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This article appeared in our summer 2019 edition of The Loop. This edition’s theme was Get Outside and included many opportunities to take advantage of the natural resources of the Ypsilanti area! Our parks listing features a few of the parks that have had major improvements this year, or that are featured as part of the Summer Challenge.

Cherry Hill Nature Preserve

6375 Cherry Hill Road | Free

Located just outside the city, the preserve has a 1.6 mile trail loop through rolling hills and wetlands that are perfect for birdwatching and enjoying nature. The boardwalk through the wetlands is set to expand this year so hikers can access the southeast area of the preserve. When construction is complete in late fall, the boardwalk will total 1000 feet. The trail can get muddy, so bring your boots.

Fireman’s Park

3795 MacArthur Boulevard | Free

The park right next door to the YDL-Superior library is getting a new playground! The structure will feature two slides, a rock climber, catwalk, fireman’s pole, twisted climber, and will be ADA accessible. The equipment is scheduled to be installed by the end of the summer. Don’t miss Kite & Rocket Day on June 22!

Northbay Park

1001 Huron Street | Open dawn-dusk, Memorial Day-Labor Day | Free

This lakeside park features a boardwalk and trail system that meanders through woods and wetlands and over islands and bridges along the shores of Ford Lake. New playground equipment was installed this spring, so kids will have plenty of creative play options. Other features include an observation tower, fishing, two shelters, restrooms, and plenty of picnic areas.

Riverside Park

2 E. Cross Street ∣ Daily 5am-11pm ∣ Free

Kids will love visiting the new universal design accessible playground in Riverside Park! Located along the Huron River in the heart of Depot Town, this iconic park has been a favorite for festivals for years. The playground opened in December 2018 and is named in memory of community leader Liz Dahl MacGregor.

Loonfeather Point Park

1340 Grove Road | Open dawn-dusk, Memorial Day-Labor Day | Free

Yet another brand new playground will be available to kids this summer! Located on the north shore of Ford Lake, this 11.2 acre park is noted for its two award-winning shelters (available for rent) and a fishing pier. The park also has trails and a playfield.

Rutherford Pool

975 Congress St, Ypsilanti, MI  ∣ Open daily 1-8pm, Memorial Day-Labor Day ∣ Youth: $3, Adults $4, Seniors: $3  

Cool off at Ypsilanti’s public pool! Rutherford is designed for all ages to enjoy, featuring a kids area with a zero-depth entry ramp, 25-yard adult swimming lanes, and classes including water exercise and swimming lessons. Youth ages 3-17 get a free day pass when they sign up for the Summer Challenge! Visit their website for daily schedules.

Rolling Hills

7660 Stony Creek Road ∣ Open Mon—Fri 11am-5pm, Sat & Sun 11am-8pm ∣  Parking: $6 Washtenaw County Resident/$10 Non-resident 

This 439-acre park is a year-round destination for the whole family. Play on the 18-hole disc golf course, walk or bike the trails, enjoy the playground, have a picnic, or fish in Spring Pond. Rolling Hills also has a water park, open from Memorial Day weekend to Labor Day (water park admission additional).

Downtown Farmers Market

3-7pm | Tuesdays, May-October | 16 S. Washington St.  

The market happens year-round at Growing Hope’s newly-renovated Robert C. Barnes Sr. Marketplace Hall, but it’s especially fantastic during the warmer months with growers selling fresh produce, meat, eggs, baked goods, crafts, and more outdoors. 

The library will stop in throughout the summer to read stories, sing songs, and share toys alongside the book trike, a mobile mini-library equipped to check out books. Visit the #YpsiMarkets Facebook page for more market events and kids activities, and check out the Little Free Library near the market entrance! 

Depot Town Farmers Market

9am-1pm | Saturdays, May-October | 100 Rice St.

From fresh produce to artisan baked goods, historic Depot Town is never more delicious than on summer Saturdays. The library will visit for occasional storytimes, and the Ypsi Bike Co-op will be at the market again this year. This volunteer-powered group hopes to get everyone on two wheels and has mechanics on hand to help you learn to fix your bike!  

Both Ypsilanti Farmers Markets are managed by Growing Hope with a focus on fresh food access for all. Bridge Card users can double their SNAP dollars and get up to $20 in FREE produce each market visit thanks to Double Up Food Bucks and the Fair Food Network.