Ypsilanti is a go-to when planning outdoor winter fun. Scenic parks and nature areas offer a range of choices for outdoor recreation including mountain biking trails, sledding hills and disc golf courses, and hiking trails. We’ve highlighted a handful of area parks, nature preserves, and outdoor activities you can do around Ypsilanti to help you warm up this winter!
Be sure to bundle up and prepare for weather conditions before heading out. Check out this Michigan DNR guide for safely playing and staying outside this winter, and have fun exploring Ypsilanti outdoors!
Many parks in the Ypsilanti area are open year-round for walking groomed trails and cross-country skiing. Fuel up with a tasty breakfast or lunch takeout from one of the nearby restaurants, then check out these winter park favorites within the area:
Rolling Hills County Park
For an ultimate winter park experience in Ypsilanti, visit Rolling Hills County Park in Ypsilanti Township. Rolling Hills is home to the tallest public sledding hill in Ypsilanti at 275 feet and features a wide area at the hilltop to safely spread out. Visitors can walk along different trails including the half-mile cleared walking trail, or cross-country ski on three miles of groomed trails. Disc Golfers love the putt-putt course for skill-building and the challenging two 18-hole courses open all year.
Hewens Creek Park
Located nearby Rolling Hills is Hewens Creek Park, well-known for its mountain biking and hiking trail system. The single-track mountain bike trail is popular among mountain and fat tire bikers for riding in any season. This bike trail is filled with bumpy terrain and tight corners for a fun and challenging track. For a longer ride, use the connecting trail to and from Rolling Hills County Park. The park also provides several paths and trail loops perfect for hikers and their pets to explore its 191 acres, winding and weaving through woodlots alongside its creek and pond.
LeFurge Woods Nature Preserve
Feel the fresh air and take in nature with 325 acres of woodlands and natural habitat at LeFurge Woods Nature Preserve, located in Superior Township. This hiking-only trail system winds throughout wetlands, meadows, agricultural lands and preserved LeFurge Woods. This area is known to be a top spot for wildlife viewing, pet-friendly, and an enjoyable stroll any time of year!
Tucked between Ypsilanti’s Depot Town and Downtown is Riverside Park, sitting along the Huron River. This park is a sledding go-to in winter months with slightly steep hills and tons of open space. Walk or bike the paved pathways that loop the park. Riverside is connected to Frog Island Park by the famous Ypsilanti ‘tridge’, a three-way foot bridge connecting the parks to Depot Town’s Cross Street. When visiting the shops and eateries in Depot Town, admire the picturesque views from the Cross Street bridge overlooking the park and river. Riverside Park connects the Border-to-Border Trail from Frog Island Park to the Water Street Trail, just South of Michigan Avenue.
North Bay Park
Known as a local favorite, the serene 139-acre North Bay Park located on the West end of Ford Lake features islands, bridges, an observation tower, fishing spots, and plenty of beautiful winter views. Hike the one-mile trail beside the shores and across islands and bridges along the way. The observation tower offers distant views of the park and lake landscapes, picture perfect for your winter stroll!
Cherry Hill Nature Preserve
For those seeking a relaxing outdoor adventure surrounded by nature, visit Cherry Hill Nature Preserve located north of Ypsilanti in Superior Township. This 160-acre park contains a 1.6-mile nature loop trail through meadows and wooded areas, and a boardwalk that leads to an overlook the wetlands with superb winter nature views. Cherry Hill is a great location for bird watching, too! Remember to check weather conditions and wear appropriate hiking shoes, trail conditions may be muddy on snowy days.
These are just some of the area’s beautiful parks and nature areas. Click here to find more parks and outdoor recreation.
Hot Coffee & Historic Walking Tours
Swing by one of Ypsilanti’s nearby local coffee shops, grab your hot drinks to-go, and plan an outdoor exploring adventure. There are now several self-guided historic walking tours featuring sites of interest showing beautiful architecture, iconic landmarks, and history of the Ypsilanti community. Along the way are several small businesses, including antique and specialty shops to visit. Stop in and bring home a surprise gift to your loved ones!
Warm up with Dinner and Cocktails
Enjoying your time spent outdoors? Some restaurants in Ypsilanti are now offering heated outdoor dining. Find a wide range of menu options to satisfy your tastebuds with vegetarian and vegan options at Bobcat Bonnies, and sip on craft beer while ordering tasty food in the igloos or around the firepit at Corner Brewery.
Many area restaurants are now open for indoor dining and carryout. After an exciting day of visiting Ypsilanti’s coolest winter destinations, cozy up indoors while enjoying a taste of the town. Try a classic restaurant like Haab's or Chick-inn Drive- in, or take home specialty pizza from Aubree's, maybe burger and seasoned fries at Blazin' Burgers. Don’t forget the craft beer or cocktails for later! Whatever you might be in the mood for, you can find it in Ypsilanti.
Did we miss some of your Ypsilanti outdoor winter favorites? Share with us in the comments below!
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