Saginaw Forest

Saginaw Forest is a field research area for demonstration of forest management and sustainable ecosystem management for the faculty and students of the School of Natural Resources and Environment, and other units of the University of Michigan. The forest is located 5 miles west of the University campus, on Liberty Road.

Research Projects

Saginaw Forest has been the site of many various research projects and field courses for decades, including "Woody Plants," "Forest Ecology," "Freshwater Ecology" and "Soil Properties and Processes." Learn more...

Review and
download research summaries


In 1906, 20 acres of Saginaw Forest was to be set aside as the "Ann Arbor Forest Experiment Station" to be managed and maintained by UM and USFS. Learn more...

Caretaker's Blog

Read about life at the Saginaw Forest cabin

Saginaw Forest is a nearly 80-acre parcel of land comprised of roughly 55 acres of plantations, Third Sister Lake and surrounding wetlands. The property, a gift to the University of Michigan in 1903 by timberman and U-M Regent Arthur Hill and his wife, Louise, both hailing from Saginaw, Mich., is used for forestry operations, research and instruction. The site is distinctive because the origin of SNRE is integrally tied to Saginaw Forest. The gift of Saginaw Forest coincided with the school's inaugural year, and forest planting by SNRE's first students and faculty commenced when the parcel was given 1903-04. Planting continued up until 1937, resulting in a total of 55 acres of forest plantings of several tree species, both native and exotic.

In 2009, a management plan was commissioned to review the property's current and future uses.
(Read management plan)

Use of the Forest

Public use of Saginaw Forest is encouraged. Rules for public access include:

  • No parking in front of the access gate.
  • Public use hours are from 6am to 6pm only; no camping on the site!
  • No vehicles or bicycles are permitted on the site except those for approved research and teaching use.
  • Dogs with owners are welcome to visit, but they must be on a leash.
  • Dog owners must carry out all pet waste; please bring your own doggie bag to do so
  • No cutting or collecting of plant material; no hunting or harming vertebrates.

Map & Directions

While Google marks this property as a county park, the site is owned by the University of Michigan and managed by the School of Natural Resources and Environment.

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