Ottawa County Parks & Recreation

Dog Guide
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Dog Rules & Info

We are happy to report that the Grand Ravines Dog Park is now open in Jenison. 
Learn more and view the park map. You can support the park by buying a brick!

Ottawa County Parks & Recreation welcomes dogs to most of its properties! A few rules are in place to ensure all of our guests are comfortable while visiting the parks. These rules also protect wildlife and many fragile, natural features of the properties. If you fail to obey them, you risk being ticketed.

Rules:

  1. Dogs must be controlled on leashes ten foot or less, except in off-leash areas.

  2. Leave no trace of your dog. Clean up and dispose of animal waste immediately.

  3. Dogs displaying vicious or aggressive behavior will be asked to leave.

  4. Pets are not permitted in buildings, restrooms, picnic shelters, or playgrounds.

  5. Leader dogs for those with disabilities are permitted in all areas at all times following leash laws.

  6. Seasonal restrictions apply at some properties. Check the guidelines for your preferred park. Print the Guide. Dogs are never allowed at Rosy Mound Natural Area, Olive Shores, Mt. Pisgah and the stairs at North Ottawa Dunes. Dogs are not allowed anywhere in Pigeon Creek Park while there is snow on the ground. (Leader dogs are allowed.)

  7. Michigan law requires that your dog is licensed. Licenses can be purchased from Ottawa County.

  8. Please review the Grand Ravines Dog Park Rules before visiting the park.

Helpful Tips:

  • Do not assume other park visitors want to be greeted by your dog.
  • Even in off-leash areas, carry a leash with you and maintain voice control of your dog.
  • If your dog is acting aggressive or not heeding your commands, leave. Even good dogs have bad days.
  • Consider visiting with your pet on a week day when parks are less likely to be busy.

From a Dog Owner's Perspective

Adams Street Landing

A small park located along the Macatawa River about a mile east of Van Raalte Farms on the north side of 16th/Adams Street. What appeals here to the dog owner is the under-bridge boardwalk connector to the Macatawa Greenway and numerous trails that are a part of the Ridgepoint Community Church trail system. The scenery is beautiful along the river, thru floodplain forests and wetlands. What Fido Says: Woof wooof WOOF wof ruf.

Connor Bayou

Some of us dog owners love to walk our dogs along where there is water. Connor Bayou offers such an opportunity as it has a 1 mile trail along the Grand River. Along this river trail you may hear Sandhill Cranes of even see an Eagle or two. If after your hike you want more, there are forest trails that extend south of the river that are well marked. While you’re there you’ll see the refurbished cabin and many other upgrades to make this an overall beautiful park. What Fido Says: Ruf Ruf Woof WOOF wof.

Crockery Creek Natural Area

There are two choices of trails: the Woodland Loop or the Kirby Loop. The Woodland Loop takes you high above the Buttonbush Swamp until the end where there is a beautiful scenic stop overlooking Crockery Creek. The Kirby Loop eventually takes you down below so you are walking beside the swamp. Other features are an interesting historical kiosk as well as four buildings that make up a century old farm. Remember to keep you dog on a leash at this location or you may be making a swamp rescue! What Fido Says: Woof wooof RUF woof WOOF!

Eastmanville Bayou

The trails here are divided into the East Trail and the West Trail.  The East Trail takes you under the bridge of 68th Street and leads you between the Grand River and its flood plains.  The West Trail takes you to where the Grand River empties into the Eastmanville Bayou.  Another feature is a kayak launch so if your furry buddy is willing, you two can hop aboard a kayak and view this beautiful part of the Grand River together.   What Fido Says: RUFF woof WOOF!

Eastmanville Farm

Off of Leonard Street between Grand Haven and Eastmanville you will find this beautiful 229 acre farm that is full of hiking trails.  This unique setting takes you past a barn and farmhouse on to rolling hills, streams and vast open lands.  To take in the whole farm is a long, sunny hike but one worthwhile. Your dog must be on a leash as you are sharing some of these trails with horses.  What Fido Says: Ruf grr-ruf wof.

