The University of Michigan Matthaei Botanical Gardens and Nichols Arboretum
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Trail Map
View a map of the Matthaei Botanical Gardens trails.
Summer is a great time to visit the spectacular Gateway Garden of New World Plants at the Botanical Gardens. The ornamental plants in this garden are originally native to the Americas.
Check out the bloom calendar.
study spots
Looking for a location to hold a group meeting? We have some of the University's best study spots.

Dix Pond Trail

(0.9 mile)

Dix Pond trail is a great place to take an exploratory hike or go bird watching, given the range of habitats. On rare occasions, visitors may see a fox. Explore the natural changes that have occurred since a series of farming and gravel operations ended on this property by the 1940s. The large namesake pond is a long abandoned gravel pit that was dredged below the water table. Nearby, some of the old upland pastures can be recognized, while the former woodlots are now maturing with established trees. The stands of one kind of tree (monocultures) that were planted in rows are all part of mid-20th century land restoration practices—sheep had grazed here and the land needed restoration work. Modern restoration practices would use a range of native trees appropriate to the site and planted more naturalistically, but at the time single-species row plantings were viewed as cost-effective.

Dix Pond trail forms an arc through the eastern reaches of the Gardens. The northern end of the trail begins at the trail and service drive bridge over Fleming Creek at trail marker # 5. The southern end of the trail begins across the Fleming Creek footbridge from trail marker #8. Extend your Dix Pond walk to 1.9 miles by picking up the Fleming Creek Trail.

The Dix Pond Trail is at the Matthaei Botanical Gardens site.

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