Grand Rapids Trails to Hike or Bike With Kids

Where to Hike with Kids Around Grand Rapids

Hiking for West Michigan kids is a snap – so many places to choose from, and so much beautiful scenery at each location.

Most of these trails are free (some charge a small fee or a parking fee). We’ve checked a lot of these trails off of our list and can’t wait to add some more before the year is over.

Lake Michigan dune view

Saugatuck Dunes State Park

Please check trail availability before heading out, as situations are changing daily.

Trails are Still Open During Spring 2020

Hallelujah, Michiganders! – We can still go outside during Governor Whitmer’s “stay home” order!

My kids and I are exploring trails like crazy while we are all staying home. The weather is nice (not too hot or too cold), the bugs are at a minimum (though still check for ticks!) and there aren’t any sports or meetings to cut our trip short.

Bonus: State Parks are FREE right now.

Rockford Dam – along White Pine Trail

It’s easy to feel trapped when you don’t leave your home for days on end. A daily trip outdoors is so good for everyone’s mental health.

Don’t let their potential bickering fool you – being outside is so good for kids. Mine sometimes start a hike in grumpy spirits but by the end, they’ve gotten out energy and are a little more like themselves. I see them smile, run, jump, and joke with each other.

And when we return home, it feels good to be back. Like it was a normal day going out and about, and now we can settle in and relax.

Recommended Family Trails That Don’t Have Tempting Playground Equipment

One challenge I’ve had during my trail adventures was to find trails without playground equipment. At this time children should avoid playground equipment, as it’s nearly impossible to sanitize it all before the kids play.

To avoid meltdowns or straight up anarchy, here are trails that don’t have any tempting play structures nearby. More details on these trails can be found below. 

Calvin College Ecosystem Preserve

Cascade Peace Park

Fred Meijer White Pine Trail

Grand Ravines

Hemlock Crossing

Hudsonville Nature Center

Pickerel Lake Park

Pigeon Creek Park

Provin Trails


Trail Etiquette During Social Distancing

Veteran hikers know most of this, but if you’re new to trail walking, there are some things to keep in mind, especially when we are supposed to be socially distancing. (Social distancing means keeping six feet between you and another person who isn’t part of your household.)

  • Smile and greet your fellow hikers! Let’s all lift each other’s spirits a little. Just no high fives right now, k?
  • Admire the doggies. But don’t touch the doggies. This one may be tough for your littlest kids, but just say, “cute doggie!” and keep on truckin’.
  • Stay on the right side of the path when others are approaching.
  • Step off the path if there are a lot of people in your group or the approaching group, to help maintain healthy space.
  • Wait your turn on stairs. We’ve got all the time in the world right now, so there’s no rush.
  • Teach kids etiquette before you hit the trail. They have no idea of rules until we tell them. Stress the importance of not running wild and crashing into others on the path or coming dangerously close to someone else. When there’s no one ahead or behind, they can be more free, but when others are present, politely move past.

Kent County Parks Dept has these helpful tips for visiting their parks, but really, these ideas should be used for all trails.


Tips for Hiking Grand Rapids Trails

  • Bring sunscreen and bug spray (we keep a set in the trunk of our car so we’re always prepared!)
  • Bring water for everyone
  • Binoculars and/or a compass can making any hike an adventure for a child
  • Check for ticks when you’re done (Read this helpful info about ticks in West Michigan)

Tell us if you have a favorite family hiking spot in the comments – or what you love about on of the locations we’ve already included. Happy hiking!

Map of Hiking Trails Near Grand Rapids

Use this map of area playgrounds and trails to find your next adventure. Trails are marked with the green hiker symbol.

