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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.

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.

Overview Washtenaw county will never claim any awards for impressive topology. The fact is that in the last ice age, when massive glaciers moved through this part of the continent, they made sure to grind down anything in their path, leaving behind flattened lands and huge furrows that would become the Great Lakes. However, as these walls of ice retreated, they dropped off mounds of sand and gravel in the otherwise smooth plains. One of the places this happened was in Sharon Township, creating the Sharon Short Hills. The hills have a gentle slope, making the trail’s 1-mile loop relatively easy, and at the top of the path, you will find yourself on one of the highest points in the county at 1060 feet. You will find forests and scenic views along the way, making this one of the nicer hikes in the area. RATING Scenery – 4Trail Condition -…