Millennium Park Grand Rapids: Complete Guide to Beach, Trails, Playgrounds, Splash Pad, Boat Rentals, Fishing + More

Millennium Park is the Crown Jewel of the Kent County Parks System

Millennium Park, among more thanΒ 50 hiking trails in West Michigan, offers over 1,400 acres of outdoor activities. If there’s an outdoor rec thing you want to do, chances are you can do it at Millennium Park.

Most of Millennium Park is free, save for beach area. There is a fee to get into Millennium Beach, the including splash pad and and boat rentals.

There is no cost to play on the playground, walk the beautiful, paved trails system, fly a kite, have lunch or watch the boaters on the lake.

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Millennium Park Features

  • 18 Miles of Hiking Trails
  • Beach and Splash Pad
  • Boat Rentals (kayak, paddleboard, canoe, rowboat, paddleboat)
  • Pavilions and grills
  • Concessions
  • Modern restrooms and changing areas
  • Large Playground
  • Basketball and volleyball courts, cross country skiing
  • Fishing areas

Millennium Park Beach & Splash Pad

1415 Maynard Ave SW, Walker, MI 49534

*This is a fee-based area of the park.

Millennium Park Beach and Millennium Park Splash Pad are accessed via the same entrance. You will need to pay a fee to get in, but the fee covers both attractions.

Millennium Park Splash Pad

Millennium Park has one of 30+ splash pads in West Michigan.

The splash pad water was so cold! But also so fun.

I liked that the splash pad is completely enclosed so parents of little kids don’t have to worry about someone wandering off.

Entrance to Millennium Park Splash Pad
millennium park splash pad

Millennium Park Beach Area

While not on Lake Michigan, Millennium Park has one of over 60 beaches in west Michigan.

The beach area is sandy – although it is a little grainy.

There’s a marked swimming section and plenty of room to spread out towels, dig with sand toys, and have a fun day at the beach.

No Lifeguards are on duty at Millennium Park Beach

Bathroom breaks are easy – just pop into the VanAndel Beach House. Changing rooms are available as well.

millennium park beach house

Millennium Park Concessions

Covered picnic tables dot the concrete terrace, which is right next to the concession stand.

The concession stand was well-stocked when we visited – Hawaiian shaved ice, hot dogs, and cold brew coffee were some of our favorites.

millennium park beach concessions

Millennium Park Beach Area Fees

Admission to the beach/splash pad area is $4 for adults, $2 for kids aged 3-15, and kids under two are free. They accept Visa and Mastercard.

Want to go again and again? Consider a season pass.

Millennium Park beach hours 2023
Millennium Park Beach & Splashpad hours as of May 16, 2023

Millennium Park Boathouse & Boat Rentals

Boat rentals are typically available from the Millennium Park Grand Rapids Boathouse from Mid-May through Mid-September.

Private watercraft are not allowed to launch at the Boathouse.

Tandem Kayaks, Stand-Up Paddleboards, Single Kayaks, Canoes, Row Boats, and Paddleboards are all available by the hour. Rates are reasonable – kayaks are just $10 for an hour.

You will need to show an ID when renting equipment.

Lockers are available (bring your own lock) or leave your keys, wallet, and phone at the front desk for safekeeping while you paddle.

You will pay for the first hour of your rental when you check in. If you stay out longer than an hour, you will pay for the additional time when you return.

2023 Boat Rental Rates for Millennium Park Grand Rapids

Rentals are first-come, first-served – there are no reservations. Life jackets and paddles are included with your rental.

You will need to wear a lifejacket at all times (they are provided).

Kids ages 12-15 can use rental equipment on their own, but it must be checked out by an adult.

Season pass holders get $2 off rentals.

millennium park paddle boats

Lake Leota is fun to paddle – there is usually little to no current and paddling under the bridge is cool.

You can paddle under the bridge to Lake Leota
millennium park SUP on the lake

Millennium Park Playgrounds

Millennium Park is one of over 85 playgrounds in west Michigan.

There are three different playground sections at this park, one for the younger kids, one for the older kids, and one ninja warrior course.

Traditional Playgrounds

The playgrounds are outside of the fenced-off beach area and have a nice grassy area nearby.

They feature swings, slides, a rock wall, and climbing elements.

millennium park playground

The surface is covered with woodchips,

millennium park playground

Also nearby: the picnic shelters (these are often reserved by groups ahead of time).

The playground has a special area just for 2-5 year olds.

