Fox Science Preserve

ADVENTURE COURTESY OF AMBASSADOR
ALEXIS DAHL

WASHTENAW COUNTY
2228 PETERS ROAD
ANN ARBOR, MI 48103

Thousands of years ago, what’s now Fox Science Preserve was a big gravel hill, deposited by a glacier after the last Ice Age. Now, all the gravel is gone — scooped out by construction crews — but what’s left behind is one of Washtenaw County’s hidden gems.

Plan Ahead

⚪  BEGINNER

◯  INTERMEDIATE

◯  ADVANCED

⚪  HOUR

◯  HALF-DAY

◯  ALL DAY

▷ LIMITED PARKING ON-SITE

▷ NO PAVED TRAILS

▷ SEVERAL HILLS

▷ PET-FRIENDLY

⚪ FREE

◯  SMALL FEE

◯  REC PASSPORT

DAY ADVENTURE

EXPLORE MORE

300 million years ago, what’s now Michigan was underwater, covered by a warm, shallow sea. That sea was filled with creatures like corals, relatives of modern clams, and more, and as they died, some of them were buried in the sediment and turned into fossils. Now, you can find some of them at Fox Science Preserve!

As you walk through the preserve, stop and look at the boulders you come across. See if you can find the little shells frozen in time, 300 million years later! You can’t take any of these fossils home, but consider bringing a camera, or a piece of paper and a crayon to make a crayon rubbing. How many different kinds of fossil can you find?

WHAT TO BRING – Water, sunscreen, bug spray, curiosity!

TIP: Don’t be afraid to go off the main path! There are many smaller side paths that lead to fossil-filled boulders. (Also, if you go on a spring or summer evening, bug spray is highly recommended.)

When the construction crews left this area more than 40 years ago, they left behind a barren landscape. Now, as you walk through the preserve, look for the ways the land has started to recover. What do you notice about the kinds of trees or the size of the plants?