Ottawa County Parks & Recreation
Outdoors Ottawa County Winter 2013-14
Winter is a wonderful season to visit the parks! We invite you to attend a program, drop in the Nature Education Center, enjoy winter sports at Pigeon Creek or take a peaceful walk through a winter wonderland.
Gift Shop Sale
From December 7 through 15, the gift shop at the Nature Education Center is offering 20% off books, plus select items will be on sale.
Pigeon Creek is Ready for Winter
Pigeon Creek County Park is ready to welcome you to enjoy winter activities like cross country skiing, sledding and snowshoeing. We have also expanded the ski clinics. See what this amazing winter destination has to offer!
Park Projects Updates
Pigeon Creek: For most of the year, the large, gravel parking lots at Pigeon Creek Park are more than enough to accommodate the hikers, mountain bikers and equestrians. When snow falls, however, hordes of skiers and sledders descend upon the park. Cars spill over on to Stanton Street create safety hazards. To address this problem, gravel parking for an additional 70 cars has been added, increasing the total parking capacity to 245. Steps have also begun to a designate “no parking” area on Stanton Street near the park entrance.
Grand River Accessible Kayak Launches: The first of two new universally accessible kayak launches was installed at Connor Bayou in early October. An additional launch will be installed next spring at Grand River Park creating a system of three accessible launches (Grand River Park, Eastmanville Bayou and Connor Bayou), each approximately a two hour paddle apart. The launches allow people of all abilities an opportunity to get out on the water and explore the Grand River Heritage Water Trail.
Upper Macatawa Mountain Bike Trails: A second phase of mountain bike trails is nearing completion in the ravines at the Upper Macatawa Natural Area, which will increase total trail length to approximately three miles. Members of the Michigan Edge Mountain Bike Association are constructing the trails and county park staff has supported the effort.
Trail Improvements at Riley Trails: Park staff has completed work at Riley Trails this fall to upgrade the trail system. New trail maps were installed at major trail intersections to help people navigate around the park’s seven miles of trails. In addition, some trails were closed in areas where there were simply too many trails and habitat was compromised. A four mile mountain bike loop was designated and gravel was installed in sandy areas to improve the biking experience. Some debris clean-up and log chipping was completed to soften the effect of recent red pine thinning and restoration plantings were installed by volunteer groups.
Projects Delayed: The Macatawa Greenway Trail and the Ottawa Beach Waterfront Walkway projects have been delayed to 2014. We will provide updates as these projects resume next year.
Ottawa County Parks and Recreation made great strides to control invasive phragmites in Ottawa County this fall. The Stewardship Crew treated small infestations of phragmites at six parks. Most treatments were maintenance visits of previously managed sites. The team also worked with the Ottawa County Invasive Phragmites Group to treat an estimated 70 acres of phragmites on the islands of the Grand River and Lloyds Bayou through aerial application. After being contacted by Ottawa County, Consumers Energy took action and contracted Cardno JFNew to treat over eight acres of small infestations of phragmites along the Pigeon River to protect the health of the local ecosystem. This year, through great partnerships, we were able to meet two of the most important goals of managing invasive species: 1) Work cooperatively across private and public lands to successfully manage invasive species long-term. 2) Detect and treat invasive species infestations when they are new and small to reduce costs and increase likelihood of success. Next year, Ottawa County will continue to reduce phragmites populations on the Grand and Pigeon rivers and expand wild rice populations on the Grand River through our Great Lakes Fish and Wildlife Restoration Act grant.
Santa Claus is Coming to Town
Calling kids of all ages: Bring the family to visit Santa and Mrs. Claus for a picture perfect holiday gathering at the historic Weaver House on Sunday, December 8 from 1-4PM. Bring your camera and capture the moment as children whisper their Christmas wishes to Santa. Enjoy refreshments and the beauty of the season. The Weaver House is located at Pine Bend County Park in Port Sheldon Township. From the intersection of Croswell Street and 156th Avenue, travel south on 156th to the park entrance. This is a free event and no registration is required. Sponsored by Friends of Ottawa County Parks.
How About Ice Fishing?
Enjoy the challenge of catching fish through the ice! This free event, geared for children accompanied by parents, will be held at Eastmanville Bayou on Saturday, January 18 from 12-2PM. Extra poles and bait will be available for newcomers to the sport. Dress for the elements and bring a camera for those exciting catches. If conditions are not favorable for being on the ice, the alternate date is February 8 from 12-2PM. Eastmanville Bayou is located on 68th Avenue on the south bank of the Grand River in Allendale Township. This is a free event and no registration is required. Sponsored by Friends of Ottawa County Parks.
Parks Administration Office
12220 Fillmore St.
West Olive, MI 49460
8:00am - 5:00pm
Fax: (616) 738-4812
(888) 731-1001 ext.4810
General Park Hours*March 1 - October 15
7:00am - 10:00pm
October 16 - February 28
7:00am - 8:00pm