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:

9791 Lakeshore Drive, West Olive MI 49460

About this Walking Path
Hike over natural terrain through the woods at Kirk Park.

Keep an eye out for gorgeous wildlife and views!

The hiking along the dune ridges involves over 500 stairs and steep drop-offs, which may prove very challenging for some hikers.

Most of the walking trails are through densely wooded terrain, so take mosquito and tick prevention measures.

Trail At-a-Glance
• Trail Length: 1.2 miles

• Natural Hiking Trail
•Trail Difficulty: Difficult

• Dog-Friendly

Open:
Open all year; from 7 AM 10 PM March 1-October 15 and 7 AM to 8 PM October 16-February 28

2215 Ottawa Beach Rd, Holland MI 49424

About this Walking Path

Trail is 20 miles of asphalt and offers lots of rolling hills, which makes it more moderate in difficulty. It is more of a roadside trail than a nature trail.

Trail At-a-Glance
• Trail Length: 11 miles

• Paved Walking Path
•Trail Difficulty: Moderate

• Trails are Stroller-Friendly

• Dog-Friendly

Open:
Open all year

3560 Memorial Drive, North Muskegon MI 49445

About this Walking Path
Muskegon State Park has six trails, ranging from 0.75 miles to 5 miles long.

Check specific trails for the allowed methods of exploring it. Some are hiking only while others also allow cross-country skiing.

Hike along the Muskegon Lake shoreline for some fantastic views.

Climb the dunes, both open and wooded, to see views of both Muskegon Lake and Lake Michigan.

Choose the Hearty Hiker Trail for a hilly 1.75 mile hike through all kinds of terrain - including wild blueberries.

Watch for lugers in the winter along the Loop to Loop trail. You can also ice-skate part of this trail in the winter.

No matter which trail you hike, you will have some spectacular sights (including wild flowers and wildlife) and views.

Trail At-a-Glance
• Trail Length: 0.75 miles to 5 miles

• Natural Hiking Trail
•Trail Difficulty: Moderate

• Dog-Friendly

Open:
Open all year, from 8 AM to 10 PM

15295 8th Avenue, Marne MI 49435

About this Walking Path
The Musketawa Trail runs between Marne and East Muskegon.

Hikers and bikers will pass through orchards, farms and woods throughout their hike. Plus you can see 13 railroad trestles over Crockery Creek!

The historical center of the trail is Ravenna. The Friends of Musketawa Trail installed a 100-year old rebuilt railroad water tower, railroad signs and signals and metal arts bike rack and a railroad caboose.

Hike or bike through open farmland to East Muskegon and connect to the Laketon Trail and then on to the Muskegon Lakeshore Trail.

Stop at Pere Marquette Park off the Muskegon Lakeshore Trail to check out the beach, lighthouse, boating and the WWII submarine Silversides.

Catch a ferry and travel across Lake Michigan to Milwaukee, Wisconsin!

A newer, paved seven mile extension, the Fred Meijer Pioneer Trail, goes from Marne eastward to Walker and will eventually connect to the Fred Meijer White Pine Trail.

The trail is asphalt, but can be bumpy.
The 25-mile long trail is wide and paved, with wide gravel shoulders.

Several trailheads are available and a few observation decks meet you along the way.

• Paved Walking Path
•Trail Difficulty: Moderate

• Trails are Stroller-Friendly

• Dog-Friendly

Open:
Open all year

18775 North Shore Drive, Ferrysburg MI 49409

About this Walking Path
North Beach Park is a great spot to climb sand dunes.

It's short a short, sandy trail to the wooden staircase.

Climb the stairs to the top of the dune and see incredible views of Lake Michigan.

Trail At-a-Glance
• Trail Length: 0.67 mile loop

• Natural Hiking Trail
•Trail Difficulty: Moderate

Open:
March 1 - October 15: 7:00AM - 10:00PM October 16 - February 28: 7:00AM - 8:00PM

8555 Olive Shore Ave, West Olive MI 49460

About this Walking Path
Trails are a mixture of sandy, natural surface and boardwalks.

Some trails are wheelchair accessible, and all steps are listed as ADA accessible.

Trail At-a-Glance
• Trail Length: 0.5 mile loop

• Natural Hiking Trail
•Trail Difficulty: Easy

Open:
Open April 1 until the first snowfall: 7AM - 10PM

4733 N Scenic Dr, Whitehall MI 49461

About this Walking Path
The 2.8 mile loop through the woods is a gorgeous hike no matter what time of year. It's also good for cross-country skiers.

It can be extremely buggy - especially after rain - so don't forget the bug spray.
A paved half-mile walking path travels from the channel near Lake Michigan through the woods, past a boat launch on Duck Lake and ends up at the picnic pavilion and beach on Duck Lake.

Trail At-a-Glance
• Trail Length: 2.8 miles

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

• Dog-Friendly

Open:
8 AM to 10 PM

1001 Harbor Avenue, Grand Haven MI 49417

About this Walking Path

Paved trail network of several trails connecting lakeshore communities.

