Ottawa County Parks & Recreation

Stearns Creek

13594 136th Ave
Grand Haven 49417


From Lake Michigan Drive (M-45), travel north on M-231, turn left (west) onto Lincoln St. Turn right (north) onto 136th Avenue. The entrance is at the corner of 136th Avenue and Johnson Street.

Amenities & Activities

  • Hiking trails and boardwalks
  • Benches
  • Picnic tables
  • Port-a-let


This map shows the amenities, parking areas, and trails at Stearns Creek Park. Located at the headwaters of the Grand River’s Stearns Bayou, Stearns Creek Park is a key piece of Ottawa County’s Grand River Greenway, a system of protected natural lands along the river and its tributaries. With over a mile of creek frontage, diverse wetlands, picturesque ravines, and tracts of older growth forests, Stearns Creek Park is an ecological treasure for both recreation and wildlife. Although much of its 118 acres was worked for decades, the wetlands and shoreline are among the highest quality in the Ottawa County park system.Even the extensive old pine plantations across the interior of the site harbor uncommon prairie plants. In the spring of 2020, these pine plantations will be thinned or removed to restore a diverse habitat of scattered trees and abundant native grasses and wildflowers known as Oak savanna. Learn more about the oak savanna restoration project here.

Opened in the summer of 2019, the property features a 1.7-mile system of trails with wayfinding signage, as well as benches and picnic tables donated by members of the Vollmer family who lived on the property for over 100 years. A master plan with the opportunity for public input is expected in the future to help guide future improvements. Concepts for additional amenities include expansion of the trail system with accessible trails, wetland boardwalks, overlooks, and foot and kayak access to the bayou.


The original $989,850 park acquisition was funded with assistance from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Coastal and Estuarine Land Conservation Program (CELCP), covering $491,925; a Michigan Natural Resources Trust Fund grant for $429,318; and a $60,300 gift made possible by the generous support of John J. Helstrom, in memory of parents Mathias and Esther Helstrom. In honor of the gift, the new park will feature the Helstrom Family Trail System.

A special thank you to the Ottawa County Parks Foundation for their funding of the park kiosk and trail signage.


Upon opening on June 28, 2019:
March 1 through October 15: 7am to 10pm
October 16 through February 28: 7am to 8pm


There are no entry or launch fees.

Dog Policy

  • Dogs are required to be leashed (10’ max) and under control at all times.
  • Dogs are not permitted in park buildings, restrooms, picnic shelters, off-trail, or as posted.
  • Owners must clean up after their pet and dispose of waste in a trash receptacle.
  • Leader dogs for persons with disabilities are permitted in all areas at any time.
  • Recognizing that most dogs enjoy running and playing freely, many Ottawa County Open Space Lands allow dogs year-round off leash.

Additional Park Rules