Hemlock Crossing is a Breathtaking Hike Along the Pigeon River

Hemlock trails feature image

Hemlock Crossing’s Rivers and Bridges and Boardwalks – Oh My!

Hemlock Crossing
8115 West Olive Road, West Olive, MI 49460

I think I’ve discovered a new local treasure. Hemlock Crossing County Park checks so many boxes that make a fun, family hike!

Located in West Olive, Hemlock Crossing is just a stone’s throw off of US-31 between Holland and Grand Haven. It boasts six miles of trails through stunning landscapes.

The Parks, Playgrounds & Trails Directory is proudly presented by John Ball Zoo. We are grateful for their support!

John Ball Zoo parks sponsorship banner
Missing the Zoo? Enjoy a private stroll to spend time with Yoshi, the baby Canada lynx, or Wyatt & Wasabi the red pandas and enjoy having the Zoo to yourself.
Book your weekend tour online or call us for a weekday tour.

The trail walks you through truly breathtaking terrain. We started near the pedestrian bridge which weaves its way across Pigeon River. It was fun to watch kayakers traverse the lazy river and wave as they passed. 

Hemlock Crossing boardwalk

We followed the shade (pack your bug spray) through the trails here and found some cool boardwalks that outlined the Pigeon River. There are plenty of spots to pause and admire the riverside and look for wildlife.

Hemlock Crossing County Park At a Glance

Trail Difficulty: Fairly easy

Dogs Allowed? Yes, leashed dogs allowed

Facilities: Modern restrooms available in the parks seasonally, rustic toilets year-round

Stroller Friendly? No, I would not recommend

Time of Year Accessible: Open year-round

boy observing bog at Hemlock Crossing

How to Hike Hemlock Crossing Like a Pro

The trails at Hemlock Crossing are well marked and you can find maps frequently throughout the hike. As always, I’d suggest downloading the map on your phone–just in case. 

Hemlock trails map

The majority of the trails are not stroller friendly. There aren’t any significant stair climbs and just a few moderate inclines, so a baby carrier would be a great addition for hiking Hemlock Crossing. My just-turned-four-year-old hiked it by herself just fine (which is rare).  

Across from the main parking lot (by the modern restrooms) you can find another trailhead that leads to some paved paths through a beautiful, sun-filled meadow. The colors of flowers were incredible! This short loop is stroller friendly.

Hemlock trails meadow

The trails at Hemlock Crossing also connect to Pine Bend County Park to the west of the property. There you can find the historic Weaver House (which is available to rent for your next event).

Explore Year-Round With a Nature Center, Kayak Launch and Snowshoe Rentals

Hemlock Crossing offers an array of amenities like a kayak and canoe launch, a picnic area with grills, modern restrooms, snowshoe rentals (seasonally) and a Nature Center. 

With kids in tow, a stop at the Nature Center is a must! It’s a popular spot for school field trips providing educational resources and exhibits for kids of all ages. Pop in and see the exhibits, the wildlife den, and the wildlife viewing area.  

Hemlock trails girl hiking

<< Return to Trails Directory

<< Return to Parks Directory

Map of Grand Rapids Parks and Trails

Find your next outdoor adventure near you with our map of the best hiking trails, playgrounds and parks in West Michigan.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *