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County Farm Park, Ann Arbor

4.7
#8 of 11 in Parks in Ann Arbor
County Farm Park is a 141-acre public park in eastern Ann Arbor, Michigan owned by Washtenaw County and operated by the county's Parks and Recreation Commission. Consisting of a mix of woodlands, fields, and gardens, the park is home to a wide variety of flora and fauna and is a popular local destination for gardening, hiking, jogging, and biking. The park has been county land since 1836, although for the majority of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries it was used as the county's poorhouse (complete with a working farm) and then as its infirmary. In 1972, the site began transitioning to parkland with the creation of community gardens, and over the next couple decades various trails and a perennial garden were created. Since 2000, the park has experienced significant ecological restoration efforts, including the removal of invasive plants, prairie restoration, and the creation of a wet meadow during the restoration of Malletts Creek.
The land that now constitutes County Farm Park was bought by Washtenaw County in 1836 from local resident Claudius Britton for $1,200. In order to comply with an 1830 Michigan Territory law requiring every county in the territory to construct and operate a poorhouse, Washtenaw County opened the County Poor House on the site in 1837. The Poor House was home to a diverse group of impoverished people, including those with physical and mental disabilities, injuries, illnesses, and those who were transient or simply unlucky. The Poor House was operated by a "keeper", a local man with a background in agriculture who lived on site, while his wife was expected to cook for the residents. The Poor House was intended to be a self-sustaining working farm on which the residents covered their living expenses by growing and selling crops and livestock, although such sales never covered all of its costs except for a few years during the Civil War. The farm consisted of gardens used for growing vegetables and grains, orchards of apple, peach, and pear trees, and livestock including pigs, cattle, sheep, and chickens.
A visit to County Farm Park represents just the start of the adventure when you use our Ann Arbor tour itinerary app to plot your vacation.
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County Farm Park Reviews
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TripAdvisor Traveler Rating
TripAdvisor Traveler Rating 4.5
11 reviews
Google
4.8
TripAdvisor
  • Innovative design for playground equipment. All newer equipment in good condition. Some shaded play areas and lots of sun or shade picnic sites. Nature trails to wander around. Kids and adults both wi...  more »
  • I was really impressed with this park! It is great for walking, running, biking etc. The trails go through forested areas, beautiful meadow/prairie sections, a small creek also runs along part of the ...  more »
Google
  • This park is beautiful, modern and clean with plenty of things for kids to enjoy. My 4 year old son loves this place! It is enclosed so kids cannot run put into the street. There are nice bathrooms for a public park. There are also beautiful trails to walk. Highly Reccomended.
  • Our family loves this place! It's a great nature getaway in the middle of s bustling part of town. Multiple trail options - paved, gravel, dirt, woodchips, wooded, sunny, flat and hilly. We love the exercise stations on the longest trail on the perimeter. Also a great picnic and play scape area for family gatherings and young kids.

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