At Walking Wasthenaw we love to get out and enjoy nature. With so many parks, preserves, and public gardens in Washtenaw County, it’s hard to know if you’ve missed someplace interesting. Our mission is to go out and walk as many parks as possible. Then post reviews, so you can find out which parks sound interesting to you.
So get out there, have fun and relish the bountiful nature around us.
Beautiful birdsong and glorious fall colors combine to make a visit to Ann Arbor’s Bird Hills Nature Area a walk to remember. The Bird Hills Nature Area rises above a great bend in the Huron River west of Ann Arbor. Encompassing 146 acres, it is the largest natural area in the city’s park system. With a variety of pathways, hikers will find a sanctuary in this hilly woodland.
Twenty-some years ago, in 1999, there was a plan to build 1200 homes, retail spaces, and soccer fields in the center of Pittsfield Township. This plan included using a fleet of bulldozers and earthmovers to flatten, fill, and mow down a unique wetland area changing the township’s rural feel. Instead, the township purchased the land and created the Pittsfield Preserve that has become the pride of the area.
There is nothing more enjoyable on the mind than wandering through a pristine woodland preserve. Scio Woods Preserve certainly is one of the places to go when your soul needs finding.
Fox Science Preserve sits between Ann Arbor and Dexter in an old gravel quarry. The machines that dug deep into the soil are now gone, leaving behind a scene not too different from the glacial moraines of 12,000 years ago. This rocky and barren surface soon was recognized as a natural classroom for the study of biological succession. Teachers, students, and parents began exploring the boulders and limestone surfaces, observing as nature begins its transformation of the empty quarry into a fully functioning ecosystem.
Lillie Park sits in 124 acres of restored land in Pittsfield Township. Once a gravel pit, the area has been transformed into play areas and beautiful walking trails.
A peaceful walk to the River Raisin through a wetland habitat.
Today we visited Squiers Preserve, one of 3 small county preserves in western Washtenaw County. This small and uniquely shaped preserve is on Silvan Rd in Silvan Township. The preserve covers 59 acres of slightly rolling land and features mixed woodlands, wetlands and open meadows.
Joan Rodman loved this land and wanted others to enjoy it as much as she did.
Today I explored a new find, Baker Woods Preserve. The preserve covers 70 acres of old forest, open grasslands, and rolling hills and features well-maintained a trail system. Its varied ecosystem supports a large variety of birds and animals.
North Bay Park is a hidden treasure. The park features a network of trails, a raised boardwalk, an observation tower, fishing platforms and a fitness trail. These are all built around a central lagoon that is abounding with waterfowl, turtles and lotus flowers. It is absolutely one of the prettiest parks in the county.