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Ann Arbor’s Northside Parks – Get Your Rear in Gear!

The weather is getting warmer and you might be thinking to yourself that it’s time to get outside and enjoy what Ann Arbor has to offer. New to town or not sure where to start?

Considered by many the best neighborhood in Ann Arbor for those seeking an active, urban lifestyle with access to water sports, bicycling and hiking, head on over to Northside neighborhood to explore, whether you are looking to get some exercise or looking for your new place to call home!

Argo Cascades

Couple on the Huron River

The Argo Cascades, a series of nine small rapids, rock chutes and pools serving as a bypass channel to connect Argo Pond to the Huron River are a popular attraction.

Argo Cascades is a man made series of rapids for river-goers to enjoy during their visit to the Huron River. You can also walk along the Argo Loop River Trail to see the cascades on foot.

Argo Park and Argo Pond Loop

Argo Park and Nature Area in the Northside neighborhood has unpaved trails for all hikers with paved trail options that allow bikes in the Argo Pond Loop through Bandemer Park.

The Argo Pond Loop is an approximately 2.5 mile wildflower-filled hike via an unpaved nature trail through the heart of Argo Park which then brings you to a paved Border-To-Border Trail through Bandemer Park.

Featuring river crossings over the Argo Dam and upstream at the Huron Bridge Park, the Argo Pond Loop will quickly become one of your favorite destinations for people-watching and hiking in Northside.

Northside Map of parks

The Argo Pond Loop is an approximately 2.5 mile shady hike around the Huron River in Ann Arbor, Michigan.

The Argo Loop takes under an hour to complete and is the perfect shady respite to revisit during Ann Arbor’s hot and humid summer for a dog-friendly hike, daily exercise, and to bring family and friends for countless Argo Park events and activities. 

Running in Argo Park

Featuring paved and unpaved trails, the Argo Park Loop is accessible to all.

On the opposite side of Argo Pond, you can park for free at the Argo Canoe Livery on Longshore Drive. On weekends this lot is likely to be full, but instead you can park in the University of Michigan Lot M-87 at the corner of Broadway and Wall Street. Bluff Nature Area is a bonus area with rougher terrain, more wilderness and no asphalt for those looking to add dense woods and a ravine or two to their hike.

Bandemer Park Dirt Bike Jump Course

Bandemer dirt bike jump Park

All are free to ride at Ann Arbor’s only dirt bike course at Bandemer Park. This volunteer-maintained bike park is free of charge and open from sunrise to sunset weather permitting.

Bandemer Park features Ann Arbor’s only dirt bike jump course.

Argo Park and Gallup Park Liveries

Argo Park Livery

Argo Park Livery offers River Program courses in swimming, stand up paddle board, and kayaking.

Argo Park and Gallup Park Liveries have River Programs for all ages and skill levels, including a stand up paddle board course, 3 different levels of difficulty in Kayaking courses, Kayaking for Seniors, and River Women, a three session boating adventure for women.

The accessible boat launch at Gallup Park is universally accessible for single kayaks, double kayaks, rowboats, paddle boats, and canoes. Featuring completely accessible sidewalks and routes to all amenities, Gallup Park provides equal access to paddlesports including paddlers of all ages and abilities.

Argo and Gallup Livery

Bring your own vessels or rent a boat at the Argo Park or Gallup Liveries.

Don’t worry about bringing your own gear, the Argo and Gallup Liveries will provide kayaks, paddle boards, paddles and life jackets for all of their River Programs.

Northside: The Best of Urban Convenience and Outdoor Adventure

Walking dog along the Argo Loop.

Dogs are allowed on leash and bikes are allowed on all paved areas of the Argo Park Loop.

Northside is appealing to long-term residents, and also those attending university, doing business or visiting family and friends in Ann Arbor.

Locals enjoy its proximity to the University of Michigan’s North Campus and downtown, and for the easy access to nature walks and other water-themed outdoor events like the Annual Huron River Day.

“It’s our favorite hike in Ann Arbor!”

– Grace and Alex, University of Michigan students.

You may agree with us that the Northside Neighborhood is one of Ann Arbor’s best kept secrets with a lot to offer in its urban convenience mixed with easy access to nature and unique outdoor activities. If you are moving to Ann Arbor and looking for one of the best areas for outdoor adventuring, the “Ann Arbor Vibe” is alive and well in Northside. Come see for yourself!

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