Sports and Recreation
Physical Fitness Facilities and Classes
There are three indoor U-M Department of Recreational Sports facilities:
- Central Campus Recreation Building (CCRB), 401 Washtenaw Ave.
- Intramural Sports Building (IMSB), 606 East Hoover Ave.
- North Campus Recreation Building (NCRB), 2375 Hubbard Rd.
Memberships are available to students, faculty, staff, alumni, and the general public. All U-M students have an automatic membership which includes access to all of the facilities when they pay their student activity fee each semester.
- The Intramural Sports Program provides a broad spectrum of activity for personal enjoyment, fitness, and competition. Through various team, individual, and dual activities, the program offers every individual and/or group in the campus community an opportunity to participate.
- The Club Sports Program includes more than 45 club sports ranging from archery to water polo. Participation may be structured or casual, it may incorporate competition, instruction, and social fellowship, or any combination. Each club is developed, governed, and administered by the student membership of that particular club. The key to the success of this program is student leadership, interest, involvement, and participation.
- The Adventure Leadership Trips are for you if you’re interested in activities like kayaking, rock climbing, or snow shoeing. More than 30 trips are offered each year. Opportunities to backpack in the Smokies, dog sled in the northwoods of Canada, or mountain bike a local trail are made available to the U-M community. Camping gear, canoes, skis, climbing shoes, portable volleyball systems, and more can be rented through the Outdoor Adventures Rental Center.
- The Adventure Leadership Team Programs is an experiential team building program providing organizations with exciting Teambuilding and High Ropes Course experiences. Their specially trained facilitators utilize state-of-the-art adventure learning techniques to deliver powerful and effective experiences to groups of all kinds.
U-M faculty, staff, students and the general public can register for more than 100 classes, including yoga, Pilates, Zumba, body sculpting, spinning, step aerobics, and much more. Classes are offered at various locations on or near the University’s Ann Arbor campus.
Kinesiology Community Programs has been providing group exercise classes for over 30 years. It offers a wide variety of group exercise and wellness classes to U-M faculty, staff, students, and others affiliated with U-M. Cardio, strength and conditioning, yoga and Pilates classes, as well as instruction in swim, tennis, golf, and Tae Kwon Do are among the offerings. Most are held at the Central Campus Recreation Building.
Ann Arbor Rec & Ed offers cardio classes, water aerobics, weight training, Pilates, yoga, Zumba, dance, and many other health and wellness classes for children and adults year round. Check the website for schedules and fees.
The Ann Arbor YMCA, located at 400 W. Washington, has free-weight areas, exercise machines, and a swimming pool available for members. Additionally, they offer aerobics, weight training, martial arts, yoga, spinning, and other fitness classes year round for a fee (no membership necessary).
The U-M Department of Recreational Sports rents Blue Bikes by the day, weekend, or semester. The City of Ann Arbor maintains the Biking website with information on bike safety, parking, maps, and more. The City of Ann Arbor Bicycle Map (pdf) shows the various bike lanes, bike routes, and shared-use trails available for trips within the Ann Arbor and Washtenaw County area. The Border-to-Border Trail Map is a more detailed map of the portion of the trail connecting eastern Ann Arbor and Ypsilanti to Wayne County, and the Michigan Department of Transportation has created a series of multi-county regional maps showing road surface type, traffic volume ranges, paved/unpaved trails with regional significance, recreational facilities, points of interest, plus other facilities and amenities.
Argo Park Canoe Livery, 1055 Long Shore Dr., offers canoe rentals on the Huron River. Gallup Park Canoe Livery, 3000 Fuller Rd., offers canoe and paddleboat rental at Gallup Park. Skip’s Huron River Canoe Livery, located in Delhi Metropark on East Delhi Rd., offers full-service canoe and kayak trips with put-in points at several locations upstream.
Several local parks offer cross-country skiing on ungroomed trails, including Bird Hills, County Farm, Dolph, Fuller, Gallup, and Independence Lake. The public schools’ Eberwhite Woods is also skiable, as are the prairies at Pioneer High. Contact the Washtenaw County Parks and Recreation Department for further information.
The University of Michigan Golf Course, on Stadium Blvd. across from Crisler Arena, is open to students, staff, faculty, alumni, and their guests. The city has two public courses: Leslie Park Golf Course, located at 2120 Traver Rd., and Huron Hills, located at the intersection of Huron Parkway and E. Huron River Drive.
