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Posted on Mon, Mar 28, 2011 : 5:55 a.m.

Soccer fields, 5 miles of trails, mountain biking amenities on the way to Rolling Hills Park in Ypsilanti Township

By Juliana Keeping

Cycling, 5-kilometer runs and other community-friendly events could be in the future for Rolling Hills Park with the addition of a ring road and miles of paved trail planned for spring.

And soccer families can look forward to five new fields in the county’s largest park.

The road and trail are key pieces in a plan to develop the Ypsilanti Township park in southeast Washtenaw County.

The purchase of three adjacent properties since 2005, including a 96-acre Wiard property, has more than doubled the park’s size to 363 acres, said Tom Freeman, deputy director of Washtenaw County Parks and Recreation. The two-mile road and eventual five-mile trail system will connect it all.

The planned road and trail eventually will swing by an amenity mountain bikers will appreciate and on which work has already started: a system of trails constructed under the guidance of the Michigan Mountain Biking Association on the east side of the property.

Coy Vaughn, superintendent of park planning, said the developments are part of a 20-year improvement plan for the park approved by Parks and Recreation Commission in March 2009. Part of the long-term plan includes improvements to the water park and 18-hole disc golf course, Vaughn said.


The parks and recreation commission approved a long-term plan for Ypsilanti Township's Rolling Hills Park in 2009. In April 2011, work on miles of paved trails and a ring road will begin. Click here for the full pdf.

Washtenaw County Parks and Recreation rendering

Juliana Keeping is a health and environment reporter for Reach her at or 734-623-2528. Follow Juliana Keeping on Twitter



Tue, Mar 29, 2011 : 2:48 a.m.

JSA, this park, along with Independence Lake up near Whitmore, charge the ridiculous fee of $6 for residents of Washtenaw County and I think 9 or 10 dollars for non-county residents. I would imagine that accumulates a decent amount of $$. Why does say this article has 12 comments but only 5 are visible?


Mon, Mar 28, 2011 : 6:46 p.m.

Maybe I missed it but how do they plan to pay for all this?


Mon, Mar 28, 2011 : 3:07 p.m.

Wow! What an expansion. But ball golf! Really? What a way to destroy what once was a beautiful Wiards orchard... and turn it into an ugly, contrived landscape that sucks down petroleum and wastes precious ground water. Look at the city of Ann Arbor's public golf courses and how poorly they are faring in the current economic climate also! I was REALLY hoping for another 18-hole disc golf course, or at least a proper set of extra holes (note to those unfamiliar who may think I am contradicting myself - disc golf is played naturally in and through the woods, with little clearing required, and CERTAINLY no petroleum fertilizer and wasting of ground water). A disc golf "learning center" that offers no technical challenge for players, and only entices more beginners onto the course doesn't sound great. Overall this plan appears to offer little in the way of re-naturalizing the current farm fields and orchards. I wish the park would look at offering more natural, long distance hiking, biking, and skiing trails. This plan is wayyyy too jammed with features, many of which may go under-used, or if not, lead to massive over crowding in the park. Take it slow! What the heck is a "miracle" baseball field?


Wed, Mar 30, 2011 : 3:08 p.m.

EyeHeart.... try looking at the embedded and attached master plan image. The golf learning center at the top of the map shows a 9 hole course on almost 100 acres of land that used to be orchard. They already have an 18 hole disc golf course. Its basically invisible to other users of the park. The disc golf course requires no fertilizer or watering, and only sporadic mowing.


Mon, Mar 28, 2011 : 4:15 p.m.

I don't see any mention of ball golf. I do, however see that the last line of the story - which nobody seems to actually read, says: "18-hole disc golf course" was this the: "ugly, contrived landscape that sucks down petroleum and wastes precious ground water" ?


Mon, Mar 28, 2011 : 1:23 p.m.

Cool. One of my favorite parks gets better.


Mon, Mar 28, 2011 : 11:26 a.m.

The park is a hidden jewel for cross country skiiers.... There is also a very nice largemouth living under the fishing pier.


Mon, Mar 28, 2011 : 4:34 p.m.

This park was built, expanded and is maintained with "other peoples money". I am surprised that you of all people would utilize socialized recreation facilities.


Mon, Mar 28, 2011 : 10:27 a.m.

Perhaps indicating where the park is located would be helpful for some...


Mon, Mar 28, 2011 : 6:04 p.m.

Yep - I had an almost senior-moment. You were right.

dading dont delete me bro

Mon, Mar 28, 2011 : 3:15 p.m.

@glimmertwin, better turn your map upright. bemis is the south border of the park. i drive that bumpy road daily. or maybe reboot that gps.


Mon, Mar 28, 2011 : 1:02 p.m.

It is actually south of Bemis about 1/4-1/2 mile.

dading dont delete me bro

Mon, Mar 28, 2011 : 10:53 a.m.


dading dont delete me bro

Mon, Mar 28, 2011 : 10:52 a.m.

stony creek rd between textile and bemis rd.