See Why Families Love Boulder Ridge Wild Animal Park in Alto

by guest author Mary Ward

Boulder Ridge Wild Animal Park is 80 acres of animal adventure at 8313 Pratt Lake SE, Alto, MI 49302.

This unique park was started by Dave and Dawn Hoekstra, who initially bought the land to breed animals to sell to zoos. But their exotic animal passion grew to a desire to open to the public, and since 2011 the Hoekstras have been welcoming families and schools and more to tour this special place.

Boulder Ridge 2

My crew and I stopped in at Boulder Ridge recently, and everyone had a great time exploring.

Boulder Ridge Wild Animal Park is very kid and family friendly. The paved trails make strollers and wheelchairs easy to maneuver. The animals are easy to view and pet where allowed.

RELATED: 21 Places Where you can get Close to Animals Around West Michigan


Safaris in Michigan??

Admission includes a safari ride on a converted school bus!  This ride can show you some of their more unusual creatures, with several stops along the way to ducate guests on the park and its inhabitants.

The kids enjoyed viewing the antelope, bison, ostrich, zebra and everything in between!

Boulder Ridge Safari Bus

Boulder Ridge Lets You Feed the Locals

One of the best features of the park is the ability to get up close and personal to a variety of animals one may not get the chance to see otherwise. They have lettuce ($1 each or 6 for $5) and carrots ($3) available to feed the giraffes, goats, camel and more!


Boulder Ridge Feed Giraffe

The kids particularly enjoyed the parakeet house where for $1 you get seed-covered stick for the birds to eat off of. The birds are not shy and all come swooping down when you walk in, so be ready!

Boulder Ridge Parakeets

Overall, it was a great day at Boulder Ridge!

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Details About Boulder Ridge Wild Animal Park

The park is open May 1-mid October on the following days:

  • Monday-Tuesday, 10 AM-8 PM,
  • Wed-Saturday, 10 AM-6PM
  • Sunday, noon-6 PM.

Admission is free for kids 2 and under, $9 for ages 3-11 and $12 for age 12 and up. ($9 for ages 62+)

Bonus Activities at Boulder Ridge

Most things are covered with basic admission. Extras include:

  • Feeding various animals, which is all optional (though kids love it).
  • Kids’ Train Ride ($4/person)
  • Mining Gemstones



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By | 2017-05-12T14:41:49+00:00 August 10th, 2016|Categories: General, Place, Travel Grand Rapids Tips for Families|Tags: , , |2 Comments

About the Author:

April H
April is a stay-at-home-working-mom hybrid who balances her time between managing a household and using her editor brain to find all the typos in her friends’ emails. In her occasional free time she enjoys reading, quilting, antiquing and photography. She lives in Grand Rapids with her husband and three children.


  1. Suzanne Eaton February 26, 2018 at 12:08 pm - Reply

    I recently viewed a Michigan Destination program featuring your park that I did not know existed. It certainly looks like a great place to visit. I assume if one uses your address, can put it in the Garmin to get direction there sometime after early May. We live in the Brighton area so it would be a nice day.

  2. virginia August 16, 2016 at 11:51 am - Reply

    My grandson loves to visit Boulder Ridge each summer. He loves feeding the animals!

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