Out and About in Ann Arbor with Social Distance

As our governor and other leaders begin to execute their plans for slowly and carefully reopening Michigan for commerce, a few things are crystal clear:

1) It’s going to take a long time for things to feel normal again, and that’s ok. This resetting of our values and level of concern for one another is heartening, but we have to actively choose it. Cynicism and frustration are perfectly natural, even cathartic at times, but choosing to harness our compassion and sense of duty to each other can be a major force for worldwide betterment in so many more areas than simply disease control.

and, more directly…

2) If we don’t want to do this all over again in a few months, we will HAVE to give each other some SPACE.

As we contemplate when exactly to open the hotel back up to the public, we have been thinking about downtown Ann Arbor and how things will be different to accommodate giving everyone more personal space. Here are some places and features of Ann Arbor that come pre-packaged with lots of breathing room:

Border to Border Trail

Did you know that there is a walking trail that spans across all of Washtenaw county? Well, it’s not quite finished, but what exists now is plenty more than what you could walk in a day. It’s a well-marked collection of paved walkways, sidewalks, and trails weaving through Dexter, Ann Arbor, Ypsilanti, and more.

Parker Mill Park

Everyone knows Gallup Park, but Parker Mill is a little different. It’s far less populated and more suited for walking versus sitting down for a picnic because its main claim to fame is a wooden walkway through the woods that makes it feel like you’ve stepped out of the city and into a simpler time. Your handy dandy face covering can play double duty here since the walkway is downwind from a sewage treatment plant, which can often be noticed if the wind is blowing unfavorably. We’re hopeful that this air quality issue will be addressed soon because this semi-hidden gem is a beautiful part of what makes Ann Arbor such a special city.

Multiple Kayaking Drop-Ins

Kayaking and canoeing are fun social activities that keeps groups of people nice and separate. Ann Arbor has two liveries for canoe and kayak rental, one at Gallup park and the other at Argo Park a little farther west. Because of the pandemic, the only river trip available this year will be from Argo to Gallup, which is a nice 1.5 hour trip down easy current. Gallup will also host still water paddling in the pond. The rental booths are currently closed, but we anticipate they will be opening around the same time as the rest of the regulations are loosened in our reopening zone. Keep an eye on their website’s Ann Arbor Canoeing & Kayaking page for more information.

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