When the snow melts and the first signs of spring peek through, nothing compares to a quiet hike through some of Pure Michigan’s most scenic landscapes… especially with your nature-loving little ones in tow! Scout out a few of our favorite Grand Rapids kid-friendly hiking spots and get ready to take in all the epic natural beauty, best shared together as family!
Calvin College Ecosystem Preserve (Grand Rapids)
Explore 44 acres of public forest and wetlands, plus a native plant garden, along over a mile of trails. Let your littles “ooh” and “ahh” at more than 200 species of plants, trees as old as 250 years, and countless species of wildlife along their walk. Afterward, check out the Bunker Interpretive Center, where the kids can star in their own puppet show, read a storybook, and keep exploring. And be sure to swing by the Butterfly House from June-September to see native butterflies and nectar plants up close!
Blandford Nature Center Trails (Grand Rapids)
There’s arguably nowhere better to adventure as a family than through the outdoor oasis that is Blandford Nature Center. Enjoy eight well-groomed trails that cover 1.1 miles of grounds, and weave your way through the wetlands, meadows, and forests with your little ones laughing and smiling all the way. And, while you’re at Blandford, be sure to sign the kids up for their interactive seasonal camps (including Spring Break Camp, Summer Camp, and Winter Break Camp)!
Knapp Valley Forest Park (Grand Rapids Twp.)
With its main trailhead conveniently tucked away behind the ball diamond of Knapp Valley Forest Elementary School, this natural-surface trail winds through 87 acres of undeveloped natural area, perfect for your little explorers!
Luton Park (Rockford)
Just off 10 Mile Road in Rockford, you’ll find this family-friendly gem: a multi-use park packed with 9.7 miles of well-connected trails. Let your little ones explore the native prairies, pines, hardwoods, and marshes as they take three different bridge crossings over Rum Creek.
Townsend Park Hiking Trail (Cannonsburg)
Hike along scenic Bear Creek with your loved one and your littles, and get ready to enjoy everything from an extensive pine plantation to a boardwalk over natural wetlands. Afterward, cozy in for a quiet family picnic among the wooded hills (or beneath the historic open picnic shelter if available) and make great use of any of three separate playground areas.