COVID-19 Updates from Public Health
COVID-19 Limited Operations, Procedures and Closures

Ottawa County Parks & Recreation

Nature Center

  • COVID-19 Parks Updates & Closures
    • Kirk Park Dog Beach is open with limited hours due to high water. Dogs are allowed daily between 7-10 am and 7-10 pm. Outside of theses hours dogs are not permitted anywhere in Kirk Park. Sign up here to receive e-mail alerts related to the Kirk Park Dog Beach.
    • Ottawa Beach Marina is open to transient boaters. Reservations can be made online.
    • The Nature Center at Hemlock Crossing County Park is closed.
    • Indoor reservation facilities are closed; new reservations at these facilities are not being accepted at this time.
    • Picnic shelters and outdoor facilities are available to reserve online.
    • Outdoor nature programs have resumed. Click here to register for a program.

    Learn More

8115 West Olive Road, West Olive, 49460
(616) 786-4847

Tuesday - Saturday: 9am-5pm
Sunday: Noon-5pm
Closed Mondays

From US 31, travel west on Croswell Street to West Olive Road. Turn south on West Olive Road and travel a 1/2 mile to the entrance on the west side.

The Nature Center, located within Hemlock Crossing Park, has exhibits, a wildlife den with critters and activities, a wildlife viewing area where you can watch birds and animals at the feeders, and a gift shop. The center also hosts a variety of educational programs for schools, special groups and the public.

Online Programs

Our Naturalist Guides have developed some online programming for you to enjoy from home! Click here to take a virtual walk with a naturalist or learn more about wildlife that is native to West Michigan.

Reserving the Nature Center

Please call the Nature Center at (616) 786-4847 schedule a visit, inquire about availability and make your reservation. This packet provides critical information you should know before you rent, plus helpful considerations while planning your event. To rent other facilities within the parks, please visit Rental Facilities.

School Programs

Looking for a memorable, educational outdoor experience for your pre-k through high-school students? Look no further than the Nature Center. Our school programs enhance your students’ learning with experiences which cannot be duplicated in a classroom. The educational field-trips are designed to meet your students at the appropriate cognitive level and can even be adapted to incorporate the subject matter you are currently studying. Year-round programs are available. If distance is an issue, there is bound to be a park near you where we can accommodate your class. Contact us today.

Class Program

Birthday Parties

Celebrate your special day at the Ottawa County Parks Nature Center!

The Nature Center offers guided, nature-based birthday party packages for up to 15 children, ages 5-12 years old at Hemlock Crossing County Park. Learn more here.


Hemlock Crossing offers snowshoe rentals for adults and children (4+) at the Nature Center.

Snow shoe rental (three hours): $8; $2 per additional hour
Snow shoe rental for those 6 and under is free with a paid adult rental

Guided treks are available throughout the winter; take a look at our program calendar for dates. Visitors are invited to warm up in front of a fire in the Great Room after their snowy outing! Contact the Nature Center at the phone number above to inquire about a group or school outing.

Man Snow Shoeing