Holland State Park has all the Amenities and Picturesque Backdrops
If you live in West Michigan, you probably know that Holland is the place to go to see tulips in the spring.
But did you know that it’s also the place to go for amazing Lake Michigan beaches?
Holland State Park, among the 85+ parks in West Michigan, is one such destination. When you visit, you’ll find a Lake Michigan beauty loaded with amenities, beach included.
Read on to find out more about the famous Big Red Lighthouse and why locals love to camp here.
Things to Do At Holland State Park
2215 Ottawa Beach Rd, Holland, MI 49424
Whether on a day trip or as an overnight camping destination, Holland State Park is easy to enjoy.
In addition to the gorgeous beach, Holland State Park also has a playground, hiking trails and campgrounds, and sits on both Lake Michigan and Lake Macatawa.
Note: Holland State Park offers a two-track chair for visitors with mobility challenges to explore the park. These off-road, electronic chairs are available first come, first reserved at no cost.
1 – Relax at Holland State Park Beach
Holland State Park Beach is a popular spot for visitors and locals alike who are looking for a great Lake Michigan beach.
Sugar Sand Beach
The sugar sand beach is the perfect spot to have a sandcastle building contest. You’ll even get stunning views of Big Red Lighthouse from the beach. While you could easily spend an entire day on the shore alone, there’s so much more to do here.
With ramps from the parking lot to the shoreline, it’s perfect for strollers and wagons.
Bring along a metal detector and see what you can find along the beach. Consult this map, as well as park staff, for specific rules.
When the kids want to run off some energy, head over to the accessible playground.
The rubber-surfaced playground at Holland State Park is right on the beach, providing a nice alternative to swimming. It has plenty of climbing options plus slides and swings.
Big Red, Holland’s Lighthouse
Be sure to take time to walk the pier to check out the iconic lighthouse, Big Red.
BEACH SAFETY ALERT
Water currents in Lake Michigan can pull even good swimmers under. People drown in the lake every year. Pay attention to the flag system, use life jackets when swimming, and learn how rip currents work.
Picnics & Concessions
Picnic tables and grills are located throughout the park, making it easy to up your dining game.
Or grab something from Beach Place, the on-site concessions area. Options include burgers, hot dogs, trail mix and ice cream.
Modern restrooms, vending machines, changing rooms and a picnic shelter can be found in the beach house as well.
The parking lot is next to the playground.
While the parking lot is pretty big, it can get full. A State of Michigan Recreation pass is required to park here.
Another option is to park offsite and take use the bike path to reach the beach.
2 – Hiking at Holland State Park – Climb Mt. Pisgah
Probably the most popular trail within Holland State Park is the Holland Dune Trail.
This one mile, out-and-back trail takes visitors 157 feet above sea level to the top of the Mount Pisgah sand dune for phenomenal views of Lake Michigan, the Big Red lighthouse, and Lake Macatawa.
The hike involves hundreds of stairs that take you up and up to a pristine 360 degree view of Michigan’s finest scenery. It’s not easy.
Mt. Pigsah Views
At the top of Mt. Pisgah, walk a narrow boardwalk to find more wooded trails to explore. If you venture far enough, you’ll end up at the Holland State Park campground.
Keep your eyes peeled for deer and other wildlife.
Note: The trails at Holland State Park are not located near the Lake Michigan Beach and does not provide direct access to the water. Rather, they are adjacent to the Holland State Park campground.
Daytrip visitors can access the trails via the Mt. Pisgah trailhead. Campers can pick up the trail at the rear of the campground.
Note: State Park participates in the Michigan State Park Explorer Program. This summertime program offers weekly nature-based programming. Check their website for the latest information and offerings.
3 – Holland State Park Camping
Nestled further inland, Holland State Park has two different campgrounds.
Load up your camping gear and head here for a camping excursion your family will rave about; it’s one of the most popular campgrounds in Michigan.
The Lake Macatawa campground is a traditional campground where your group can choose from rustic tent or RV sites.
The Beach campground is nestled between sand dunes with 98 paved campsites and 31 full hook-up sites.
Your group can choose from rustic tent or RV sites.
Consider the Holland Camper Cabins if you’d like a few more amenities.
What to Expect at the Campground
All campsites have picnic tables, fire rings and grills. There is also a modern restroom and shower building that is clean and well-maintained.
Both campgrounds are within 50 feet of swimming beaches. The Lake Macatawa campground is only a half mile from Lake Michigan.
Wooded hiking trails are right behind the campground and Mt. Pisgah trail is right next door.
Make your reservations with the Michigan DNR.
4 – Nearby Attractions
Be sure to stop by Ottawa Beach General Store, located just outside the park, to get an amazing ice cream sundae. They also sell drinks, snacks, and souvenirs.
If you want to take your boat out for a spin or do some fishing, the boat launch is one mile east of the park. There’s also a fish cleaning station there.
Looking for a more adventurous activity? Macatawa Boat House, located across from the Lake Macatawa Campground, offers stand-up paddle board, canoe and kayak rentals. Rates start at $15 per half hour.
Lakeshore Trail, a 20-mile paved biking route, runs parallel to Lakeshore Drive and Grand Haven State Park to Holland State Park on one continuous route.
Opt to park somewhere along the trail and ride into Holland State Park for a nice “Beach N’ Bike Combo” with ice cream shops along the way.
A Note About the Layout of Holland State Park
Holland State Park has access to both Lake Michigan and Lake Macatawa.
Many people don’t realize that the State Park has two sections: the beach and the campground.
The area of land between the campground and the Holland State Park Beach is known as Historic Ottawa Beach Park. This is where you can access the hiking trails and Mt. Pisgah.
The campground is inland, located across the road from Lake Macatawa.
A bike path runs from the campground, along the main drive and out to the Holland State Park Beach.
How much does it cost to get into Holland State Park?
There is no entrance fee, but the $17 State Recreation pass is required.
How long is the hiking trail at Holland State Park?
The Holland Dune Trail within Holland State Park is a one mile, out-and-back trail that goes up to Mount Pisgah.
What is the difficulty level of the hiking trail?
This is a difficult trail with hundreds of stairs.
Is there full hook up at Holland State Park campground?
Yes, there are 98 paved campsites and 31 full hook-up sites at the Beach campground.
Is Holland State Park accessible?
Yes, parts of the park are accessible. There are also two track chairs available for visitors with mobility challenges to explore the park. First come, first reserved at no cost.
What time of year is Holland State Park open?
Holland State Park is open all year from 8 AM to 10 PM.
Are dogs allowed at Holland State Park?
Yes, in the designated dog beach along Lake Macatawa. Must be on a 6 ft leash.
Have you Visited Holland State Park?
What are your favorite things to do here? Let us know in the comments!
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