Ottawa County boasts a variety of unique parks that offer year round recreational opportunities for people of all ages. Whether you want to swim and sun bathe along a sandy Lake Michigan beach, cross country ski at night along a lighted trail, canoe or fish a quiet stretch of river, or participate in a naturalist-led walk through wooded dunes, Ottawa County Parks are the place to be.
The Ottawa County Parks and Recreation Commission was created in 1987 to oversee the management and operation of the county park system which today includes over 2,000 acres of parks and open space lands. The Commission is dedicated to providing Ottawa County residents and visitors with park facilities as well as recreational and educational opportunities that enhance the quality and enjoyment of their lives. A dedicated parks millage passed in 1996 and is providing funds for the creation of greenways along scenic river corridors, protection of key natural lands, development of interpretive programs, improvements to existing county parks, and the development of new parks and facilities. Most importantly, these new initiatives ensure that the rich natural heritage of Ottawa County is protected for future generations.
This two-acre shady nook offers a peaceful retreat for fishing and picnicking. Facilities include a boat launch on the Grand River (small boats & canoes only), and several picnic tables. Closed during the winter.
Wooded hills, floodplain forest, wetlands and a small lake are some of the features of this 162-acre park along the banks of the Grand River. In addition to hiking, biking or skiing on the nature trails, visitors can also fish from a wooden boardwalk. Facilities include a boat launch, a fully enclosed picnic building, and a children's playground.
Overlooking Crockery Lake from a bluff amid towering trees, this 40-acre park provides a variety of recreational facilities for the entire family including a swimming area, picnic shelter, horseshoe pits, ball fields, a children's playground, and hiking trails through the woods. Closed during the winter.
This 104-acre family park has a full array of recreational opportunities including a 40-acre arboretum and wooded nature trails. A highlight of the park is the Age of Discovery community-built playground which overlooks a one-acre terrain map of the United States. Facilities also include a visitor center with a banquet room, an outdoor group picnic area, the Maples Picnic Shelter, a fully enclosed picnic building and a ball field.
Hemlock Crossing opened in 2003 and offers 239 acres of woods and wetlands along the Pigeon River. There are over 6 miles of trails for hiking and cross country skiing that meander through bottomland and upland forest, old pine plantations and along the river. A pedestrian bridge and numerous overlooks offer scenic views of the river corridor, wetlands, natural springs and woods. Facilities include two small picnic shelters, a kayak/canoe launch and over a mile of paved trail.
Pine Bend is a secondary access on the west end of the property that offers parking and a trail head. Pine Bend is also the site of the Weaver House, a restored 1901 home that is available for reservation for business meetings, family outings and other activities. There are no entry fees at Hemlock Crossing or Pine Bend and both are open year âround.
Stretching along Lake Michigan's shoreline for over one-third of a mile, this park boasts 48 acres of sandy beach, high bluffs and wooded dunes. Facilities include a picnic shelter, rustic lodge, children's playground, and a concession stand. Nature trails with wooden stairways wind through the wooded dunes, and a paved path with a deck overlooking Lake Michigan is accessible to all people.
The Musketawa Trail is a 26 mile paved (12 foot wide) all-season linear park constructed on an abandoned rail line between Marne and Muskegon. Ottawa County Parks manages the 10 mile section of trail from Marne to the Muskegon County line between April 1 and November 30. Trail uses include hiking, biking, roller-blading, snowmobiling and horseback riding. The Musketawa Trail was acquired and developed by the Michigan Department of Natural Resources with assistance from the Friends of the Musketawa Trail.
This popular 20-acre park offers swimming and sunbathing along 745 feet of Lake Michigan shoreline. Visitors can also climb the wooden stairway to the top of a dune for a panoramic view of Lake Michigan. Facilities include a picnic shelter, children's playground, and a barrier-free beach walkway.
This 282-acre park is tucked away in the middle of the county. Facilities include the Pigeon Creek Lodge and group camp area. Over 10 miles of trails wind through the woods along the Pigeon River. The trail system includes designated trails for hiking, biking, and equestrian use and a 0.9 mile trail loop that is generally within barrier-free standards. A popular cross-country ski destination, the lodge offers ski rentals and concessions.
With nearly one mile of frontage along the south bank of the Grand River, this 64-acre park is the perfect place for picnicking, boating or fishing. Facilities include a boat launch, picnic shelter, large pond with a barrier-free fishing dock, and a large grassy picnic area along the riverbank. Fishing is allowed along the riverbank and from the edge of the pond. Closed during the winter.
