Exercise Guide: Matthaei Botanical Gardens

Sierra Club Huron Valley Group
Sierra Club Huron Valley Group
Public group

Matthaei Botanical Gardens & Nichols Arboretum

1800 N Dixboro Rd · Ann Arbor, MI

How to find us

The trailhead is just east of the pin on the map. When you are standing at the bottom of the steps into the gift shop, facing the building, the trailhead is down the sidewalk to your left.

Location image of event venue


This is NOT an in-person event. Sierra Club group outings are currently suspended indefinitely due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

These Exercise Guides are intended to assist and encourage exploration of parks and natural areas in the Huron Valley Group region. Please enjoy them on your own or, using appropriate social distancing and masks, with others.

Below are some scenes along the trails at Matthaei Botanical Gardens you might enjoy, as well as a map of routes we enjoy. We hope these encourage you to get out, to Matthaei or some other natural area, for your exercise.

If you have pictures from Matthaei, feel free to join this "outing" and post them here. Even better if they are pictures taken from a visit stimulated by this posting.

You can expect see Red-winged blackbirds at Willow Pond and might see herons, egrets or cranes. Or maybe a hooded merganser passing through (photo above). As you head up along the road and into the meadow, keep an eye out for bluebirds or maybe a red-tailed hawk. As you get closer to the farmhouse and barn, keep an eye out for turkeys, maybe you’ll see an entire flock, maybe just a couple of toms trying to impress some hens. As you come back along Fleming Creek, catch the skunk cabbage blooms in the areas of standing water on both sides of the trail. If you’re lucky, you might find a bloodroot. Deer are frequently seen throughout the entire area of the trail (as are turkeys). Muskrat can occasionally be seen swimming in Fleming Creek or snacking on greens along the bank.

Expect 2 to 4 miles of walking on easy dirt trails, depending on how many loops you walk.

NOTE: The trail areas are OPEN, although the conservatory and formal gardens at Matthaei are currently closed. And parking is FREE!

NOTE: dogs are *not* allowed on the Nature Trails at Matthaei. Dogs are welcome on the Matthaei Garden Trail that runs south to Geddes Rd.

We hope you and yours stay healthy. We look forward to joining you on the trail again once this epidemic is under control.