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Parks, Trails, Museums, Boat Launches & More in the Ypsilanti Area





Downtown Ypsilanti features several unique restaurants and shops along West Michigan Avenue. Wolverine Grill served as a location for Drew Barrymore's movie "Whip-It!", and Haab's Restaurant has been serving customers since 1934.

A short distance north of downtown, the historic Depot Town area is a favorite gathering area with tasty restaurants, such as Aubree's, Frenchie's, and Sidetrack Bar & Grill.

Large retailers, fast-food eateries, and other businesses can be found along Ellsworth Road, Washtenaw Avenue and Carpenter Road in Ypsilanti.

The Huron River serves as the scenic backdrop for numerous recreational offerings in the Ypsilanti area. Several trails, such as the Border to Border Trail, parallel portions of the river, not far from the water's edge. A few parks in Ypsilanti and Ypsilanti Township provide picnic areas with views of the river.

Trails and Bike Routes

The Border to Border Trail is a paved trail for biking, hiking, jogging, and roller-blading that connects Ypsilanti and Ann Arbor.

Using a paved trail and sidewalk routes, you can bike, jog, or walk from downtown Ypsilanti to/from the Washtenaw Community College area. The route uses the trail/sidewalk along Huron River Drive, McAuley Drive, Hewitt Road and Michigan Avenue. See the maps page for the route.

A sidewalk bike route on Packard Road goes west from Hewitt Road into Ann Arbor. When Packard forks at Eisenhower Parkway, you can continue on the bike route along Eisenhower Parkway to Ann Arbor-Saline Road. This route can be used to reach Briarwood Mall in Ann Arbor.

For cyclists in Ypsilanti and Ypsilanti Township, there is a bike route along Grove Street and Grove Road.

A paved trail along Grove Road can be used for walking, jogging, and biking. The trail has access to Loon Feather Point Park and North Bay Park.

Trails at Frog Island Park and Riverside Park are used by walkers and joggers in downtown Ypsilanti. The trails are connected by a wooden bridge. Riverside Park also has a circular track used by walkers and joggers.

See the maps page for the routes, trails and more in Ypsilanti.

Kayaking, Canoeing and Boating

Kayaks can be launched from downtown Ypsilanti at Riverside Park. A round wooden pier near the center of the park has steps down to the river's edge and can be used to launch a kayak.

Ford Lake Park has boat launch ramps for recreational boats, which can be used on Ford Lake. Canoes and Kayaks can also be launched from the boat launch area.

The Huron River can be used to paddle west to Ann Arbor. The river and the connecting Ford Lake and Belleville Lake can be used to kayak and canoe east to Belleville.

Parks in the City of Ypsilanti

Frog Island Park and Riverside Park are sister parks near downtown Ypsilanti with walking/jogging trails that are connected by a wooden bridge. Frog Island Park has a soccer field with a limited amount of bleacher seating. Riverside Park has a large open grassy area and is a popular spot with dog walkers. The park has a small picnic shelter and a pier with access to the Huron River. Both parks are popular local fishermen who cast their lines into the river. During the summer, Riverside Park hosts several events, including car shows and festivals. The parking lot for Riverside Park is accessible through an alley on the north side of Michigan Avenue just before Huron Street.

Recreation Park is located on North Congress Street and is home to the Rutherford Municipal Pool and Ypsilanti Senior Center. The park has baseball diamonds, basketball courts, community gardens, and playground equipment.

Candy Cane Park features a baseball diamond, playground, tennis courts, and picnic facilities.

Parkridge Park has a baseball diamond, tennis courts, basketball courts, and a running/walking track.

Peninsular Park is an undeveloped park on the north side of the Huron River.

Prospect Park includes a playground, basketball courts, tennis courts, walking paths, and picnic facilities.

Parks in Ypsilanti Township

Ypsilanti Township has many nice parks for playtime, family gatherings, and recreation. Here's some details on a few of the township's parks.

The most scenic park in the Ypsilanti area is North Bay Park, which has a trail that is a combination of boardwalks and bridges over a section of Ford Lake. The trail provides beautiful views of Ford Lake. North Bay Park has a picnic shelter and playground, as well as a large grassy area that is sometimes used for recreational football games.

Ford Lake Park is a scenic park with boat launch facilities, playgrounds, tennis courts, picnic shelters, soccer fields, a baseball diamond, picnic area, and walking paths. The park offers great views of Ford Lake.

Ford Heritage Park has several baseball diamonds and soccer fields. The park features a very nice playscape that is popular with kids. A trail for walking, jogging, and biking winds through parts of Ford Heritage Park.

Hewens Creek Park is on the north side of Bemis Road. The park features rugged trails that are popular with mountain bikers.

Loon Feather Point Park offers a beautiful view of Ford Lake. The park has picnic facilities, playground, and soccer field.

Park permits are needed for use of many Ypsilanti Township parks. Permits are available at Ford Lake Park, Loonfeather Point Park, North Bay Park and North Hydro Park. For details about permit fees and park shelter rental see the Ypsilanti Township Recreation and Parks Department web site.

Fishing

The Huron River is known for carp and crappie. Catfish, bass, and sunfish are also available in the river. Popular fishing spots include the river banks at Frog Island Park and Riverside Park and the wooden bridge that connects the two parks.

A valid fishing license is required to fish on Michigan lakes and waterways, and you can get a Michigan fishing license online at the Michigan DNR E-License web site and at bait shops and sporting goods stores.

More About Ypsilanti

Eastern Michigan University (EMU), a respected teaching institution, is located in Ypsilanti. Started in 1849 as the Michigan State Normal School, it was the first state teacher education school constructed west of New York and has a long tradition of producing superb teachers. The university is also at the forefront of historic preservation and has the nation's largest historical preservation graduate program.

Downtown Ypsilanti has several historic locations and buildings. The Freighthouse in Depot Town is an historic spot that hosts the farmer's market during the summer. Near the EMU campus on Cross Street stands a distinctive, limestone watertower that was completed in 1890. Several historic churches are located downtown, including the beautiful First Methodist Episcopal Church (1892) and First Presbyterian Church (1899).

Other attractions include the Michigan Firehouse Museum and Ypsilanti Historical Museum, which are located just north of downtown Ypsilanti near Depot Town. The Michigan Firehouse Museum features an original 1898 firehouse, antique fire trucks, the largest collection of fire truck bells in the country, and much more. The Ypsilanti Historical Museum is located in an 1860 home and features many unique items and artifacts.

A short drive from Ypsilanti, the Yankee Air Museum at Willow Run Airport in Belleville offers rides in a B-17 Flying Fortress or a B-25 Mitchell Bomber. The museum features many historic aircraft and hosts annual Thunder Over Michigan Air Show during the summer. The Willow Run Airport was built by Ford Motor Company in 1941 to serve as an airfield for their B-24 Bomber Plant. During its peak, the Willow Run Bomber Plant produced one B-24 every 59 minutes.










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