6.12.15

Top 5 Hikes In & Around The Grand Haven Area

Hikers and nature lovers alike enjoy the many trails our area has to offer, from the shores of Lake Michigan to the rolling woodlands of West Michigan. In today’s guest blog, Jessica VanGinhoven from Ottawa County Parks & Recreation shares the Top 5 Hikes in and around the Grand Haven. So grab your water bottle, pack a snack, and put on some comfortable shoes – we have a lot of trails to discover in the Grand Haven area!

#1 – Rosy Mound Natural Area

Rosy Mound Natural Area - Grand Haven, Michigan. Photo courtesy of Ottawa County Parks.  Rosy Mound Natural Area - Grand Haven, Michigan. Photo Courtesy of Ottawa County Parks.

Rosy Mound is a local favorite, offering two miles of hiking area. It’s a classic Great Lakes dune system including high wooded dunes, foredunes, beach, and a dune blowout. A 0.7 mile hiking trail from the parking area to the Lake Michigan shoreline includes 1,000 feet of stairs up and down the dunes and scenic views (the hike is rather strenuous). A unique shade canopy and dune boardwalk trail are located near the beach.

Worth noting: Rustic toilets are located near the beach. There is a parking fee in the summer.

#2 – North Ottawa Dunes

North Ottawa Dunes - Ferrysburg, Michigan. Photo courtesy of Ottawa County Parks

North Ottawa Dunes County Park is located in Ferrysburg, very close to Grand Haven. This park site offers wooded dunes located just off the Lake Michigan shoreline and uniquely situated between state, county and city parks. Ten miles of hiking trails link North Ottawa Dunes to North Beach Park and PJ Hoffmaster State Park. The property features tremendous topography with an elevation change of 185 feet in the parabolic dune formations. Eight distinct dunes in the rugged landscape exceed 750 feet in height for spectacular, scenic views of the surroundings. Don’t forget your camera!

Worth noting: Trail head and parking is located at Coast Guard Park. Modern restrooms are available.

#3 – Connor Bayou

Connor Bayou Park - Grand Haven, Michigan. Photo courtesy of Ottawa County Parks

The three mile hiking trails at Connor Bayou include nearly a mile of Grand River frontage and a diversity of natural communities including wetlands, mature mixed hardwood and pine forest, and remnants of prairie plant communities. The site offers outstanding views of the Grand River and expansive wetlands to the north.

Worth noting: If you have a kayak or canoe, bring it along to paddle the Grand! Our universally-accessible launch is free to use. Rustic toilets are available.

#4 – Hemlock Crossing & Pine Bend

Hemlock Crossing - West Olive, Michigan. Photo courtesy of Ottawa County Parks

Hemlock Crossing - West Olive, Michigan. Photo courtesy of Ottawa County Parks

Hemlock Crossing - West Olive, Michigan. Photo courtesy of Ottawa County Parks

Hemlock Crossing offers woods and wetlands along the Pigeon River. Over six miles of trails meander through bottomland and upland forest, old pine plantations and along the river. Trails connect to Pine Bend County Park on the west end of this property. A pedestrian bridge and numerous overlooks offer scenic views. While you’re there, be sure to visit the Nature Education Center, especially if you’re hiking with your family.

Worth noting: Modern restrooms are available inside the Nature Education Center. If you hike to Pine Bend, be sure to walk the beautiful grounds of the Weaver House, a restored home from 1901.

#5 – Pigeon Creek Park

Pigeon Creek Park - West Olive, Michigan. Photo courtesy of Ottawa County Parks

Pigeon Creek Park - West Olive, Michigan. Photo courtesy of Ottawa County Parks

Pigeon Creek Park offers ten miles of trails winding through old pine plantations, mature deciduous forests and through bottomland forests along the Pigeon River. In the winter the park is popular for cross-country skiing and snowshoeing. In the summer hikers, mountain bikers, and equestrians alike enjoy the trails.

Worth noting: Modern and rustic restrooms are available.

At the end of your hike, it is always good practice to do a thorough tick check before you get back into your car or head home. We recommend using a lint roller to roll off pants and any sleeves. Don’t forget to check your dogs for any ticks as well after a hike. For more tips on having a safe visit to the parks, click here. 

To learn more about all of the parks, trails, and open space land the Ottawa County Parks system offers, check out: www.miottawa.org/parks

For more hiking options in the Grand Haven area, be sure to check out our Hiking page!

Jessica VanGinhoven - Ottawa County Parks{Guest Blogger Bio} Jessica VanGinhoven
Jessica is the Communications Specialist for Ottawa County’s Parks and Recreation Department. As a lover of the outdoors, she hopes to motivate those living in and visiting West Michigan to get outside and explore by sharing stories, educational programs and information, and events with the community.

 

Are you interested in being a Guest Blogger? Drop us a line with your blog post ideas here!

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