trail tales

My brother Nick, 11 months my junior, loves to hunt, and is quite good at it 

While I enjoy the product of his efforts, I myself was never able to take on the woods, armed, with any enthusiasm. I discharged a few firearms in the woods in my teens, but like John Prine sang “empty pop bottles was all we would kill” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DEy6EuZp9IY.  Nick announced to the family a week from last Tuesday he’d been diagnosed with COVID.  So we’re all praying for him, or at least those of us who still do such a thing.  I gave him the doctor-brother advice to get out in the sunshine, realizing that a lot of UV still gets through the clouds (https://theviewfromharbal.com/2020/11/23/sunshine-on-my-shoulders-kills-my-covid/). So far as I know, he’s doing o.k.

I prefer to do my hunting (and pecking) at my laptop.  For most of my free time the last week or so, I’ve been stalking parks and preserves in Washtenaw County where it might be fun to take a hike.  I’d thought I’d compiled a pretty fair list from the city of Ann Arbor and my 2 hiking books (https://theviewfromharbal.com/2020/11/25/walkies/), but a peek at what the county had to offer let me know I still had work to do. My search through the parks and nature areas of Washtenaw County is now complete, I think.  My run through their 28 nature areas (https://www.washtenaw.org/336/Nature-Preserves) found all but 2 with some pretty good looking trails.  Of their 13 parks, I’d already tagged several, eventually coming up with 6 to add to the list.  But there was more!  The U itself owns 3 areas good for a hike, 2 operated as “ Field Properties“ by the School for the Environment and Sustainability (Natural Resources in my day, Forestry before that), and one by my old school, L.S.&A.  Alltrails.com, where I went to get some maps, lists on the right sidebar local trails that might be of interest.  Following trails I hadn’t yet captured, I learned about the Southeast Michigan Land Conservancy (http://smlcland.org/) with its several enticing properties  and even little Superior Township runs 10 parks (https://superiortownship.org/departments/parks-and-recreation/), of which two look attractive for walkies.  The State’s Department of Natural Resources lists 261 areas it deems good for hiking in the whole state (https://www2.dnr.state.mi.us/ParksandTrails/Default.aspx?filterID=57#list), but Jim DeFrense and Greg Tasker had already told me about the ones around me. 

So my list is as complete as it’s going to get, lest I stumble on to another trail someplace.  The list is in a ring binder along with all of the trail maps, 7 pages both sides, 65 properties.  I actually have 2 ring binders now: one for Washtenaw County and one for farther flung areas in SE Michigan.  The new binder isn’t done yet, as there are some maps to be sheathed and all I’ve collected still have to be alphabetized. Eventually, I’ll print out a list of properties, cut out each into a slip to put into a jar, into which Kathy and I will dip to see where we’ll go next. I don’t think we’ll get bored!

But here’s what you’ve got to choose from if you want to go walkies in my county.  Those of you not from around these parts can do as I did.  It’s fun digging.  Places like nature preserves are seldom well marked or publicized, but looking on a township, city or county web site in the “parks and recreation” area should find ‘em, and sometimes a lot.  Good to have a variety of places to go out and do that “forest bathing”.  As a physician, even if retired, I care about your health.  The outdoors is calling with some free Rx.  Go for it.

