Ottawa County Parks & Recreation

Recreational Activities

Winter Sports

winter With cooperation from mother nature and Ottawa County’s beloved “lake effect” snow, many activities are offered for the winter sports enthusiast. Pigeon Creek Park offers groomed country ski trails, ski and snowshoe rentals, ski lessons, sledding and more. Hemlock Crossing is another popular destination during winter offering snowshoe rentals at the Nature Education Center. Many other parks offer miles of un-groomed cross country skiing trails for those wishing to sharpen their nordic technique in the undisturbed wild or enjoy a quiet, winter afternoon of snowshoeing.

Kayaking & Canoeing

With the Grand River, Pigeon River and Macatawa River, Ottawa County offers many locations for those looking to paddle. Several Ottawa County Parks offer kayak and canoe access. In addition, the Grand River Heritage Water Trail offers maps, tips and more. Throughout the spring, summer and fall, Kayak tours are organized and rentals available. This is a great opportunity to try kayaking before making a large investment! Please note kayaks are only available to rent during scheduled tours. Check out our event calendar to register for a kayak trip.

Fishing & Boating

fish Fishing is available at many properties. Fisherman must follow the state laws. Boat launches are available at Deer Creek Park, Grand RiverPark and Riverside Park. A $5 boat launch fee is collected at Riverside Park from May 1 through October 31. In lieu of the one day fee, users may find it more economical to purchase an annual permit that covers both entrance and boat launch fees at all Ottawa County Parks for the year. An annual permit costs $15 for residents, $25 for non-residents and $7 for those age 60 and older.


Bike trails are offered at Grand River Park, Pigeon Creek Park, Riley Trails, Upper Macatawa Natural Area and the Musketawa Trail. During the fall and early winter, mountain bikers should be aware that Upper Macatawa Natural Area allows archery hunting. Please note that bicycles are not allowed off trails or on trails when covered by snow. Additional bike paths and trails are available along the lakeshore and winding through local communities.


Ottawa County Parks present the best hiking in the area. Whether you prefer hiking along the lakeshore, though forests, or along rivers and streams Ottawa County has miles tooffer. Nearly every park location offers hiking trails. If a guided tour interests you, check out our programs presenting nature and wildlife themed hikes tailored to the season.

Horseback Riding

Equestrian trails are available at Pigeon Creek Park, Eastmanville Farm and the Musketawa Trail. Horses are welcome on designated trails at Pigeon Creek Park from March 1 through November 30, if trail conditions permit. Because of cross country skiing, Pigeon Creek Park is unavailable for horseback riding during the winter. For trail conditions at Pigeon Creek or Eastmanville Farm, call the county parks office.

Historic River Road Tour

The original River Road is the oldest byway in Ottawa County and one of the oldest in the state. Travel the Historic River Road Tour and transport across time and space. Following the contours of today's Grand River Greenway, Historic River Road defines the progression of our regional civilization. Long ago, mastodon and other prehistoric beasts tramped paths along the banks of the Grand River. Later Potawatomie and Ottawa Indians established camps and villages to form the Grand River Trail. Lumbermen turned that trail into tramways that delivered logs to the river. Using the tour guide, you can enjoy an afternoon traveling and learning more about the local history. Printed copies of the tour guide are available at the Nature Education Center for $3.

Having a Safe Visit

Ottawa County Parks are generally safe. These common-sense precautions will help make your visit a pleasant one.

Please see the amenities & features at all the parks for more activities, including swimming, volleyball, picnicking, and others!


Parks Visitor Center

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

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

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.