Get into Nature at Cascade Peace Park
Cascade Peace Park, among more than 50 hiking trails in West Michigan, is home to a beautiful closed-canopy forest that will have you escaping the hustle and bustle of the Grand Rapids Metro area in no time!
Cascade Peace Park is a densely wooded and hilly park, with almost 4 miles of assorted trails in varying lengths.
Read on to learn how to find the secret creek – and how to avoid the biggest challenge people face when first visiting Cascade Peace Park.
Hiking at Cascade Peace Park
8900 Grand River Dr SE, Ada, MI 49301
If you walk the perimeter of the trail system, you’ll clock close to three miles. We often do this route in about an hour with no kids along and moving at a steady clip.
The main trail loop is around 2 miles long, with plenty of offshoots you can take to add to the main loop.
It’s a great place to see fall color, too!
Once the leaves are down, you can see the Grand River from the Grand River Ave overlook.
Cascade Peace Park Allows for Long, Shaded Hikes
One of the main reasons people head to Cascade Peace Park is for a hearty hike.
Coming in at nearly 200 acres in size, the park is heavily wooded and is a great place to treat yourself to a long, shaded walk under towering oak, maple, and cherry trees.
Trails take you up some big hills that will be sure to get your heart pumping.
The hills here are even steeper than those you’ll find on a Seidman Park hike.
Two Trailheads for Cascade Peace Park
Access the Cascade Peace Park trails using one of two trailheads: the Bolt Drive entrance, or the parking area on Grand River Drive (just down the way from Ada Park).
No matter which trailhead you choose, both start with an uphill climb.
If you park at the Bolt Ave entrance, you’ll find the initial incline is a fun challenge (especially if you happen to be baby-wearing a toddler). It also offers some excellent views at the highest points.
A bench perched near the top overlooks much of the surrounding area.
We hike here often. On our most recent visit, there were quite a few cars in the parking lot, but we didn’t pass that many other hikers during our stay. We saw the most people at the trailhead.
This trail was blissfully quiet. We noticed every bird chirp and squirrel scurry.
The dense canopy makes this a perfect habitat for owls, hawks, and warblers. We had a hard time spotting anything through all the foliage, but we certainly heard a few woodland friends along the way.
There are many trail maps marking the pathways at Cascade Peace Park – and they are well placed.
The township has been updating the trail maps to a numbered system, as the old maps were confusing.
(Many first-time visitors have reported getting turned around at the Peace Park and spending much longer hiking than anticipated.)
The new maps are much easier to use, but you still might want to bring along extra water – and a GPS-equipped phone or compass to help you find your way.
The main loop is a relatively wide path (you could potentially get a jogging stroller through the main loop), but there are many shorter, narrower trails that branch off of the main trail.
Locate the Bench on the Yellow Trail to Find the Secret Creek
You can hike for years at Cascade Peace Park and never realize that a creek runs through its borders.
That’s because, to access the creek, you have to go down a steep hill on an unmarked side trail.
Look for the bench on the yellow trail and you’re right next to the side trail that’ll take you to the creek.
Wind your way down the steep hill and have fun exploring the creek. Be adventurous and splash around – it’s a fun secret destination that not many people know about.
Cascade Peace Park is a Cascade Township Park and is located in Kent County, Michigan.
Are dogs allowed at Cascade Peace Park?
Yes, but they must be leashed. It is a very popular spot for dogs!
How long is the hiking trail at Cascade Peace Park?
Cascade Peace Park is 4 miles long.
What is the difficulty level of the hiking trail?
This is an intermediate trail with some big hills.
How long should you spend at Cascade Peace Park?
All in all, plan to spend at least two hours exploring the park. Mix and match the trail loops to make the perfect adventure for your family.
Is Cascade Peace Park accessible?
No, it’s primarily hilly with areas of sand, washouts, and roots.
Map of Grand Rapids Parks and Trails
Find your next outdoor adventure near you with this map of the best hiking trails, playgrounds, and parks in West Michigan.