U-M’s Yost Ice Arena, located on State Street near Hoover, is open to the public and offers skating and hockey classes, as well as public skating sessions. Ann Arbor’s Veterans Park (2150 Jackson Rd.) offers indoor skating, skate rentals, instructional classes, as well as a small fitness room. The Buhr Park Recreational Facility (2751 Packard Rd.) provides outdoor artificial ice rinks November through mid-March. The Ann Arbor Ice Cube (2121 Oak Valley Dr.) has three ice surfaces and offers public skating all year. Public skating times vary for each rink.
U-M maintains an outdoor track at Palmer Field, located by the hill area residence halls. Indoor tracks are available at both the CCRB and the NCRB. Many of the Ann Arbor City parks also have jogging trails. If you are interested in more structured activity, the Ann Arbor Track Club promotes fitness, friendship, and fun through running and walking. They host weekly coached adult and youth workouts, as well as year-round events including races such as the Dexter-Ann Arbor Run and the Burns Park Run, training runs and walks, track meets, cross country races, social gatherings, and service activities.
U-M indoor pools are available at the CCRB, NCRB, and IMSB. The city has three outdoor pools, open to residents and visitors by admission: Buhr Park (2751 Packard), Fuller Park (1519 Fuller), and Veterans Park (2150 Jackson Rd.). Year-round public swimming times are also maintained at Mack Indoor Pool (715 Brooks).
U-M provides indoor courts at the NCRB, IMSB, and the Varsity Tennis Building. Outdoor courts are available near the CCRB at Palmer Field. Public tennis courts are available at a number of city parks, including Burns Park (1414 Wells), Buhr Park (2751 Packard), Fuller Park (1519 Fuller), Veterans Park (2150 Jackson Rd.), and West Park (215 Chapin).
In addition to the intramural and club teams offered through the U-M Department of Recreational Sports, many organizations and clubs in the Ann Arbor area provide opportunities for students and residents to participate in a plethora of team sports. The leagues vary widely in terms of formality and competitiveness, and some are coed while others offer separate leagues for men and women. The Ann Arbor Observer maintains a list of team sports with details and contact information for each league.
Parks and Recreation Areas
A natural refuge in the middle of Ann Arbor, the Nichols Arboretum, or the Arb, is a terrific place to take in some fresh air. Just down the street from Mary Markley Hall, the Arb features 123 acres of rolling hills, open valleys, woods, prairies, and a spot on the Huron River. More than just a park, it’s a research and learning facility complete with free tours for students and opportunities to get your hands dirty with volunteer restoration ecology. The Arb is free and open all year. Maps are available at each entrance (Geddes Road, Washington Heights, Nichols Drive). Or stop by the James D. Reader, Jr. Environmental Education Center at 1610 Washington Heights.
A great place to take your family when they come to visit is the University’s Matthaei Botanical Gardens (1800 Dixboro Rd.). The Gardens include marked hiking trails of various lengths, landscaped gardens, and an extensive multi-climate conservatory containing plants of botanical interest from all parts of the world. It’s a wonderful get-away from the cold winter weather. Conservatory admission is free. Parking is available at an hourly rate in numbered spaces at the main entrance to the lobby/conservatory and in the west parking lot. Parking pay kiosks accept credit cards, bills, and coins.
Ann Arbor has dozens of neighborhood parks and playgrounds with varied facilities such as playing areas for baseball, ice-skating, swimming, softball, tennis, fishing, and picnicking. Popular parks close to campus include Burns Park (Wells St. and Baldwin Ave.) and Gallup Park (Huron Parkway at the Huron River).
In the watershed of the Huron and Clinton Rivers are 13 Metroparks, with three in the Ann Arbor vicinity. All parks listed offer hiking, fishing, canoeing, cross-country skiing, children’s play areas, and picnic shelters. Check the Metroparks website for information on purchasing motor vehicle permits.
- Delhi Metropark: Located about four miles west of Ann Arbor, this 50-acre riverside park is a popular weekend destination. There is a baseball diamond, and a canoe livery with package trips available to Argo and Gallup parks. Entrance off Delhi Road south of Huron River Drive.
- Dexter-Huron Metropark: Dexter-Huron is seven miles northwest of Ann Arbor and three miles upstream from Delhi-Metropark. It offers a baseball diamond and other Metropark facilities. Entrance off Huron River Drive in Dexter.
- Hudson Mills Metropark: Twelve miles northwest of Ann Arbor along Huron River Drive is 1,624-acre Hudson-Mills. There is a nature trail, hike-bike trail, three baseball diamonds, two tennis courts, a basketball court, volleyball, shuffleboard, and an 18-hole golf course plus disc golf. You can rent bicycles as well as equipment for facilities and cross-country skiing. Main entrance off N. Territorial Road; golf course off Dexter-Pinckney Road, south of the river.