Explore West Olive
The Grand Haven Area is made up of six townships: Grand Haven, Spring Lake, Ferrysburg, Coopersville, West Olive, and Allendale. Each area has its own attractions and businesses worth exploring. This blog series will offer each area their own spotlight and include all the need-to-know information for you to make the most of your visit.
Things to Do:
Geocaching: Modern day treasure hunt! Hidden across Grand Haven and the surrounding areas, including West Olive, are over 1,000 caches (containers with small prizes) that you use your phone to help you locate. Multiple challenge levels for any group. Visit geocaching.com to get started.
Crossroads Blueberry Market: A U-Pick farm for blueberries. Blueberries are available from Mid-July to August, so be sure to call ahead and learn their opening times. At their farm market you can get pre-picked blueberries, blueberry products (like muffins and donuts), and icecream.
Reenders Blueberry Farm: A U-Pick farm for blueberries. Blueberries are available from Mid-July to August, so be sure to call ahead and learn their opening times. Their store offers pre-picked blueberries, blueberry products (like muffins or coffee), raspberries, cherries, peaches, various jams, and canned fruits & veggies.
Hemlock Crossings: A site of 239 acres that include woods, wetlands, and the Nature Education Center. With over 6 miles of trails for hiking and cross-country skiing, there are many opportunities to explore along the old pines and Pigeon River. There’s also a pedestrian bridge and overlooks that offer scenic views of the river, wetlands, natural springs, wildlife, and woods, as well as two picnic shelters, grills, modern and rustic restrooms, snowshoe rental, and a kayak/canoe launch. Dogs are allowed on leash, but not in park buildings or off-trail. Nature Center is open Tuesday to Saturday from 10am – 4pm, Sunday from 12pm – 4pm, with gear due back by 5:30pm. Park is open 7am – 10pm from March 1 to October 15, and 7am – 8pm from October 16 to February 28; No entry or launch fees.
Lakeshore Connector Path: A 20-mile paved path that runs parallel to Lakeshore Drive and makes for a perfect biking trail. You can start anywhere along the path, but it begins at Rosy Mounds Natural Area and ends at Tunnel Park or at Holland State Park. Kirk Park is a good midway point.
Pigeon Creek Park: With over 10 miles of ski trails and snowshoe trails, this 282 acre park is an excellent location for all your winter activities such as classic skiing, cross-country skiing, and sledding with groomed trails and illuminated hills. You can rent equipment at the Pigeon Creek Lodge and sign up for multiple levels of ski lessons. During the warmer months, the trails are great for hiking, horseback riding, biking, and dog walking. For more information on rentals, visit our listing: Pigeon Creek Park. Open 7am – 10pm year round; No entry fees.
Food & Drink:
Sandy Point Beach House: This restaurant is the perfect place for casual fine dining as it serves new American cuisine for brunch, lunch, and dinner. They offer burgers, steaks, seafood dishes, pasta plates, and follow new culinary trends to keep the menu fresh. Open Monday to Saturday from 11am – 9pm, and on Sunday from 11am – 8 pm.
Embassy Bar & Grill: A burger, sandwich, and burrito joint that offers breakfast, as well as DJ music and karaoke, on the weekends. Open Monday to Thursday from 12pm – 9pm, and on Friday & Saturday from 7am – 12am.
Kirk Park: Acres of dunes, woods, and a sandy beach along Lake Michigan shoreline that doubles as an off-leash dog beach. It also has a playground, picnic tables, grills, a swimming beach, a covered pavilion, modern restrooms, cross-country ski trails, and hiking trails that take you to scenic dune overlooks. Dogs must be on a leash until the beach. Open 7am – 10pm from March 1 to October 15, and 7am – 8pm from October 16 to February 28. There is a motor vehicle parking fee from Memorial Day to Labor Day.
Hiawatha Forest: This park includes 365 acres made up of flat land and hardwood stands and red pine plantations, with off-trail hiking and cross-country skiing available. There is only a limited unmarked trail system, and no designated restrooms. Dogs are allowed on or off the leash. This location is open to hunting per DNR Laws (More information). Open 5am – 10pm; No entry fee.
Olive Shores: A mostly wooded park made up of 20 acres that includes a swimming beach, picnic tables, hiking trails, an extensive series of stairs and boardwalks traversing the dune and providing scenic view of Lake Michigan, a barrier-free trail loop, and modern restrooms. Dogs are not allowed. Open 7am to 10pm from April 1 until the first snowfall. There is a motor vehicle parking fee from Memorial Day to Labor Day.
Pine Bend: Made up of 239 acres of wood and wetlands along the Pigeon River, this park is an excellent location for traveling along the six miles of hiking trails and cross-country skiing paths. There are also picnic tables, grills, and rustic restrooms. This is also the site of the Weaver House and trellis, a restored house from 1901 that is available to reserve for weddings, business meetings, and other occasions. Leashed dogs are allowed. Open 7am – 10pm from March 1 to October 15, and 7am – 8pm from October 16 to February 28; No entry fees.
Port Sheldon Natural Area: This park is made up of 440 acres that include gently rolling terrain, woods, wildlife ponds, and Ten Hagen Creek, with off-trail hiking and cross-country skiing available. Dogs are allowed on or off the leash. This location is open to archery deer hunting per DNR Laws (More information). Open 5am – 10pm; No entry fee.
Windsnest Park: With 4 acres of land and a sandy beach front on Lake Michigan, this park is a great location for swimming and a picnic. The park also includes handicap accessible play equipment, restrooms, and a wooden walkway for a scenic view of Lake Michigan. Open 9am – 10pm, and the gate is locked when closed; Motor Vehicle Permit required Memorial Day through Labor Day.
Places to stay:
Pigeon Creek Inn: A bed and breakfast that makes for a lovely romantic getaway. Each of the five suites include a king size bed, flat-screen TVs, a fireplace, and four of them include a whirlpool bath. Located in the wooded areas adjacent to Pine Bend/Hemlock Crossing county parks and is two miles from Lake Michigan.