facilityMi (min) from Harbal  Nearest barsDis-tance (mi)
Bakers Woods – 11914 Trinkle Road, Dexter MI. 48130 https://www.washtenaw.org/Facilities/Facility/Details/Baker-Woods-1    21(16.4)Rappourt (1.1) Homes Brewery (5.0) Townies Brewery (5.3)  0.7
Brauer Preserve 3200 S Parker Rd, Ann Arbor 48103 https://www.washtenaw.org/DocumentCenter/View/1273/Brauer-Preserve-Trail-Map-PDF?bidId=      21 (15.5)Jolly Pumpkin (1.1) Bill’s Beer Garden (1.2) The Grotto (1.2) 
Broadway – 800 Broadway St, Ann Arbor 48104 https://www.a2gov.org/departments/Parks-Recreation/parks-places/Pages/Broadway.aspx  7 (1.2)Grotto Haymaker’s Bill’s Beer Garden Jolly Pumpkin0.6 0.5 0.6 0.6
Burns-Stokes Preserve 2095 North Zeeb Road, Dexter 48130 https://www.washtenaw.org/DocumentCenter/View/1285/Burns-Stokes-Preserve-Trail-Map-PDF?bidId=    6 (1.4)Bill’s Beer Garden (0.9) The Grotto (0.9)0.7 0.4 1.1
Cedar Bend Nature Area -1495 Cedar Bend Dr 48105 https://www.a2gov.org/departments/Parks-Recreation/parks-places/Pages/CedarBend.aspx  2 (0.4)Rappourt Grotto Bill’s Beer Garden Jolly Pumpkin1.3 1.5 1.5 1.5
Cherry Hill Nature Preserve 6375 Cherry Hill Rd, Superior Township  48198 http://superiortownship.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/10/Cherry-Hill-Nature-Preserve.pdf  12 (5.6)Rappourt Corner Brewery3.6 4.0
Clark & Avis Spike Preserve 18700 Grass Lake Road, Manchester 48158 https://www.washtenaw.org/DocumentCenter/View/1328/Clark-and-Avis-Spike-Preserve-Trail-Map-PDF?bidId=    9 (1.9)Jolly Pumpkin (1.1) Bill’s Beer Garden (1.1) The Grotto (1.q)2.2 3.4
County Farm Park – 2230 Platt Rd, Ann Arbor 48104 https://www.washtenaw.org/421/County-Farm-Park  13 (5.0)Bleachers Tap Room Pointless Brewery and Theater0.2 0.7
Devine Preserve 6110 W Liberty, Ann Arbor 48103 https://www.washtenaw.org/DocumentCenter/View/1328/Clark-and-Avis-Spike-Preserve-Trail-Map-PDF?bidId=    10 (2.8)Jolly Pumpkin (2.1) Bill’s Beer Garden (2.0) The Grotto (2.1)0.2 2.9 1.5 1.5
Dolph Nature Area – 465 S Wagner Road, Ann Arbor 48103 https://www.a2gov.org/departments/Parks-Recreation/parks-places/Pages/Dolph.aspx  18 (5.0)Townie’s Homes Wolverine State  1.1 1.1 1.3
Draper-Houston Meadows Preserve – 569 Mooreville Rd Milan 48160 https://www.washtenaw.org/Facilities/Facility/Details/DraperHouston-Meadows-5  24(18.5)Original Gravity The Owl1.4 1.o
Forest Nature Area – Handy Ln off Geddes Rd between Dixboro Rd and Superior Rd 4650 Geddes Road, Ann Arbor 48107 https://www.a2gov.org/departments/Parks-Recreation/parks-places/Pages/Forest.aspx  15 (7.8)Rappourt 
Fox Science Preserve – 2228 Peters Rd Ann Arbor 48103 https://www.washtenaw.org/Facilities/Facility/Details/Fox-Science-7  15 (7.8)Jolly Pumpkin Beer Grotto2.3 3.0  
Gallup – 3000 Fuller Rd, Ann Arbor 48105 https://www.a2gov.org/departments/Parks-Recreation/parks-places/Pages/Gallup.aspx      8 (2.4)Rapport Bleachers Tap Room Gortto1.6 1.7 2.1