Ottawa County's Newest Park
Rosy Mound is a classic Great Lakes dune system including high wooded dunes, foredunes, beach and a dune blowout. A 0.7 mile (one way) hiking trail from the parking area to the Lake Michigan shoreline includes 1,000 feet of stairs up and down the dunes and scenic views of woods, the dune blowout and Lake Michigan. A unique shade canopy, dune boardwalk trail and pit toilets are located near the beach. Improvements to this 164 acre park were completed in April 2004. Motor vehicle parking fees are in effect from Memorial Day weekend through Labor Day. Rosy Mound is open year âround.
With 16-acres of towering trees, a flowing spring, and a small natural area, this park includes outdoor picnic areas, a fully enclosed picnic building, children's playground, ball fields, volleyball area and a fire pit with benches. Closed during the winter.
Along the shoreline of Lake Michigan, this popular 22-acre park is a great place for swimming, sunbathing and picnicking. In addition to the unique tunnel through a dune, this park has extensive picnic areas, two picnic shelters, a concession, four sand volleyball courts, a children's playground complete with a dune climb, and a dune stairway with scenic views of Lake Michigan. Closed during the winter.
The Allegan County Parks and Recreation Commission was created by a resolution of the Allegan County Board of Commissioners in 1966. The mission of the Parks Commission was redefined during the Master Planning Process in 1998: "To identify outdoor recreational opportunity needs desired by Allegan County residents and to provide for those needs within Allegan County for both residents and visitors." The mission statement will act as a guide for the Commission in all management decisions.
At the present time, the Commission is responsible for eight parks, seven developed and one that is currently being developed. These facilities range in size from 4 acres to 320 acres and offer a variety of boating, swimming, fishing, camping, horseback riding, playground and other passive and active recreation opportunities. The properties comprise some of the most scenic land found in Western Michigan.
Allegan County Parks has a "favorite outdoor place" for everyone. Whether you like to camp, ride horses, play a sport, ride a bike, go boating or fishing, or just enjoy the natural outdoors, Allegan County has a favorite place for you to enjoy!
Bysterveld County Park
This is the newest Allegan County Park.Â It encompasses a beautiful 70-acre parcel of natural area. The park is currently undeveloped, but a park master plan has just recently been completed. The plan calls for fully interpretive nature trails, an accessible restroom facility, a playground area, a picnic area, and a constructed pond. Much of the park will be ADA accessible, including most of the nature trails.
Dumont Lake County Park
This park is 18.6 acres in size and is the perfect place for picnicking, swimming, boating, or fishing. It has 550 feet of beach on beautiful Dumont Lake, picnic tables, grills, a covered pavilion, a brand new playground, and modern restroom facilities.
Ely Lake Campground
Ely Lake is a remote campground with 73 primitive campsites, vault toilets, and a swimming beach on Ely Lake. You will also find DNR Public access sites to both Ely and Little Tom Lakes. This park also offers fall and winter camping plus several trails for hiking or cross-country skiing.
Gun Lake County Park
The smallest jewel in our park system is located on the west shore of beautiful Gun Lake. This little four-acre park has over 4,590 feet of beach, a playground, a basketball court, picnic tables, grills, a covered pavilion, modern restroom facilities, a horseshoe pit, and a boat launch. Most of the facilities are ADA accessible, including the boat launch.
Littlejohn Lake County Park
This park encompasses 113-acres of mostly wooded natural public land. Approximately 13 acres of the park is developed with over 120 picnic tables, grills, a playground, a nature trail, and a large wooden pavilion with electricity that is popular for family reunions and picnics. There is also a beautiful swimming beach with an ADA accessible walkway, two restroom buildings, a basketball practice area, and facilities for volleyball and horseshoes.
Pine Point Campground
This park has 33 primitive wooded campsites, 4 group sites, vault toilet facilities, and a swimming beach on Swan Creek Pond. You will also find a DNR Public Access Site for those who like to boat or fish. Pine Point is open all year and offers great trails for cross-country skiing and hiking.
Silver Creek County Park
This is primarily a horseman's park and has both day use facilities and a primitive campground; 75 camping sites, 65 of which are available for horse camping. Silver Creek is 320 aces of camping, equestrian trails, and fishing. This park is unique because it adjoins approximately 10,000-acres of Allegan State Game Area property that is open to horse-back riding. There is also 450 feet of frontage on Silver Creek, which is a spring-fed trout stream. You will also find picnic tables and grills available in the day use area. Because of the primitive setting, there are only hand pumps and vault toilets.
West Side County Park
This park consists of 11 acres with 630 feet of beautiful, sandy beach on Lake Michigan. Two dune stairways provide easy access to the beach. West Side has a ball diamond, picnic tables, two covered pavilions, two modern restroom buildings, and a fenced playground. A wonderful place to see a Lake Michigan sunset!