo/Pinkney trail system.
Check the weather before your trip and plan accordingly. Most County Parks charge a small fee. If you plan on visiting multiple times, buy the annual pass.
Many parks are open in the winter for cross-country skiing
Keeping You Informed,