Garden Homes – 1800 Franklin St, Ann Arbor 48103 https://www.a2gov.org/departments/Parks-Recreation/parks-places/Pages/GardenHomes.aspx  13 (3.5)Homes Townies Grotto Wolverine State1.2 1.9 1.9 2.1  
Goodrich Preserve – 3695 N Dixboro Rd, Ann Arbor 48105 https://www.washtenaw.org/Facilities/Facility/Details/Raymond-F-Goodrich-Preserve-9  10 (4.6)Rappourt Corner Brewery2.6 5.7
Hansen Nature Area – 1200 S Maple Rd, Ann Arbor 48103 https://www.a2gov.org/departments/Parks-Recreation/parks-places/Pages/Hansen.aspx  16 (4.0)Wolverine State Townies Homes0.4 0.50.9
Harwood Heritage Preserve – 2850 E Textile Rd Ann Arbor 48103 https://www.washtenaw.org/Facilities/Facility/Details/Fox-Science-7  22 (8.6)Salt Springs Brewing Stony Lake Brewing Co2.1 2.3
Highland State Recreation Area – 5200 Highland Rd, White Lake 48383 https://www2.dnr.state.mi.us/ParksandTrails/Details.aspx?id=284&type=SPTR    40 (36.7)The Weal Inn Sparkies Kitchen and Bar The White Lake Inn1.5 1.6 1.9
Horner-McLaughlin Woods – 1800 N Dixboro Rd, Ann Arbor 48105 https://mbgna.umich.edu  12 (4.9)Rappourt Corner Brewery2.3 4.4
Independence Lake County Park – 3200 Jennings Road
Webster Township
Whitmore Lake 48189 https://www.washtenaw.org/424/Independence-Lake-Park  
19 (11.6)Whitmore Lake Tavern Hamburg Pub2.1 2.9
Jack R. Smiley Nature Preserve – 3040 N Prospect Rd, Superior Charter Twp, MI 48198 http://www.smlcland.org/properties_washtenaw.php  16 (8.0)Marischino’s Pub Corner Brewery 734 Brewing Co Yspi Alehouse Sidetrack Bar and Grill3.5 3.8 4.1 4.4 4.1
Koenn Preserve 2200 Hayes Road, Chelsea MI 48118 https://www.washtenaw.org/DocumentCenter/View/1298/Koenn-Preserve-Trail-Map-PDF?bidId=  28 (23.6)The Brass Stag Pub3.7  
Koesch Headwaters Preserve 8170 Ford Road, Ypsilanti MI 48198 https://www.washtenaw.org/DocumentCenter/View/1299/Kosch-Headwaters-Preserve-Trail-Map-PDF?bidId=    6 (2.1)Rappourt Haymakers Jolly Pumpkin1.2 1.8 1.9
Kuebler Langford Nature Area – 101 W Huron River Dr, Ann Arbor 48105 https://www.a2gov.org/departments/Parks-Recreation/parks-places/Pages/KueblerLangford.aspx  10 (2.2)Homes Townies Jolly Pumpkin Wolverine State Bill’s Beer Garden Haymakers2.0 2.4 1.4 2.4 1.4 1.3
Lakewood Nature Area – 3225 Sunnywood Dr, Ann Arbor 48103 https://www.a2gov.org/departments/Parks-Recreation/parks-places/Pages/Lakewood.aspx  20 (5.4)Townies Homes Wolverine State  0.8 0.8 1.2
LeFurge Woods Nature Preserve – 2384 N Prospect Rd, Superior Twp 48198 http://www.smlcland.org/properties_washtenaw.php  16 (9.3)Corner Brewery 734 Brewing Company Ypsi Alehouse2.4 2.7 3.0
Leonard Preserve – 375 N Union St, Manchester 48158 https://www.washtenaw.org/Facilities/Facility/Details/Leonard-Preserve-13  37 (29.2)Over the Edge Sports Bar Village Tap0.6 0.8
Leslie Woods Nature Area – 2000 Upland Dr, Ann Arbor 48103 https://www.a2gov.org/departments/Parks-Recreation/parks-places/Pages/LeslieWoods.aspx  5 (0.9)Rappout  0.7
