Audrey and Harry Lesner, otherwise known as The Budget Savvy Travelers, are full-time travelers and digital nomads. Born and raised in Chicago, their passion to show others how to break free without breaking the budget. They are the proud winners of the 2019 Top Budget Travel Blog.
Ann Arbor's Washtenaw County Parks & Rec system (WCPARC) offers over 8,000 acres of green space, featuring over 40 parks and nature reserves. In fact, many locals consider the Parks & Rec organization to be a gateway to outdoor fun in Washtenaw County.
If you are looking for a specific recreational activity or outdoor sport, the WCPARC website makes it easy to find exactly what you're looking for. From badminton and basketball, boating or fishing, the region offers numerous ways to get out and be active in Ann Arbor. One of the visitors' favorite attractions is the observation tower at Independence Lake Park. This tower offers a fantastic view of the surrounding prairie and a vantage point to observe wildlife near the marsh. Bird watching is popular around Ann Arbor. Many people enjoying heading out with a pair of binoculars to try to catch a glimpse of the area's woodland bird species. Be on the lookout for warblers, flycatchers, thrushes, and vireos. Many birders head to Bird Hills Nature Area for scouting. The 151-acre park offers glimpses of the Hooded Warbler, which is seldom seen in Michigan but makes unique appearances in the park.
One of Washtenaw's County's stand-out features is its Border-to-Border Trail. The non-motorized pathway offers over 40 miles of established trails that connect the various parks and cities throughout Washtenaw County. The trail is so extensive that in 2015 it was incorporated into the State of Michigan's Iron Belle Trail. This 2,000-mile trail connects Detroit to the western upper peninsula.
If you are looking to get out on the water, the WCPARC has boat rentals available at Independence Lake Park. This location also serves as one of the main boat launching sites for visitors that want to take out their own boat. If you need assistance planning your day in Washtenaw County, the staff at the WCPARC can help answer any questions, provide trail maps, and organize boat trips.
Cover image via Flickr by F. D. Richards. (CC BY-SA 2.0)