West Michigan Hidden Gem! Hike & Discover Fitzgerald Park

Ledges Park Fitzgerald Park Michigan

133 Fitzgerald Park Drive, Grand Ledge, MI 48837

This Grand River Park is Ripe for Family Exploration

It’s easy to get on autopilot. I find myself hiking the same trails over and over again because they are known. I drive the same route to the same grocery stores and schools and extracurriculars over and over again. I’ve found, however, that if I’m willing to look around, there are many cool places right under my nose. I just need to get off of the beaten path and explore. That’s why I am so excited to share this Grand Ledge park with you.

Fitzgerald Park michigan hiking for kids

This West Michigan park in Eaton County is a great way to get out and explore more with your family. Most people I talk to have no idea that Fitzgerald Park exists. The kicker? It’s less than an hour’s drive away (it’s on the way to Lansing from Grand Rapids, with a BIGGBY right on your way!) It really is a hidden gem.

What can you Expect to Find at Fitzgerald Park?

Yes, there are the Ledges along the Grand River to explore. But there is so much more!

  • 3 miles of nature trails (plus a nature center)
  • Fish ladder
  • playgrounds and picnic sites
  • 18 holes of Disc Golf
  • Volleyball and Basketball courts
  • Amazing backdrops for family photo shoots
  • 78 acres of fun!

Tips for Your Trip

  • Fall colors are marvelous here and you’ll see lots of people getting family photos taken at Fitzgerald Park
  • There is an admission fee. Bring $5 per car.
  • Mosquitos can be pesky at certain times of the year.
  • There are lots of places to hike. Don’t miss the Ledges! The trail to the Ledges is kind of hard to find on your first visit. It is nowhere near the Nature Center. Rather, go to the right of the Ledges playhouse and follow the paved path to the steps down.
  • The park is huge- use the restroom before you go on a hike.
  • Don’t miss the fish ladder.


Fitzgerald Park is huge, so there’s lots of room for an energetic toddler to roam. Plus, there is play equipment on a sandy surface that is geared toward the younger set. While there are no fenced in areas, you’ll find many areas a toddler will enjoy and the fish ladder is a lot of fun for this age.

It would probably be easier to list what isn’t offered at Fitzgerald Park, but I’ll give listing the amenities a try!

The big draw here are the nature trails along the Grand River that lead to the ancient Ledges, but there are also miles of additional nature trails to explore and a Nature Center.

Visitors can also expect to find:

  • Volleyball and basketball courts
  • horseshoe pits
  • soccer fields
  • two playgrounds (one for younger and one for older kids)
  • the Ledges Playhouse (seasonal ticketed performances)
  • Fish Ladder
  • Train Trestle
  • Amazing photographic backgrounds
  • Tennis courts
  • Canoe/kayak launch
  • Cross-country ski trails
  • Sledding Hill

Fitzgerald Park Ledges Playground

History of the Ledges

The Ledges have history. It’s a fun to think about just how old these ancient sedimentary rocks are, and what they’ve meant to people in the past.

Modern bathrooms are available in the warmer weather months. The bathrooms are not heated, so must be closed for the winter, usually in October.

When the modern bathroom facilities are not available, portable restrooms are brought in.

There are multiple places to picnic at Fitzgerald Park, with the shelters requiring reservations.

Reservations may be made by calling the park office at 517-627-7351. Each site contains a large grill that is reserved for that site’s use.

Fitzgerald Park is wooded in many parts, and as such, offers lots of opportunity for shade. Even the playground is shaded. Shade and water are a good recipe for mosquitos, though, so come prepared if you’re visiting in mosquito season.

Fitzgerald Park Ledges

Yes, you can fly a kite in certain open areas of the park. Just watch for trees and overhead lines.

There is a daily entrance fee. If you are not an Eaton County resident, the rate is $5 for the day or $25 for the year.

The first Wednesday of the month is free entry day.

Park Hours: 8 a.m. to dusk every day. Open year-round.

Multiple parking lots are available close to the different amenities.

If you’re looking to hike down to the Ledges, park on the side of the Ledges playhouse. If you want to see the Fish Ladder or hike the nature trails at the Nature Center, park closer to the Grand River.

Have Tips or Questions about Fitzgerald Park?

Leave us a comment below and we will get back to you!

Fitzgerald Park Ledges fish ladder


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12 thoughts on “West Michigan Hidden Gem! Hike & Discover Fitzgerald Park”

  1. Pingback: The One Thing Kids Must do in Each Michigan County - Michigan Family Fun

  2. Elise Buchholz

    What are the trails like? I have a big sturdy 3 wheeled jeep stroller that does well at a lot of places a normal stroller wouldn’t. However it can’t take on every trail. I’d feel good about jumping in the car snd giving it a whirl if I knew for sure! Thanks in advance for the help!

  3. I jog here many mornings, or to Oak Park…I like to see ya’ll cause then it’s less lonely lol, but please please take your trash with you when you go! We have a lot. 🙁

  4. I grew up in Grand Ledge, and spent most of my youth exploring “The Park”. After crossing the footbridge, turn right, and look for the Indian Head carved into the stone!

  5. W’ve always enjoyed this local park. Although it’s not in West Michigan. It’s located just west of Lansing. 🙂

  6. Katherine Strassburg

    Grand Ledge also throws great parties! The St. Patrick’s Day Parade and Victorian Days this spring, but Yankee Doodle Days will be coming soon, followed by the Island Art Fair and the Fall Color Cruise. For a complete list and details, contact our Chamber of Commerce. We also have a wonderful observatory at Fox Park in Potterville. The events are fun for all…lots of telescopes available and lots of experienced folks on hand to help explain and to lift little ones up to the eye pieces. Great family activity…..kids love to stay up past their bed time! Contact Eaton County Parks and Recreation for more information. If you come to Lincoln Brick Park, I’ll be the old lady with the walking stick, and my sister and I will be glad to greet you! Indigo Buntings, Pileated Woodpeckers, Wood Ducks, Bald Eagles nesting nearby, amazing wildflowers….we’ve got it all! Thanks for the great article. Come back any time!

  7. Went here as a kid forgot all about thanks for the reminder we will be making trip there after school is out!

  8. Oak Park across the river has even more amazing ledges. Turn on Front St. at Lickity Split until it dead ends at Oak Park.

  9. Ellie Spitzbergen

    I have four generations that have and still do enjoy the park and it’s ledges. Your pictures are outstanding, thank you for sending this for all to see.

  10. Heidi Fitzgibbon

    Awesome! So enjoying this series:) Thanks for introducing us to some great local treasures!

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