Marshall Nature Area – Plymouth Rd at N Dixboro Rd (NW corner), Ann Arbor 48105 https://www.a2gov.org/departments/Parks-Recreation/parks-places/Pages/Marshall.aspx  10 (3.9)Rappourt2.4  
Mary Beth Doyle – 3500 Birch Hollow Dr, Ann Arbor 48108 https://www.a2gov.org/departments/Parks-Recreation/parks-places/Pages/Brown.aspx  18 (5.4)Pointless Brewery and Theater Bleachers Tap Room Biercamp0.8 1.5 1.9
Matthei Botanical Gardens – 1800 N. Dixboro Road, Ann Arbor 48105 https://mbgna.umich.edu/matthaei-botanical-gardens/trails/  12 (4.9)Rappourt2.3
Meyer Preserve – 2378 N Prospect, Ypsilanti 48198 https://www.washtenaw.org/Facilities/Facility/Details/Meyer-Preserve-14  17 (9.3)Corner Brewery 734 Brewing Co Yspi Alehouse Sidetrack Bar and Grill Bobcat Bonnie’s The Wurst Bar2.4 2.7 3.0 2.7 3.1 2.9
Miller-Smith Preserve – 8560 Dexter-Chelsea Rd, Chelsea 48130 https://www.washtenaw.org/Facilities/Facility/Details/MillerSmith-Preserve-15        20 (13)Erratic Ale Beer Grotto Filmore Bar and Grill Jolly Pumpkin0.6 0.7 0.8 1.2
Narrow Gauge Way Nature Area – 3450 Narrow Gauge Way, Ann Arbor 48105 https://www.a2gov.org/departments/Parks-Recreation/parks-places/Pages/NarrowGaugeWay.aspx  10 (3.1)Rappourt Grotto Jolly Pumpkin Biercamp1.6 2.8 2.8 2.9
Nichols Arboretum – 1610 Washington Hts, Ann Arbor 48104 https://mbgna.umich.edu/nichols-arboretum/  10 (2.1)The Grotto Hopcat Biercamp Bill’s Beer Garden1.2 0.8 1.7 1.2
Northfield Woods & Arbor Woods Preserve – 150 E Northfield Church Road, Whitmore Lake, 48189 https://www.washtenaw.org/Facilities/Facility/Details/Northfield-Woods-Arbor-Woods-Preserves-16  12 (6.0)Rappourt3.4
Oakwoods Nature Area – 3200 Green Rd, Ann Arbor 48105 https://www.a2gov.org/departments/Parks-Recreation/parks-places/Pages/OakwoodsNatureArea.aspx  11 (3.1)Rappourt0.8  
Onder – 295 Brookside Dr, Ann Arbor 48105 https://www.a2gov.org/departments/Parks-Recreation/parks-places/Pages/OnderPark.aspx  7 (2.2)Rappourt Grotto Jolly Pumpkin Bill’s Beer Gaerden  1.8 1.9 1.8 1.8
Osborne Mill Preserve – 3710 E.Delhi Rd, Ann Arbor 48103 https://www.washtenaw.org/Facilities/Facility/Details/Osborne-Mill-Preserve-17  16 (7.7)Jolly Pumpkin Erratic Ale Filmore Bar and Grill Beer Grotto3.5 4.0 4.1 4.0
Park Lyndon – 18801 N. Territorial Rd, Chelsea 48118 https://www.washtenaw.org/Facilities/Facility/Details/Park-Lyndon-County-Park-18  32 (23.6)Inverness Inn2.8
Pinckney Recreation Area https://www2.dnr.state.mi.us/parksandtrails/Details.aspx?id=484&type=SPRK#map-tab  38 (31.6)Kickstand Brewing Company Drafting Table Brewing Company Rivers Edge Brewing CJ’s Brewing Company  4.4 3.7 3.5 4.5
Pinckney Recreation Area https://www2.dnr.state.mi.us/parksandtrails/Details.aspx?id=484&type=SPRK#map-tab  30 (20)The Beer Grotto – Dexter Erratic Ale Co Hell Hole Bar Hell Saloon  6.5 6.5 1.9 1.9
