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.
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
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.
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.
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!