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:




8280 6 Mile Road, Rockford MI 49317

About this Walking Path
A one-mile natural surface hiking trail loops through a large pine plantation on the park's north end and crosses a creek.

The northern 80-acre section of the park is hilly with a mix of pine stands, wetlands, natural woods, and open areas.
Townsend Park connects to the paved Cannon Township Trail, which is great for walking or biking.

Cannon Trail is four miles long, winding through Townsend Park, woods, open areas, marshes, and wetlands, and eventually ends at Cannon Township Center at 6878 Belding Rd NE, Rockford.

You can also access the 1-mile long starter mountain biking trail from the Cannon Township Center. The Cannon Township Mountain Bike Trail loops through the woods and is a great way to test out mountain biking without a big commitment.

Trail At-a-Glance
• Trail Length: 4 miles

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

• Trails are Stroller-Friendly

• Dog-Friendly

Open:
Open year round from 7 AM to sunset

8748 Je-NE-Be Dr NE, Rockford MI 49341

About this Walking Path
The quiet and secluded one and a half mile trail loops through the forest. The hike is a fairly easy one, although there are some hills.

There are benches scattered throughout the trail for taking a rest or enjoying the forest. Be sure to pack along bug spray, as the two lakes and trees draw the bugs.

Trail At-a-Glance
• Trail Length: 1.5 mile loop

• Natural Hiking Trail
•Trail Difficulty: Easy

• Dog-Friendly

Open:
Open all year.

5950 10 Mile Rd NE, Rockford MI 49341

About this Walking Path
Almost 10 miles of well-marked trails for hiking and biking.

The green loop (shortest) is mostly shaded and weaves through woods and over a tranquil creek.

The blue trail is double the length of the green trail, but is relatively flat and also recommended for younger kids.

The yellow, orange, red and black loops are a bit more challenging.

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

• Natural Hiking Trail
•Trail Difficulty: Easy

• Dog-Friendly

Open:
Open year round, 7 AM to sunset

8320 Belmont Ave NE, Rockford MI 49306

About this Walking Path
The 6 miles of trail is built through an old growth forest. Beautiful beach trees, giant oaks and maples. Large ravines, marshes and huge side slopes.

Merrell Trails is well marked with arrows and intersection posts displaying marker numbers and maps.

Since it was built for mountain bike riders and consists of shared trails, it may be best to leave little wandering hikers at home.

The mountain bike trail is part of a larger park system that will eventually include ball diamonds, an archery center, soccer fields and a bmx park.

Expect to encounter fast rolling downhills, long climbs, berms, skinny log rides, cedar bridges, boulder roll overs and jumps.

The trail is closed to all user groups when wet or during the spring thaw. This trail system open to biking, snowshoeing and hiking all year long, including night riding.

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

• Natural Hiking Trail
•Trail Difficulty: Moderate

• Dog-Friendly

Open:
Open year round from 7 AM to sunset

6300 Belshire Ave, Belmont MI 49306

About this Walking Path
Rogue River Park has a natural surface hiking trail through the woods along the river. The main loop is 1.25-miles long, with several short spurs to parking areas.

The hiking trails can be accessed from the White Pine Trail trailhead off Belmont Ave NE (6240 Belmont Ave in Belmont). This is separate from the main recreation area off Belshire Ave NE
The park also serves as a trailhead for the multi-use paved White Pine State Park Trail.

• Natural Hiking Trail
•Trail Difficulty: Easy

• Trails are Stroller-Friendly

• Dog-Friendly

Open:
May 1 through October 31: Open from 7 AM to sunset

6001 Ramsdell Rd NE, Rockford MI 49317

About this Walking Path
Visitors to Pickerel Lake will enjoy great views of the lake and surrounding woods while you walk the two mile loop.

The most popular part of the walking trail is the stroller-friendly boardwalk that extends out into the lake.

Or opt to follow one of the many off-shoots from the main trail for a more rigorous hike on challenging terrain.

Natural surface trails with a few hills.

Trail At-a-Glance
• Trail Length: 2 mile loop

• Natural Hiking Trail
•Trail Difficulty: Moderate

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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