Pinckney Recreation Area https://www2.dnr.state.mi.us/parksandtrails/Details.aspx?id=484&type=SPRK#map-tab     
Pinckney Recreation Area – 8555 Silver Hill Road
Pinckney MI, 48169 https://www2.dnr.state.mi.us/parksandtrails/Details.aspx?id=484&type=SPRK#map-tab    
29 (19.8)Hell Hole Bar Hell Salloon1.9 1.9
Redbud Nature Area – 2380 Parkwood Ave, Ann Arbor 48104 https://www.a2gov.org/departments/Parks-Recreation/parks-places/Pages/RedbudNatureArea.aspx  15 (5.1)Bleachers Tap Room Pointless Brewery and Theater  0.4 0.6
Riverbend Preserve – 12639 Allen Rd, Clinton Twp 49236 https://www.washtenaw.org/Facilities/Facility/Details/Riverbend-Preserve-22  38 (28.3)Embers Bar & Grill Captain’s Lounge Muk’s Sports Pub5.8 1.3 6.2
Rolling Hills County Park – 7660 Stony Creek Road
Ypsilanti 48197 https://www.washtenaw.org/607/Rolling-Hills-County-Park  
23 (16.8)Corner Brewery 734 Brewing Co Yspi Alehouse Sidetrack Bar and Grill Bobcat Bonnie’s The Wurst Bar Pat’s Tavern The Tap Room McShane’s Irish Pub5.3 5.0 4.7 5.0 4.6 4.8 4.5 4.6 3.5
Ruthven Nature Area – 100 Huron Pkwy, Ann Arbor 48105 https://www.a2gov.org/departments/Parks-Recreation/parks-places/Pages/Ruthven.aspx  8 (2.6)Rappourt0.3
Saginaw Forest – 3900 West Liberty, Ann Arbor 48103 https://seas.umich.edu/about/field-properties/saginaw-forest      14(4.0)Townies Homes Wolverine State1.6 1.7 1.6
Schroeter Park – 8730-8776 Warren Road, Superior Township 48170 http://superiortownship.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/10/Schroeter-Park-and-Weatherbee-Woods.pdf  17(8.5)Marischino’s Pub3.4
Scio Woods Preserve – 4000 Scio Church Rd, Ann Arbor  48103 https://www.washtenaw.org/Facilities/Facility/Details/Scio-Woods-Preserve-23  18 (5.7)Townies Homes Wolverine State1.9 2.2 2.0
Sharon Short Hills Preserve – 6700 Hashley Rd, Manchester 48158 https://www.washtenaw.org/Facilities/Facility/Details/Sharon-Short-Hills-Preserve-24  27 (23)Over the Edge Sports Bar and Pizzeria Chelsea Alehouse Brewery The Brass Stag Pub  5.5 6.3 7.3
Springhill Nature Preserve – 3260 Berry Rd, Superior Twp. 48198 http://www.smlcland.org/properties_washtenaw.php  16 (8.3)Marischino’s Pub Corner Brewery 734 Brewing Co Ypsi Alehouse Sidetrack Bar and Grill Bobcat Bonnies The Wurst Bar The Tap Room Full House Powell’s Pub Bellflower2.8 4.3 4.6 4.9 4.6 5.0 4.9 5.0 4.9 4.5 5.0
Squiers Preserve – 1280 Sylvan Rd, Chelsea 48118 https://www.washtenaw.org/Facilities/Facility/Details/Squiers-Preserve-26  24 (21.0)Chelsea Alehouse Cleary’s Pub The Grateful Crow Zou Zou’s Café Arctic Breakaway Valiant Bar and Grill4.0 4.0 5.2 4.0 3.0 3.4
Stinchfield Woods – 9401 Stinchfield Woods Rd, Pinckney, MI 48169https://seas.umich.edu/about/field-properties/stinchfield-woods  26 (18.1)Hell Hole Bar Hell Salloon3.8 3.9
Sugarbush – 3050 Green Rd, Ann Arbor 48105 https://www.a2gov.org/departments/Parks-Recreation/parks-places/Pages/Sugarbush.aspx  8 (2.6)Rappourt0.9
