Gallup Park – Tuesday Playground Profile
This profile of Gallup Park is part of our Summer Series: Tuesday Playground Profiles
Each week Ann Arbor with Kids is profiling a different playground in the Ann Arbor area including Ann Arbor, Saline, Ypsilanti, Dexter, etc. Today we are profiling Ann Arbor’s Gallup Park, one of Ann Arbor’s premiere destination parks.
Gallup Park has a prime location along the banks of the Huron River and Geddes Pond. With multiple playgrounds, walking trails, boating, and fishing you could easily spend several hours at Gallup Park.
Prior to today’s visit, I did not realize that Gallup is a park in transition. Recently, the back playground was moved from near the youth fishing pond to near the one lane bridge to make room for a new universal access playground.
Gallup Park Profile
Location: 3000 Fuller Road
Unique Features: Rubber Mat Surface, A Non-Structure Play Area, Tire Swings, River location, Fishing Pond, Boat Rentals
Swings: Yes, 2 regular, 2 buckets – Note these are at the original back playground location and may not be accessible during construction.
Surface: Rubber Surface (Canoe Livery Play Area) and Mulch (Second Play Area)
Bathrooms: Yes, there are bathrooms – one set at the canoe livery and one set by the youth fishing pond.
Shade: Gallup Park has a number of trees offering shade particularly on the paths. With it’s location near the river, my experience has been that Gallup Park can be cooler than other parks.
Pavilion: Yes. Pavilions are near the youth fishing pond.
Sports Fields: None
Walking Trails: There are several pave and unpaved paths that you can use to walk the park and connect to the Border2Border Trail.
Parking: There is a small lot near the park entrance that is good for the Canoe Livery and play area. There is additional parking just over the one lane bridge and a larger lot at the end of the road near the Youth Fishing Pond and the future location of Centennial Playground.
Pokémon Go: There are several Pokéstops and a Gym at Gallup Park.
Gallup Park starts near the main vehicle entrance on Geddes with the canoe livery and a play area. Across the one-lane wooden bridge you will find a second play area which was recently moved to this location. At the end of the park road, is the youth fishing pond and the former home of the second play area.
The area near the end of the park road will be the home of the new Centennial Playground, a universal access playground.
Gallup Park Playground Review
Gallup Park has two play areas. We visited the Canoe Livery Play Area back in March as part of our Mess-Free Playground post. Today we returned to the other play area. Without planning, my daughter wore the same shirt both days (although she wore capris in March and shorts today).
Canoe Livery Play Area
The Play Area Canoe Livery offers a rubber mat base instead of mulch making it a great choice after a rain storm (like today). This play area does not have a traditional play structure.
I love that the tube slide uses the natural hill. The picture also shows Arbor Annie sitting on a spinner.
For my daughter there is her favorite – a tire swing.
She also loved climbing the rock walls.
Second Play Area
The second play area opened recently after moving to allow for construction of the universal access playground. This play area is now at the south side of the one-lane bridge with ample parking nearby. There are also picnic benches. Parents should watch younger children closely since the river is nearby.
The play structure offers both a twist slide and a double slide. The structure is not that large and would be great for preschoolers.
For my daughter, the big draw at Gallup Park was the tire swing which was also relocated. Of course we didn’t do much more than look at it today since it had a huge puddle under it after the rain.
Centennial Playground is a new playground at Gallup Park. It is being donated by the Rotary Club in honor of their 100th year in Ann Arbor (2016). Preliminary work such as moving the old play structure and re-routing paths has started for this playground.
Based on the sign location and map provided, the new playground is closer to the river than the old structure which was separated from the river by the path. Hopefully I’m reading the map wrong and there will be more distance than I think.
The Original estimates date for playground completion was October 2016. On December 19, 2016, the Rotary Club provided Ann Arbor City Council with a $450K donation for the playground. At the same meeting, the City Council also approved purchase of the playground equipment and a contract for installation and site work. Work is expected to start in May/June with completion at the end of July.