Grand Rapids Hiking Trails for Family Fun

Looking for the best trails to hike in Grand Rapids? Check out these recreational trails in the city and beyond.

Spring is here, and it’s time to get outdoors and get moving. We’ve compiled a list of the best paved and urban, dirt and natural-surfaced trails in and around Grand Rapids. So no matter your skill level, there’s a variety for every hiker.

Whether you’re looking to stick close to home or get the calves burning in the wilderness, lace up, because we’ve got you covered with this list of best places to go hiking. Leashed pups permitted in parks and on these Grand Rapids hiking trails unless stated otherwise.

Aman Park

  • Address: 1895 Lake Michigan Drive NW, Grand Rapids
  • Phone: 616-456-3290

Check out this 331-acre outdoor oasis six miles outside the city. Hikers can choose among six “self-guided trails” with interpretive signs. Hike in the summer. Cross-country ski during the winter. And don’t miss out on the bright foliage during the change of seasons.

Blandford Nature Center

  • Address: 1715 Hillburn Ave. NW, Grand Rapids
  • Phone: 616-735-6240

A host of trails that span more than 4 miles loop through woods, meadows, around Blandford Nature Center, heritage buildings, a playscape and farms. Whether you’re looking for a challenging hike or a leisurely stroll with the youngsters, there are suitable trails for all and plenty of brain fare for the noggin along the way.

Cascade Peace Park Trail

  • Address: 8900 Grand River Drive SE, Ada
  • Phone: 616-949-1500

Lace up your hiking shoes and escape to the woodsy tranquility of this 198-acre park. Tackle 2.7 miles of a dirt, looped trail that winds through floodplains and meadows with wild flowers in the spring. Parking and access available on Bolt and Grand River drives.

Huff Park and Cattail Crossing

  • Address: 2399 Ball Ave. NE, Grand Rapids
  • Phone: 616-456-3696

Visit this 80-acre park that has baseball diamonds and a 30-acre wetland boardwalk trail that traverses three biospheres. Keep your eyes open for a variety of wild flowers and critters. Interpretive signs ensure hikers stick to the path and don’t get lost.

Millennium Park

  • Address: 1415 Maynard Ave. SW, Walker
  • Phone: 616-632-7275

Explore this 1,500-acre swath of land between Johnson Park and John Ball Park on the west side of Grand River, where hikers have access to breathtaking views of preserved wetlands, lakes and woodsy terrain teaming with wildlife. With 20 miles of paved paths, elevated boardwalks and nature trails, this popular park leaves plenty of room for visitors to branch out. During the summer, families come for the beach, boating center, and splash pad.

Grand River Edges Trail

  • Trailheads: 2001 Monroe Ave. NE or 1300 Fulton W, Grand Rapids
  • Phone: 616-456-3290

This urban and paved 2.2-mile trail guides hikers along the banks of Grand River and connects to many other trails. It even links downtown Grand Rapids to Kent Trails and Millennium Park. The downtown loop that begins on Fulton Street, takes visitors past Gerald R. Ford Presidential and Grand Rapids Public museums, Grand Valley State University’s downtown campus and other hotspots.

Kent Trails

  • Trailheads: 1195 84th St. SW, Byron Center; 1415 Maynard Ave. SW and 2600 Wilson Ave. SW, Walker
  • Phone: 616-632-7275

No motors allowed, so hike with ease on this 15-mile paved trail that traverses six jurisdictions. Four trailheads provide access to the linear parkway that stretches from John Ball and Millennium parks to Byron Center. Never far from the hustle and bustle, the trail follows abandoned railroad lines and surface streets. Recommended for beginners and those eager for a leisurely hike, the trails are accessible to those with disabilities and are predominately level with smooth turns.

Musketawa Trail

  • Trailheads: 8th Ave. NE, Marne and Black Creek Road, East Muskegon
  • Phone: 616-638-6542

Bring the kids and make an afternoon of hiking this scenic 25-mile trail that passes through Conklin, Ravenna, small towns, woodlands and wetlands. Wheelchair accessible, there’s a 12-foot wide paved pathway with a wide gravel shoulder. Once a rail line, the trail’s a prime spot to keep up your cardio regimen, bird watch, admire swaths of pine and maple groves, and keep your eyes peeled for wild turkeys and deer.

P.J. Hoffmaster State Park

  • Address: 6585 Lake Harbor Road, Muskegon
  • Phone: 231-798-3711

Fancy a shoreline hike? Swing by Hoffmaster State Park for more than three miles of sandy shore along Lake Michigan. For an extra burn in your calves, tackle the towering sand dunes. The “Dune Climb Stairway” has a viewing platform 190 feet above the waves for a breathtaking view. Once at the top, smaller trails wind through white pines and black oak forests.

Provin Trails

  • Address: 2900 4 Mile Road, Grand Rapids
  • Phone: 616-632-7275

Interconnected loops traverse 46 acres for a heavily wooded escape outside the city. Primarily undeveloped, experienced hikers can explore the network of natural and sandy-surfaced trails, groves of dense pines, and sand barrens as they walk through valleys and over hills.

Reeds Lake Trail

  • Trailhead: John Collins Park, 650 Lakeside Drive SE, Grand Rapids
  • Phone: 616-949-2110

Stroll 4.2 miles around Reeds Lake, a popular spot for hikers, runners and cyclists who like to take advantage of the paved pathways, sidewalks, boardwalks, and scenic woodsy and wetland areas. Perfect for those looking for a brief escape from the city, the trail connects many park and school facilities.

Rosy Mound Natural Area

  • Address: 13925 Lakeshore Drive, Grand Haven
  • Phone: 616-738-4810

Those craving an utmost natural route should venture out into this preserved park with protected dunes. The uphill and sandy climbs make the excursion challenging, but with nothing but a boardwalk between you and Lake Michigan, this spot makes for a picturesque hike. Note: Pups are not permitted in this park.

Saugatuck Dunes State Park

  • Address: 6575 138th Ave., Holland
  • Phone: 269-637-2788

Hike in this secluded spot where the only noise is the crash of the waves against Lake Michigan’s shore and the seagulls overhead. The varying terrain, from steep climbs to grassy hills, offers a route sure to get your heart racing and your legs pumping. Nature enthusiasts can explore more than 300 acres, a prime spot to birdwatch and study the endangered plant species that thrive upon these costal dunes.

Seidman Park

  • Address: 8155 Conservation Road, Ada
  • Phone: 616-632-7275

These 400 acres are comprised of diverse habitats, from thick forests to open fields, and bursting with wildlife. Explore the park with ease using natural-surfaced trails, totaling 5 miles in length. While ungroomed during the winter months, Seidman Park is a popular spot for hikers to break out the snowshoes and skis.

White Pine Trail

  • Trailhead: South of the Fifth Third Ballpark at 4500 W. River Drive NE, Comstock Park
  • Phone: 231-775-7911

Rove over this linear state park that stretches 92 miles and lies on the path graded for the Grand Rapids and Indiana Railroad. No matter your hiking style, there’s paved and natural spots, parallel parks you can branch off to and visit and plenty of eateries and shops to swing by along the way.

This post was originally published in 2017 and is updated regularly.


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