Sunset Brooks Nature Area – 750 Sunset Rd, Ann Arbor 48103 https://www.a2gov.org/departments/Parks-Recreation/parks-places/Pages/SunsetBrooksNatureArea.aspx  9 (2.5)Grotto Homes Townies Bill’s Beer Garden Haymakers  1.5 1.9 1.3 1.2 1.2
Superior Greenway Nature Trail (Meyer Preserve) 2738 North Prospect Road, Ypsilanti MI 48198 https://www.washtenaw.org/DocumentCenter/View/12370/Superior-Greenway-Nature-Trail?bidId= 00        16 (8.5)Corner Brewing 734 Brewing Company Ypsi Alehouse3.2 3.5 3.8
Tom A. Freeman Preserve – 4350 Old Ford Rd, Ann Arbor  48105 https://www.washtenaw.org/Facilities/Facility/Details/Tom-A-Freeman-Preserve-8  9 (3.7)Rappourt1.7
Trickle Marsh Preserve – 1152 N Dancer Rd, Dexter 48130 https://www.washtenaw.org/Facilities/Facility/Details/Trinkle-Marsh-at-Easton-Farms-Preserve-27  21 (14.4)Beer Grotto Jolly Pumpkin Erratic Ale Fillmore Bar and Grill3.2 3.2 3.1 3.3
Waterloo Recreation Area – 16345 McClure Rd, Chelsea 48118 https://www2.dnr.state.mi.us/parksandtrails/Details.aspx?id=147&type=SPTR#map-tab  32 (22.7)Chelsea Alehouse Brewery Cleary’s Pub4.5 4.5
Watkins Lake County Preserve/State Park- 14801 Arnold Rd Brooklyn 49230 https://www2.dnr.state.mi.us/ParksandTrails/Details.aspx?id=746&type=SPRK  44 (36)Chateau Aeronautique & Skies Brewing Shady’s Tap Room Jerry’s Pub & Restaurant JR’s Hometown Grill & Pub5.0 5.7 4.3 6.0
Weatherbee Woods Preserve – 8740 Warren Rd Plymouth 48170 https://www.washtenaw.org/Facilities/Facility/Details/Weatherbee-Woods-Preserve-29  17 (8.6)Maraschino’s Pub CJ’s Brewing Co Crow’s Nest Bar & Grill Corner Pub Canton Spoon’s Place  3.3 5.7 5.2 5.2 5.2
West Lake Preserve – 14980 Waterloo Rd, Chelsea 48118 https://www.washtenaw.org/Facilities/Facility/Details/West-Lake-Preserve-30  30 (21.3)Chelsea Alehouse The Grateful Crow Zou Zou’s Café Inverness Inn Cleary’s Pub Valiant Bar & Grill Arctic Breakaway2.5 3.2 2.5 2.3 2.5 3.4 3.7
Whitmore Lake Preserve – 1551 7 mile Rd, Whitmore Lake  48189 https://www.washtenaw.org/Facilities/Facility/Details/Whitmore-Lake-Preserve-31  19 (10.5)Whitmore Lake Tavern Witch’s Hat Brewing Hamburg Pub1.8 5.1 4.2  
Wilderness Park – 300 Willis Road, Saline. 48176 http://www.cityofsaline.org/?module=Page&sID=parks–recreation–outdoor-parks–wilderness-park  22 (17.7)Salt Springs Brewery Stony Lake Brewing Dan’s Downtown Tavern0.6 0.9 0.7

Published by rike52

I retired from the Rheumatology division of Michigan Medicine end of June '19 after 36 years there. Upon hitting Ann Arbor for the second time (I went to school here) it took me almost 8 months to meet Kathy, 17 months to buy her a house (on Harbal, where we still live), and 37 months to marry her. Kids never came, but we've been blessed with a crowd of colleagues, friends, neighbors and family that continues to grow. Lots of them are going to show up in this log eventually. Stay tuned.

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