Summer is a beautiful time of year in Ann Arbor, and no matter how long you plan to stay, you won’t want to spend it cooped up indoors. There are beautiful parks and bike trails throughout Ann Arbor, and that’s just the beginning. Whether you want to kayak along Huron river or stroll through the beauty of a natural forest, there’s so much outdoors of Ann Arbor to explore. Here are some of the best spots:

Argo and Bandemer Parks

These two parks are near fraternal twins, directly across the Huron river from each other. Argo Nature Area is a 22-acre park with hiking trails as well as access to the river, where you can swim and fish (though visitors are advised not to eat the fish because of health concerns). You can find beautiful wildflowers and several species of trees, including willow, black oak, and shagbark hickory. You can rent a boat at the Argo Canoe Livery from April through October if you want to travel the river. Across the river, Bandemer Park has hiking trails, a canoe dock and fishing deck, and plenty of spaces for picnics.

Bird Hills Nature Area

Bird Hills Nature Area is the most heavily forested area in Ann Arbor. For the most part, the park is underdeveloped and left to its natural charm, with a wide variety of flora and fauna native to the park. However, there is a quick hiking trail that takes you through the hills to a beautiful perch with splendid views of the surrounding scenery.

Waterloo Recreation Area

More interested in boating than hiking, or in water than earth? Then Waterloo Recreation Area is the place for you. It contains no less than 11 inland lakes, all of which provide the perfect backdrop for kayakers, canoeists, and rowboaters. Technically, Waterloo is located in nearby Chelsea, so it may be a bit of a drive but it’s a worthwhile drive, where you can not only take a boat out but go biking or even horseback riding through the nearby trails.

Island Lake Recreation Area

Another short drive away to Green Oak Township will bring you to Island Lake Recreation Area, lauded its two beautiful freshwater beaches. If your goal is to find a place to swim, this is where you’ll want to go. Kent Lake is a popular spot, but there’s also Spring Mill Pond with its over 100 feet of beach surrounding. This is a great place to bring the family, or just to get away yourself. There’s also about 15 miles of mountain biking trails for those who are looking for a more exhilarating, athletic experience.

Interested in exploring the outdoors of Ann Arbor? Contact University Inn Ann Arbor today to book your stay for your Ann Arbor summer trip. We offer 10% discounts to parents and students visiting the University of Michigan campus, as well as parents of UM or Eastern Michigan University athletes when you book with us directly.

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