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.
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.
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 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!
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!
Overall, it was a great day at Boulder Ridge!
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