Ada Hiking Trails

Seidman Park | 8155 Conservation St NE, Ada, MI 49301

  • Park activities and facilities include: restrooms, cross country skiing, fishing, hiking/walking, and nature trails.
  • Trail info

Roselle Park | 1010 Grand River Dr NE, Ada, MI 49301

  • Paved trail to the river and natural trails through wetlands, prairies and forests.
  • Leashed dogs welcome.
  • Trail map

hiking trails in West Michigan

Cascade Peace Park | 8900 Grand River Dr, Ada, MI 49301

  • Access off Bolt Dr and Grand River Dr.
  • Trail map

Grand Rapids Trails

Hiking Trails Near Northwest Grand Rapids

Blandford Nature Center | 1715 Hillburn Ave NW, Grand Rapids, MI 49504

**Blandford Nature Center is currently closed through May 11, 2020.

  • 143 acres of land and wildlife
  • Trails are open every day from dawn until dusk.
  • Trail map

hikes for kids around Grand Rapids

Aman Park | 0-1895 Lake Michigan Dr NW, Grand Rapids, MI 49534

  • Located on Lake Michigan Dr- approximately 6 miles west of the City.
  • Six self-guided trails ranging from .8 mile to 1.5 mile loops.
  • Trail map

Grand Rapids Hiking Trails – Northeast

Provin Trails | 2900 4 Mile Rd NE, Grand Rapids, MI 49525

Townsend Park | 8280 6 Mile Rd NE, Cannonsburg, MI 49317

  • 144 acres. Year round activities including baseball, fishing, hiking, picnicking, nature study, winter sports, and cross-country skiing.
  • Facilities consist of open shelters, an enclosed shelterhouse, picnic areas, playgrounds, and restrooms.

Pickerel Lake Park | 6001 Ramsdell Road NE, Cannonsburg, MI 49317

  • Located in the village of Cannonsburg just northeast of Grand Rapids
  • Hiking trails are self-guided and easy to moderate.
  • Trail info

Huff Park | 2286 Ball Ave NE, Grand Rapids, MI 49505

  • Located at Ball and Aberdeen NE
  • Park includes ball diamond, natural area, parking, picnic shelter, picnic tables, playground, restrooms, walking path.
  • Trail info

Grand Rapids – Southeast

Calvin College Ecosystem Preserve | 1750 East Beltline Ave SE, Grand Rapids, MI 49546

Grand Rapids – Southwest

Hager Park | 8134 – 28th Ave, Jenison, MI 49428

  • 104 acres of fun to be had
  • Awesome playground for kids of all ages
  • Loads of trails of differing lengths

Grand Ravines | 3991 Fillmore St, Jenison, MI 49428

  • 168 acres
  • Scenic park – bring your camera!
  • Enclosed dog park area

Hudsonville Nature Center | 2700 New Holland St, Hudsonville, MI 49426

  • Beautiful area to explore all sorts of landscapes – wetlands, forest, and prairies
  • Free guided hiking tours spring through fall

Hiking Trails Near Grand Haven 

Rosy Mound | 13925 Lakeshore Dr Grand Haven, MI 49417

  • A 0.7 mile (one way) hiking trail from the parking area to the Lake Michigan shoreline includes 1,000 feet of stairs up and down the dunes and scenic views.
  • Trail map
  • Video of hike.

Grand Ledge Hiking Trails

Fitzgerald Park | 133 Fitzgerald Park Dr, Grand Ledge, MI 48837

  • This wonderful park is best known as the home of the “Ledges”—ancient sedimentary rock outcroppings lining the shores of the Grand River.
  • Facilities include: six picnic sites, three miles of trails, volleyball, basketball, playground
  • Kayak launch for privately owned boats.

