Dexter + Ann Arbor Photographer Betsy's Photography

Portrait Photography Location Recommendations: Chelsea, MI


Cavanaugh Lake (County) Park

Cavanaguh Lake Rd, Chelsea, MI

The Cavanaugh Lake Park is a two acre site with mature trees and lakeshore views (no swimming).

Parking and vault toilets are on the south side of Cavanaugh Lake Rd, while the park is on the north side of the road. There is a playground and a covered pavilion overlooks the lake.

Koenn Preserve

Hayes Rd, Chelsea, MI

The Herman S. Koenn Preserve is a 90 acre preserve with both wooded areas and wetland areas. The trail has two loops, and its length is just under a mile (unimproved).

Parking is available, but no other facilities are on site.

Gerald E Eddy Discovery Center

Bush Rd, Chelsea, MI

The Gerald E Eddy Discovery Center has a number of trails (14 miles total) that go through the woods, past Mill Lake, Spring Lake, Cedar Lake, and also connect with the Waterloo-Pinckney Hiking Trail:

  • Old Field Trail (0.8 mile)
  • Lowland Trail (1.1 mile)
  • Spring Pond Trail (1 mile)
  • Bog Trail (1.5 miles)
  • Oak Woods Trail (1.3 miles)
  • Lakeview Trail (3.6 miles)
  • Hickory Woods Trail (5.3 miles)

Parking is available, and restrooms are located in the Discovery Center building. The Gerald E Eddy Discovery Center is part of the Waterloo Recreation Area, which, at 20,500 acres, is the largest park in the lower penninsula of Michigan. A Michigan recreation passport is required for entry to the Waterloo Recreation Area.

Park Lyndon

N Territorial Rd, Chelsea, MI

Park Lyndon has 335 acres, of which a portion are accessible via the trails. The park spans across North Territorial Road, with parking, vault toilets, and covered pavilions at both parts:

  • Park Lyndon North
  • Park Lyndon South

The northern trail loop connects to the Waterloo-Pinckney Trail, and includes boardwalks. The southern trail loop also connects to the Waterloo-Pinckney Trail, and on trail loop passes by the shore of Lake Genevieve (dock and overlook). Note that bikes are *not allowed* on any trails, but dogs on leash are allowed.

Pierce Park

S Main St + Will Johnson Dr, Chelsea, MI

Pierce Park has an open grassy area, play structures, a covered pavilion, and is nestled in among mature trees.

Parking is available, but no facilities are on site (will confirm next visit!)

Squiers Preserve

Sylvan Rd, Chelsea, MI

Squiers Preserve is a 59 acre preserve with two trail loops (trail length, 1 mile). There are artesian springs, as well as swamp, meadow, and marsh.

No facilities or parking lot on site.

Timber Town Playground

Sibley Rd, Chelsea, MI

Timber Town is

As a parent, I really appreciated the fact there is a main “entrance” to Timber Town playground, and while it’s not fenced in, you do have a hard time getting out. That’s good for corralling toddlers! In addition to the main play structure at Timber Town, there is a pint-sized “Tot Lot” attached to Timber Town. This area is more tailored to younger children, and, as we discovered, was the perfect place to play when the “big kids” descended upon the park for a picnic playdate.

There are several picnic tables near the entrance to the Timber Town structure; a larger gazebo/pavilion picnic area sits just next to the playground.

Portable toilets are next to the parking lot.

Veteran's Memorial Park

Main St + Sibley Rd, Chelsea, MI

Also called the "Boat Park," Veteran's Memorial Park is next to Letts Creek (a bridge passes over the creek), and has a wooden ship playground. There are ball fields as well.

Parking is available, but and restrooms are next to the parking lot.

West Lake Preserve

Waterloo Rd, Chelsea, MI

The West Lake Preserve is a 217 acre preserve with a network of natural trails:

  • Hilltop Trail (0.5 mi)
  • Lake Trail (1 mi)
  • Meadow Trail (0.33 mi)

The trail length at West Lake Preserve adds up to a little over two miles, and while there is no access to West Lake, you do walk along the shoreline. West Lake Preserve has wooded areas, wetland areas, and open grassy fields.


Chelsea, Michigan's website has information about some of the parks mentioned on this page. Maps and information regarding Washtenaw County Parks + Preserves can be found on their website.