Location map: http://goo.gl/maps/wuOx4
Website map: http://tinyurl.com/kdeyxhj
Trail map: http://tinyurl.com/kn3wskm
On a nice day, this park is a beehive of family activity. On a less than perfect day, it’s a bit more of a quiet, solitary experience. The Huron River widens here, thanks to the Dixboro Dam downstream, and forms a lake that is great for boating and fishing (in small boats). The canoe livery rents canoes, kayaks and paddleboats for hourly use. If you want, you can rent a canoe upstream at the Argo Livery and paddle/float down the cascades and Huron River, past the University of Michigan Hospital and the Nichols Arboretum to Gallup Park.
At Gallup Park itself, a loop trail around the “lake” provides a leisurely, popular way to shed some pounds, and the paved linear trail along the river is very popular with joggers and roller-bladers. This is the only place in Ann Arbor where you get a “big water” experience as the river is relatively narrow through the town, but the smaller bridges and wood chip paths on the north side of the park give you a more intimate contact with the river and native vegetation on the man-created islands.
(The paved trail actually extends well beyond Gallup Park – through Fuller Park to Fuller Road and along that up to Argo Park – great for hikers, bikers and roller-bladers who really want a workout.)
As Gallup Park and its surroundings have a number of habitats, from rivers/open water to riverbank/swamp and floodplain forest, and upland oak-hickory forests there is a great variety in the birds you can spot on your visit, and the adjacent Nichols Arboretum is one of Ann Arbor’s birding hotspots. You can reach Gallup Park by foot from downtown Ann Arbor or campus if you like a 3 mile walk, but parking within the park is also plentiful. It’s a great place to see Ann Arbor citizens and visitors, and a good number of feathered residents as well.