Fitzgerald Park Ledges

Hiking Trails Near Holland

Mt. Pisgah | 2238 3rd Ave (approximate) Holland, MI 49424

  • Steep stair climb up dune to lake views

Pigeon Creek Park | 12524 Stanton St, West Olive, MI 49460

  • Located just north of Holland/Zeeland
  • Over 10 miles of designated trails for hiking, biking and equestrian use and a 0.9 mile trail loop.
  • Trail map

Hemlock Crossing | 8115 West Olive Rd, West Olive, MI 49460

  • Over 6 miles of hiking trails with many scenic overlooks.
  • Pedestrian bridge and over a mile of paved trail.
  • Trail map

Saugatuck Dunes State Park | 3834 66th St, Saugatuck, MI 49453

  • 1,000 acres of land with 2.5 miles of shore line
  • 4 hiking trails
  • Trail map

Lowell Hiking Trails

Wittenbach/Wege Center | 1715 Vergennes, Lowell, MI 49331

  • Trails are open dawn until dusk 365 days a year.
  • Leashed dogs are welcomed. Horses are allowed on the Corncob Corner Trail.
  • Trail map

Fallasburg Park | 1124 Fallasburg Rd, Lowell, MI 49331

  • Flat River runs through this sprawling park
  • Perfect for a family gathering or a simple picnic lunch

Trails Near Ludington

Lundington State Park | 8800 Michigan 116, Ludington, MI 49431

  • Hike to the lighthouse or one of the eight marked trails that cover 18 miles. Trail markers and information kiosks along the way.
  • Trail map

Muskegon Hiking Trails

P.J. Hoffmaster State Park | 6585 Lake Harbor Rd, Muskegon, MI 49441

  • 3 hiking trails and dunes to climb
  • Camping, picnic area, and beach also available.
  • Trail map

Musketawa Trail | Between Marne and Muskegon, MI

  • 25 mile paved, multi-use recreation trail between Marne and Muskegon, MI, which passes through farmlands and wetlands, over creeks, and through villages.
  • Trail map

Hiking Trails Near Rockford 

Brower Lake Nature Preserve | 8748 Je-Ne-Be Dr., Rockford, MI 49341

  • Rustic hiking trails near wetlands
  • Very limited parking and tricky to spot

Luton Park | 125 Kies Street, Rockford, MI 49341

  • Accessed off of 10 Mile Road, it is a walk-in or ride-in park
  • Scenic walking paths and a magnet for bikers
  • Trail map

Walker Hiking Trails

Millennium Park | 1415 Maynard Ave SW, Walker, MI 49534

  • 13 miles of hiking trails, with about ten miles paved and three miles surfaced with crushed limestone.
  • The Fred Meijer Millennium Trail Network connects with Kent Trails and with a City of Grand Rapids trail along Wealthy Street SW, as well as connecting with the park’s Recreation Core, where it follows an enjoyable route around the perimeter of Lake Leota.
  • Trail info and map

Wahlfield Park | 6811 Alpine Ave, Alpine Township, MI 49321

  • Trails for hikers and bikers through various terrain
  • Big play structure at parking lot

Hiking Trails Near Wyoming

Palmer Park | 1250 44th St SW, Wyoming, MI 49509

  • 2 Acres
  • Park includes softball field, concession stand, an restrooms. Picnic reservations available

Buck Creek Nature Preserve | 4269 Burlingame Ave SW, Wyoming MI 49509

  • Flat, paved path (stroller friendly!)
  • 1.9 mile stretch (not a loop – so about 4 miles there and back)

Ideal Park | 5843 Crippen Ave SW, Grand Rapids, MI 49548

  • 90 acres of park to explore
  • Fishing opportunity
  • Most of the play structures were destroyed in a tornado, but there’s still plenty of trails

Area Hikes by Amenity

Need to make sure that your destination has a bathroom for that potty-training toddler? We’ve got you covered! See our list of hikes and trails grouped by a particular amenity you may be searching for.

The Details on Area Trails

Want to know more about a particular trail? We’ve explored these area hiking destinations so you can know what to expect when you go!

Grand Rapids Trails to Hike or Bike With Kids

By |March 25th, 2020|Categories: Free, Guides- travel, Hiking Trails, Hiking Trails in West Michigan, Travel, Travel Michigan|Tags: , , |

Where to Hike with Kids Around Grand Rapids Hiking [...]