• Paved Walking Path
•Trail Difficulty: Moderate

• Trails are Stroller-Friendly

• Dog-Friendly

Open:
Open all year

2215 Ottawa Beach Rd, Holland MI 49424

About this Walking Path

Trail is 20 miles of asphalt and offers lots of rolling hills, which makes it more moderate in difficulty. It is more of a roadside trail than a nature trail.

• Paved Walking Path
•Trail Difficulty: Moderate

• Trails are Stroller-Friendly

• Dog-Friendly

Open:
Open all year

560-590 W Southern Ave, Muskegon MI 49441

About this Walking Path

Three plus miles of asphalt and concrete rail-to-trail linking Muskegon Lakeshore Trail with the Musketawa Trail.

Trail At-a-Glance
• Trail Length: 3 miles

• Paved Walking Path
•Trail Difficulty: Moderate

• Trails are Stroller-Friendly

• Dog-Friendly

Open:
Open all year

3510 Channel Dr, Muskegon MI 49441

About this Walking Path

Just shy of 12 miles and paved with concrete and asphalt.

Trail At-a-Glance
• Trail Length: 12 miles

• Paved Walking Path
•Trail Difficulty: Moderate

• Trails are Stroller-Friendly

• Dog-Friendly

Open:
Open all year

13925 Lakeshore Drive, Grand Haven MI 49417

About this Walking Path
The main trail to the beach is a 0.7 mile (one way) hiking trail from the parking area to the Lake Michigan shoreline.

It can be strenuous - the hiking trail includes 1,000 feet of stairs up and down the dunes and scenic views.

Once you get to the lake, there’s a smaller boardwalk loop that goes by the dunes. 

Some trails are wheelchair accessible and all stairs are designed to be ADA accessible.

Trail At-a-Glance
• Trail Length: 2.2 miles

• Natural Hiking Trail
•Trail Difficulty: Moderate

Open:
April - September: 7 AM - 10PM; October - March: 7 AM - 8PM.

Wood St & N Water St, Hart MI 49420

About this Walking Path

Trail is 22+ miles of asphalt paved surface.

Trail At-a-Glance
• Trail Length: 22+ miles

• Paved Walking Path
•Trail Difficulty: Moderate

• Trails are Stroller-Friendly

• Dog-Friendly

Open:
Open all year

11758 Buchanan Street, Grand Haven MI 49417

About this Walking Path
Enjoy a hike through the woods of Robinson Township near Grand Haven on the one-mile natural surface walking trail.

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

• Natural Hiking Trail
•Trail Difficulty: Easy

• Dog-Friendly

Open:
April 1 - December 1: Open daily from 9 AM until dusk. Walk-ins during winter months are allowed.

18161 North Shore Drive, Ferrysburg MI 49409

About this Walking Path
Lots of well marked, wooded trails through the dunes.

Trail At-a-Glance
• Trail Length: Varies

• Natural Hiking Trail
•Trail Difficulty: Moderate

• Dog-Friendly

Open:
Open all year, from 8 AM to 10 PM

6585 Lake Harbor Road, Muskegon MI 49441

About this Walking Path
P.J. Hoffmaster State Park in Muskegon has over 10 miles of walking trails to choose from.

Enjoy walking the seemingly endless beachfront you can hike once you get there.

One of the park’s main attractions is the dune climb along the Dune Overlook Trail, an approximately half-mile roundtrip climb with about 220 steps and benches along the way.

Learn more about the dunes at the Gillette Sand Dune Visitor Center.

Trail At-a-Glance
• Trail Length: 10 miles total

• Natural Hiking Trail
•Trail Difficulty: Moderate

• Dog-Friendly

Open:
Open year round during daylight hours

8115 West Olive Road, West Olive MI 49460

About this Walking Path
Hemlock Crossing has six miles of walking trails that will take you through stunning landscapes.

A start near the pedestrian bridge weaves across the Pigeon River. Follow the shade (pack your bug spray) through the trails here and find some cool boardwalks.

There are plenty of spots to pause and admire the riverside and look for wildlife.

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.
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 the flowers are incredible!

This short loop is stroller friendly.

Trail At-a-Glance
• Trail Length: 6 miles

• Natural Hiking Trail
•Trail Difficulty: Easy

• Dog-Friendly

Open:
Open all year, from dawn to dusk.

18153 N Shore Drive, Spring Lake MI 49456

About this Walking Path
The park includes forested dunes, an 80-acre inland lake, river views, and wetlands.

Most hikers like to hike around the lake - that's about a 2-mile hike.

One big draw is the bald eagle nest perched high in a tree.

The sandy walking trail is not shaded and is mostly flat.

Trail At-a-Glance
• Trail Length: 2.9 mile loop

• Natural Hiking Trail
•Trail Difficulty: Moderate

• Dog-Friendly

Open:
Open year round during daylight hours

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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