Hemlock Crossing is Breathtaking: Hike or Kayak the Pigeon River, Snowshoe & More

hemlock crossing

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

hemlock crossing county park

8115 West Olive Road, West Olive, MI 49460

natural hiking paths through hardwoods and over river
Trail Length: 6 miles
Trail Difficulty: Easy
Dogs Allowed? Yes, but they must be on a 6-foot leash.
Facilities: Modern restrooms available in the parks seasonally, rustic toilets year-round
Stroller Friendly? No
Time of Year Accessible: Open year-round.


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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.

Hemlock Crossing County Park is one of over 50 walking trails in West Michigan.

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

in addition to the trails system, 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. 

Kayak launch at Hemlock Crossings

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.  

Snowshoeing the majestic forest at Hemlock Crossings is a must for winter adventurers. Rentals are available at the Nature Center.

hemlock crossing snowshoeing

Scenic Trails at Hemlock Crossing

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.

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. 

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).  

Hemlock Crossing trail map
Photo from Ottawa County Parks

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.

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).

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