On occasion, I travel to Ann Arbor for work, and I’m always puzzled by the apparent lack of nature offerings. I say apparent lack, because maybe I just don’t know where to go – I’ll admit my efforts haven’t been overly strenuous, because I usually don’t have much time there for recreation. That being said, if you know of places in Ann Arbor to immerse oneself in nature, please let me know in the comments.
On a trip earlier this year, I was searching Google maps and saw a larger green space identified as Lillie Park. South and East of the city proper, this is a natural space with a lake, ponds, trails made of paving, wood-chip and gravel, and sports field for community use. Swift Dog Park is located across the street should you want your canine friends run wild.
Slideshow of Lillie Park:
My main focus was stretching my legs on the trails, with a little geocaching thrown in to get me off the paths. I briefly walked on the asphalt paths in the Northern section of the park, but then got back in the car to seek out a more natural experience. From the park map, it appears that the trails of each section do not connect, but I didn’t spend enough time to check to see if social trails had done the job for the park district.
Lillie Park appears to be known as a fishing destination, but whether people are catching anything is up to conjecture. My research revealed no mention of stocking this former gravel pit, nor did I find anything in the forums I checked out. As they say, that’s why it’s called fishing and not catching.
Overall I’d say this appears to be a genuine community park, with a little bit of something for everyone. Playgrounds and sports fields for kid time, fishing, and trails for those who want to take a walk. It’s not hardcore by any means, but definitely a pretty place to spend time outside.
Directions to Lillie Park, Ann Arbor, MI: