50+ Grand Rapids Hiking & Walking Trails That are Perfect for All Ages

Hiking and Walking Trails Directory Grand Rapids

Hiking & Walking Trails – Grand Rapids & West Michigan

Hiking West Michigan is a snap – there are so many places to choose from, and so much beautiful scenery at each location that it makes it one of our top choices for outdoor things to do in West Michigan.

It’s easy to forget how lucky we are to live where we do. West Michigan has incredible scenery! And we have so many well-kept trails and state parks in our area with different things to see.

I have friends in other parts of the U.S. who miss their Michigan home, saying that all the trails where they live are all the same, and not as varied or well-kept as in Michigan.

Don’t wait to experience Michigan in all four wonderful seasons on a trail near you.

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

There are many exciting adventures at John Ball Zoo this year.  Come see the Koalas and join us for all the favorite, fun events like Superhero Day, Princess Day, Kids Day and more.  For more details, visit JBZoo.org.  

Searchable Hiking & Walking Trails Directory

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

Sort the list by:

331 Cascade Rd SE, East Grand Rapids MI 49506

About this Walking Path
Short & easy natural surface trails.

• Natural Hiking Trail
•Trail Difficulty: Easy

• Trails are Stroller-Friendly

• Dog-Friendly

Open:
Open year round during daylight hours

750 Lakeside Drive SE, East Grand Rapids MI 49506

About this Walking Path
Make your way around Reeds Lake (4.2 miles) in East Grand Rapids using the paved walking trail and sidewalks. Most of the trail is shady but there are parts in full sun.

Stop off at Waterfront Park to peek through lily pads to spot wildlife, including birds, minnows and frogs.

The majority of the trail is paved, but users will find some natural surfaces and boardwalks along the way.

Trail At-a-Glance
• Trail Length: 4.2 mile loop

• Paved Walking Path, Natural Hiking Trail
•Trail Difficulty: Easy

• Trails are Stroller-Friendly

• Dog-Friendly

Open:
Open year round during daylight hours

2399 Ball Ave NE, Grand Rapids MI 49505

About this Walking Path
The trails at Huff Park are pretty straightforward.

There’s a loop (about a mile in length) that consists of a paved path with a lengthy boardwalk that cuts through the middle.

The boardwalk also features a wetland overlook. You may spot red-winged blackbirds.

There are smaller, unpaved (and unmarked) paths that shoot off from the paved path if you’re looking for more of an adventure.
The boardwalk is great for strollers and younger hikers.

It goes over wetlands and crystal clear streams - fun to look for creatures when passing over the water.

Please note that bikes, scooters, rollerblades, and skateboards are not permitted on the boardwalks.

Trail At-a-Glance
• Trail Length: 1 mile loop

• Natural Hiking Trail
•Trail Difficulty: Easy

• Trails are Stroller-Friendly

• Dog-Friendly

Open:
Open all year, from dawn to dusk.


1353 Van Auken SE, Grand Rapids MI 49508

About this Walking Path
Ken-O Sha has one wide, paved trail, but the other natural trails wind through the woods.

There are some wooden paths here and there to help cross some more challenging areas as well as a bridge over a gorgeous creek.

You're sure to see some beautiful wildflowers and may even see some deer.

There may be fallen tree limbs across the path at times so it may be hard to push a stroller on the natural trails.
The wide paved walking path is great for strollers, wheelchairs, bikes, rollerblades and other wheels.

This path is shaded and follows the river.

Trail At-a-Glance
• Trail Length: 1.7 mile loop

• Paved Walking Path, Natural Hiking Trail
•Trail Difficulty: Moderate

• Dog-Friendly

Open:
Open all year, from dawn to dusk.

4585 Coit Ave NE, Grand Rapids MI 49525

About this Walking Path
Generally considered an easy route, it takes about an hour to walk this 2.6 mile loop.

The natural-surfaced trails wind though wetlands, open fields, forests and along the edge of the river.

Beware that it's on the Grand River flood plane and can get wet and muddy when the water levels are high.

Pack the bug spray!

Trail At-a-Glance
• Trail Length: 2.6 mile loop

• Natural Hiking Trail
•Trail Difficulty: Easy

• Dog-Friendly

Open:
Open May 1 - October 31; Open 7 AM to sunset

1000 E Beltline Ave NE, Grand Rapids MI 49525

About this Walking Path

Meijer Gardens has endless walking paths that take you to many interesting destinations. There's the sculpture park route, which takes you past gorgeous waterfalls and the "giant horse," among other incredible sculptures.

Walk the Gwen Frostic Shade Garden on your way to the Michigan Farm Garden and then roam the breathtaking Japanese Gardens on your way back to the main building.

Not ready to head back inside? Explore the Meijer Garden wetlands on the Frey Boardwalk.

Trail At-a-Glance
• Trail Length: 3.6 mile loop

• Paved Walking Path
•Trail Difficulty: Easy

• Trails are Stroller-Friendly

Open:
Open year round

4355 Leonard St NE, Grand Rapids MI 49525

About this Walking Path
Signage or trail markers are absent from this park. Bring a compass or phone to navigate if hiking.

If you follow the paved bike path down to white birdhouse, you can then take that gravel path down into the valley. You'll end near a concrete bridge with at a gorgeous sandy stream.

Or continue on from the bridge and follow the hard-packed dirt trail into the woods. These trails have a grove of pines, muddy crossings, ponds, open meadows, and lots of hardwoods.

Trail At-a-Glance
• Trail Length: 3.1 mile loop

• Paved Walking Path, Natural Hiking Trail
•Trail Difficulty: Moderate

Open:
Open May 1 – Oct 31

2872 Monroe Ave., Grand Rapids MI 49505

About this Walking Path

It includes over 2 miles of trail through Riverside Park, and its downtown loop passes many downtown attractions and landmarks.

Following the trail will also bring you back and forth across pedestrian bridges across the river.

Trail is a total of 5.4 miles and is paved in asphalt. It is fairly flat and family-friendly.

Trail At-a-Glance
• Trail Length: 5.4 miles

• Paved Walking Path
•Trail Difficulty: Moderate

• Trails are Stroller-Friendly

• Dog-Friendly

Open:
Open all year

1675 Perkins Ave NE, Grand Rapids MI 49505

About this Walking Path
The serene pathway at Ball Perkins Park connects Ball and Perkins. It is great for walkers, bikers and dogs.

The pathway also leads to a small pond tucked back in the woods.

The trail is only 0.65 miles long one-way so it's perfect for families. Walk the trail several times to get in your steps.

Connect with nature without leaving Grand Rapids!

Trail At-a-Glance
• Trail Length: 0.65 miles

• Gravel Surface
•Trail Difficulty: Easy

• Dog-Friendly

Open:
Open year round during daylight hours

1715 Hillburn Ave NW, Grand Rapids MI 49504

About this Walking Path
Blandford Nature Center has TONS of trails that are perfect for exploring with kids. Most of the trails are flat and woodchipped, making it possible to navigate them with a jogging stroller.

Blandford’s trails are organized on a number system which makes it easy to figure out where you need to go when you’re on the trial (remember to ask for a map at the Visitor Center).

The trails at Blandford offer periodic breaks from hiking to learn a little more about the environment, various animals, and give kids a chance to play.

These interconnected trails give plenty of flexibility to how long of a hike you want to take. You can keep it short and sweet–or you can add on plenty of mileage by visiting the newly acquired Highlands, too.

• Natural Hiking Trail
•Trail Difficulty: Easy

• Dog-Friendly

Open:
Trails open all year, dawn to dusk.

1750 East Beltline Ave. SE, Grand Rapids MI 49546

About this Walking Path
Covered in wood chips and mostly flat, this is a great spot for younger hikers. There are plenty of water features with places to stop and look for wildlife.

There are several different configurations of trails that you can take. The trails are marked, but not exceptionally well.

Trails are mostly wooded with lots of wetlands so come prepared with bug spray.

Trail At-a-Glance
• Trail Length: 1 mile

• Natural Hiking Trail
•Trail Difficulty: Easy

Open:
Dawn to dusk year round, see the website for current Bunker Interpretive Center hours (varies by time of year)

1836 East Beltline Ave NE, Grand Rapids MI 49525

About this Walking Path

The paved nature trail follows a 1.1-mile loop that most kids ages 3 and up can handle, and is also very stroller friendly.

It does go through a marshy-wetlands area, so if you plan on hiking bug spray would be a good call.

Trail At-a-Glance
• Trail Length: 1.1 mile loop

• Paved Walking Path
•Trail Difficulty: Easy

• Trails are Stroller-Friendly

Open:
Open May 1 - October 31; Open 6 AM to sunset

2001 Monroe Ave NE, Grand Rapids MI 49505

About this Walking Path

The paved walking trail in Riverside Park offers a quiet oasis from the busy city life.

Expect to see a wide variety of birds and other wildlife throughout your hike through the large park.

Riverside Park is prone to flooding so plan accordingly after a heavy rain.

• Paved Walking Path
•Trail Difficulty: Easy

• Trails are Stroller-Friendly

• Dog-Friendly

Open:
Open year round during daylight hours

2900 4 Mile Rd, Grand Rapids Township MI 49525

About this Walking Path
Pick your own path through the woods or climb a sand dune.

Hikers can expect to see lots of squirrels and birds - and even a teepee made with natural materials.

Kids will love running up and down the sand dune in the middle of the trails - and adults will appreciate the more strenuous climb.

Moderate to difficult with natural surface & sandy walking trails with lots of hills.

Trail At-a-Glance
• Trail Length: 0.8 mile loop

• Natural Hiking Trail
•Trail Difficulty: Moderate

• Dog-Friendly

Open:
Open year round from 7 AM to sunset

West Michigan Walking Trails and Hiking Map

We’ve taken a map of West Michigan and plotted favorite family walking trails, parks, and more on it to make it easier for you to find your next outdoor destination.

Use the map or look below for reviews on all of our best walking trails in Grand Rapids and beyond.

Find Walking Trails Near Me

Hemlock Crossings trail in West Olive even has a beaver dam!

Tips for Using Hiking & Walking Trails

Keep these tips in mind while hiking the walking trails of Grand Rapids.

  1. It’s common courtesy to stay on the right side of the path when others are approaching.
  2. Wait your turn on the stairs.
  3. Pack in and pack out your trash.
  4. Bring sunscreen and bug spray (we keep a set in the trunk of our car so we’re always prepared!)
  5. Bring water for everyone.
  6. Binoculars and/or a compass can make any hike an adventure.
  7. Check for ticks when you’re done (Read this helpful info about ticks in West Michigan)
lake michigan saugatuck dunes state park
Saugatuck Dunes State Park trail

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About The Author

7 thoughts on “50+ Grand Rapids Hiking & Walking Trails That are Perfect for All Ages”

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

  2. 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.

  3. 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. 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!

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

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