Hawthorne Pond Natural Area

Located just across the Adams Street Bridge, this hidden gem of a park provides views of the Macatawa River while the pond trail provides a setting for all nature lovers.  If your dog will sit awhile you can bring your fishing pole and enjoy angling off the deck provided.  What Fido Says: Ruff Woof wof.

Hiawatha Forest

Even though the name says “Forest” this Open Space Land has both trees and a large open area. You can enter either off Fillmore Street or 168th and take the trails through a tunnel of trees until you come to the open area where your dog can run free amongst the small pines and snag trees. This area also includes a forest on the west side of 168th which makes this area one of the largest in Ottawa County and sure to delight a dog who needs space to run. What Fido Says: Woof wooof RUF!

Johnson Street Open Space

This Robinson Township Park is the smallest of our “open spaces.”  There is a kiosk of off Johnson Street from which a trail leads straight north.  The trail is narrow but your dog can be off leash and the heavy brush will keep him from wandering too far.  Feel free to go off-trail to blaze your own.  It’s an adventure both you and your dog will delight in.  What Fido Says: Woof woof roff RUF!

Jubb Bayou

When you visit this Open Space Land you will only need to hike a short distance to get to Jubb Bayou and the Grand River.  Hiking along both shores for 1.5 miles and in fairly open spaces there is plenty of room for your dog to run.  On the way to or from the river your pet may spend some time in an old dilapidated barn on the property, smelling the history that once made this home to many animals. What Fido Says: Woof wooof RUF woof WOOF!

Port Sheldon Natural Area

Trails into this area come off of 160th between Port Sheldon Street and Van Buren Street.  You could call this area a true hidden gem as it provides one of the best cross sections of nature in the area.  There are hidden ponds, creeks, numerous animal tracks, forest and open spaces with long trails on both sides of the road throughout its 440 acres.  Your dog can be unleashed here and you can enjoy some of the best forest scenery around.  What Fido Says: Woof wooof WOOF wof ruf.

Robinson Forest

You are advised to leash your dog at the entrance to this park as you enter off of a busy road.  But as you follow the wide trail away from the road, your dog is free to run on his own.  You’ll first come to a thinned out red pine area but when you continue on it becomes thickly forested again.  Unique fallen tree formations abound as do many tracks off of the main trail.  What Fido Says: Ruf grr-ruf wof

Riverside Park

When you enter this Robinson Township park you will want to park at the east end near the kiosk which shows you the Peninsula Trail.  This beautiful trail leads you 1.25 miles east with the Grand River on your left and the waters of the Bass River Recreation Area on your right.  Although you must keep your dog on a leash, this park is worth a visit.  If your dog likes boat rides, you can also launch your boat here for a trip up or down the Grand River.  What Fido Says: Woof wooof WOOF wof ruf.

Upper Macatawa Natural Area

You and your dog could spend a day here hiking all the trails this area has to offer.  At the entrance you’ll find a kiosk with a map that helps you choose what trails you want to hike.  You’ll really enjoy the views--from farmland and wetlands to forests and streams.  If you can keep your dog quiet you might even be able to get close and see the herons nesting in the hillside forest.  What Fido Says: Woof wooof RUF woof WOOF!

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CONTACT US

Parks Visitor Center

  • The Nature
    Education Center
    at Hemlock Crossing
    8115 West Olive Road
    West Olive, MI 49460
  • Tuesday - Saturday:
    9:00am - 5:00pm
    Sunday:
    12:00pm - 5:00pm
  • Phone: (616) 786-4847

  • Pigeon Creek Hotline: (616) 738-9531

Administration Office

  • Room 267
    12220 Fillmore St.
    West Olive, MI 49460
  • Monday - Friday:
    8:00am - 5:00pm
  • Phone: (616) 738-4810
    Fax: (616) 738-4812
  • In Ottawa County:
    (888) 731-1001 ext.4810
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General Park Hours*

March 1 - October 15
7:00am - 10:00pm
October 16 - February 28
7:00am - 8:00pm
*Some parks close in winter or have hours that vary. Select each park for specific park hours.

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