We’re Letting the Secret Out – Brower Lake Nature Preserve is a Beautiful, Rustic Trail in Rockford

By |June 12th, 2019|Categories: Hiking Trails, Hiking Trails in West Michigan, Northeast (Cedar Springs, Rockford, Belmont), Parks|

Read this Before You Hike the Trails at Brower [...]

Roselle Park Invites Imaginative Kids to Bike the Paved Paths, Explore the Playground and …Climb the Silo!

By |August 20th, 2018|Categories: East (East GR, Forest Hills, Ada, Cascade), Hiking Trails, Parks, Paved Pathway, Travel Grand Rapids Tips for Families|

Roselle Park in Ada is Unique Roselle Park [...]

Kirk Park Beach is for Dog Lovers …and People who like Dune Views and Wooded Trails

By |July 5th, 2018|Categories: Beach Area, Dog Friendly, Hiking Trails, Lakeshore Towns (Holland, Grand Haven, Muskegon, Zeeland), Parks|

A Bit about Kirk Park Along the lake [...]

Grand Rapids Twp Park has a Giant Playground, Paved Nature Trail and Glimpses of Fire Engines

By |June 11th, 2018|Categories: Accessible, East (East GR, Forest Hills, Ada, Cascade), Elementary, Hiking Trails, Parks, Paved Pathway, Play Date, Play Fun, Playground(s), Preschool, Toddler (12-36 months), Tween|

A Bit about Grand Rapids Township Park Nestled [...]

Biking, Hiking and Endless Possibilities for Adventure at Wahlfield Park

By |April 24th, 2018|Categories: Free, Hiking Trails, Hiking Trails in West Michigan, Parks, Playground(s)|

Read this Before You Hike the Trails at [...]

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  1. Tawnee July 21, 2016 at 5:25 am - Reply

    We love Hemlock! Our family goes there often.

  2. Hannah Sweers May 24, 2016 at 7:36 pm - Reply

    Be careful when going to aman park. You will need bug spray. Lots of mosquitoes!! Other than that highly recommended 🙂

  3. Jenny Endres Baker via Facebook June 14, 2013 at 7:13 am - Reply

    We went to the Calvin College Nature Preserve. I didn’t realize their trails were free and open until sunset. Grabbed fellow mom, Allison Hoogheem Kampmueller and her kids, and off we went! It was beautiful! Thanks for posting the info.

  4. Jenny Endres Baker via Facebook June 14, 2013 at 7:13 am - Reply

    We went to the Calvin College Nature Preserve. I didn’t realize their trails were free and open until sunset. Grabbed fellow mom, Allison Hoogheem Kampmueller and her kids, and off we went! It was beautiful! Thanks for posting the info.

  5. via Facebook June 13, 2013 at 8:59 pm - Reply

    Where did you end up hiking, Jenny Endres Baker?

  6. Jenny Endres Baker via Facebook June 13, 2013 at 4:05 pm - Reply

    I really don’t know what I’d do without you guys and these ideas. Now we’re headed for a hike tonight!

  7. […] 3: Hike the Peace Park – located at 8900 Grand River Dr SE, Ada, MI […]

  8. Laurie May 15, 2013 at 10:49 am - Reply

    Mel – you have officially made my job easier at church as I plan out hikes for our high school students to train on before we head to Colorado. Muchas Gracias sister!

    • Melody V
      Melody V May 15, 2013 at 8:59 pm - Reply

      That’s cool! Let me know if there is ever a hike I can tag along on. There are a few of these places I still haven’t been!

  9. Georgine May 13, 2013 at 1:12 pm - Reply

    This is so great. We’ve been looking for trails that are near and a little further.
    this is so helpful. thank you!

    • Melody V
      Melody V May 13, 2013 at 2:06 pm - Reply

      Glad we could help! Let us know which trails your family loves!

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