United States

Ann Arbor, MI

A Comprehensive Guide to the Best Places to Run in Ann Arbor and Vicinity

The Michigan city of Ann Arbor, about an hour west of Detroit, popped up as a Potawatomi settlement along the Huron River. Today, it is most famous as the home of the University of Michigan, nicknamed “Tree Town” for its many forested city parks. Thanks to these parks, lovely trails along the Huron River, and many sidewalks, there are great places for running in Ann Arbor!

The paths along the Huron River, part of Michigan’s Border to Border (B2B) Trail, connect some popular running areas, such as Gallup Park and the Nichols Arboretum. Other good parks include Bird Hills Nature Area and County Farm Park. We’ve also mapped out a route through the University of Michigan and the Burns Park neighborhood. For those who are able to travel slightly outside of Ann Arbor, there is a necklace of parks and bike paths to the north of the city.

The Ride, Ann Arbor’s public transportation authority, offers bus service throughout the city and nearby communities. There is also bus and Amtrak service between Ann Arbor and Detroit. Taxi, Lyft, and Uber are available throughout the city, but for some of our northern routes, runners may need their own car.

Editor's Picks

Some of our favorite runs in Ann Arbor, MI

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  • Weather & Climate
  • Where To Stay
  • Stores & Group Runs
  • Events

Burns Park Neighborhood

Ann Arbor, MI

One of the most attractive neighborhoods in the city is Burns Park, which includes the University of Michigan campus and areas to the south. We’ve mapped a 4.2 mile sample loop, incorporating some of the nicest streets, buildings, and homes.
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Bird Hills Nature Area

Ann Arbor, MI

The largest park in the city, Bird Hills Nature Area has over 5 miles of well-maintained trails with lots of challenging hills. Connect to the Kuebler Langford Nature Area or the Barton Nature Area for more.
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County Farm Park

Ann Arbor, MI

A small park in southeast Ann Arbor, County Farm Park is an exercise hub with a 1.4 mile Fitness Trail, 18 strength training stations, and 3+ miles of other paths.
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Parks North of Ann Arbor

Ann Arbor, MI

There are some terrific areas for running in the recreation areas north of Ann Arbor, including Hudson Mills Metropark, Waterloo and Pinckney Recreation Areas, Mike Levine Lakelands Trail, and Island Lake Recreation Area. Worth the drive!
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Bird Hills Nature Area

Ann Arbor, MI

The largest park in the city, Bird Hills Nature Area has over 5 miles of well-maintained trails with lots of challenging hills. Connect to the Kuebler Langford Nature Area or the Barton Nature Area for more.
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Ann Arbor has a continental climate with cold winters and warm summers. The height of summer can be quite hot and humid, with temperatures getting averaging in the mid 80s (29C). Fall is gorgeous, with beautiful colors in this leafy area. Winters are cold and can be frigid, with average highs just below freezing and low temps in the teens (-10C). Prepare for proper clothing and footing given the possibility of snow and ice. 

Most Ann Arbor hotels are located downtown, with a cluster around the airport, a cluster to the north near Thurston, and several more near Ypsilanti.

RUNNING STORES

Ann Arbor has an extensive running culture. Local stores like Ann Arbor Running Company, Running Fit, and Tortoise and Hare all offer great gear and advice.

GROUP RUNS

Ann Arbor Running Company hosts Tuesday and Saturday group runs from the Kerrytown location ($5 non-members). The Ann Arbor Track Club has Tuesday, Thursday and Sunday group workouts.

Running Fit hosts group runs:

Yipilanti Running Company has group runs

Running Fit has group runs

Parkrun, a free 5k, happens  at Lillie Park Saturdays at 8 am.

If you’re in Ann Arbor for the long haul, join the PR Run Club, Run Ann Arbor, or any of the other local groups featured here.

In addition to Parkrun, there are lots of other races in Ann Arbor throughout the year. Check out Ann Arbor Running Company’s calendar for upcoming races.