Ninja Warrior Playground

Kids and families that like to watch American Ninja Warrior on television will love testing their mettle on the newer play equipment at Millennium Park.

Multiple obstacles and structures comprise the playground, which is geared toward older kids.

This design is the first in the USA and Millennium Park is excited to debut it here right in Grand Rapids.

Fishing at Millennium Park Grand Rapids

Fishing from the observation and fishing decks at Millennium Park makes accessing the water a breeze.

There are a few places in the park where fishing is not allowed, but overall there are numerous places to cast a line.

Hint: You don’t have to fish in the busy parts of the park. There are multiple lakes to fish from. Try walking to the little deck between two lakes on the other side of Millennium Park and casting there for a bit.

Some people rent a paddle boat and fish from that.

Millennium Park Trails

I feel like more often than not I’m telling you to leave the stroller in the car, but guess what?

Bring that stroller, you parents of tiny humans! Finally, a trail that is primarily stroller-friendly.

Millennium Park in Walker offers a whopping 18 miles of interconnected trails. Most of these trails are paved, but there are some off-shoot trails that are natural surfaces.

This detailed trail map notes which trails are paved or natural surface.

Millennium Park Trail Map
Photo from Kent County Parks

In addition to being stroller-friendly, you can also take a bike, scooter, or any human-powered device on the trails. We tackled the trails with a scooter and a stroller and it was a breeze!

We hiked the Orange and Purple loops and part of the Hansen Nature Trail. These trails offer views of beautiful wetlands and the recreational lake. It also has two boardwalks that my kids loved.

The trails are mostly sunny, with some shade on the Hansen Nature Trail. You’ll want to apply sunscreen and bug spray before you hike during the summer months.

Millennium-Park trails

The trails were busy with bikers, joggers, and hikers. If you have toddlers prone to wandering, be mindful, and keep them close.

We barely scratched the surface of all the trails at Millennium Park Grand Rapids.

From what we did see, the trails are well-maintained and easy to navigate. With many options of loops and lengths, you can easily cater to your family’s needs. 

Millennium Park trails

There are many parking options located along the trails.

The map offers specific addresses to input into your GPS if you want to start somewhere other than the main park complex. Seasonal public restrooms are located by the Kent Trails North Trailhead.

Millennium Park Tips

  • Millennium Park has a lot of full sun areas, especially the beach and splash pad, so protect your skin.
  • Bring a stroller (or bikes!) for the paved trails. My husband and I found the one mile and two-mile trails to be quite pleasant, but apparently my three- and six- year olds preferred to be carried. And we hadn’t brought a stroller or bikes for the kids.
  • The paths wind through the woods, so bring bug repellant.
  • Pack a picnic (or bring money for concessions at the Beach House). There’s a lot to do at Millennium and you’ll get the most out of your trip if you spend the day there.
  • If you do the beach, don’t forget all the usual beach supplies (chairs, blankets, towels, sand toys), and note that there are lockers and shower rooms.
  • Dogs are allowed on the trails and at the park, but they cannot go to the beach area, so leave your pet at home if you plan to swim or do the splash pad.
  • Millennium Park has a large parking space, but as such, you may walk a bit to get to the playground and beach. 
  • This is a great place to fly a kite.

FAQs

Are dogs allowed at Millennium Park?

Yes, on a 6 ft leash

How long is the hiking trail at Millennium Park?

Millennium Park has over 18 miles of trails.

What is the difficulty level of the hiking trail?

These are easy trails.

How long should you spend at Millennium Park?

If your visit includes the beach, you can easily spend all day here. Otherwise, plan for several hours.

Is Millennium Park accessible?

Yes!

What time of year is Millennium Park accessible?

May 1-October 31, from sun up to sundown

Map of Grand Rapids Parks and Trails

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

Legacy Park is the latest kids park and playground to hit Ada.
Legacy Park in downtown Ada

About The Author

5 thoughts on “Millennium Park Grand Rapids: Complete Guide to Beach, Trails, Playgrounds, Splash Pad, Boat Rentals, Fishing + More”

  1. my husband goes fishing there probably 2-3 times per week….. it’s his favorite place locally to fish πŸ™‚

  2. Chris Jennifer via Facebook

    Umm, this morning, yesterday, Saturday, last weekend, weekend before , weekend before…….I think I see a pattern! Sometimes we run, sometimes we bike, sometimes we rollerblade, sometimes we swim, sometimes we sit on the beach and play/read and sometimes we actually stay home for a day.

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