Photo Gallery Friday: Ottawa County Parks
Photo Gallery Friday is a regular feature on Travel the Mitten that will help showcase photos from places where one post just isn’t enough to show off everything.
Ottawa County on the west side of Michigan’s Lower Peninsula is home to 26 county parks and 12 open space areas. Many of these parks showcase amazing land on Lake Michigan and along the Grand River corridor. Hiking trails, beaches, kayaking and boating opportunities, and abundant wildlife are just a few of the draws that bring visitors to these parks each year. Over the past few years we have had the chance to check out a handful of parks and today we will share some of our favorite pictures. Below is a look at the parks we visited and a brief description of each one from the Ottawa County Parks website: https://www.miottawa.org/Parks/parks.htm.
Upper Macatawa Natural Area: “The park offers a variety of habitats including forests, grasslands and wetlands which lead to diverse wildlife. Along the Macatawa River, its wetlands act as a sponge and filter during heavy rains and contribute to water quality improvement.”
Historic Ottawa Beach Parks: “include the Black Lake Boardwalks, Mt. Pisgah and the Lake Michigan Beach adjacent to Holland State Park. It includes 750 feet of Lake Michigan frontage, 2400 feet of Lake Macatawa shoreline and beautiful wooded dunes which are dispersed between the cottages and Holland State Park.”
Rosy Mound: “a classic Great Lakes dune system including high wooded dunes, foredunes, beach and a dune blowout. A 0.7 mile 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.”
Pine Bend: “offers 239 acres of woods and wetlands along the Pigeon River. Over six miles of trails for hiking and cross country skiing meander through bottomland and upland forest, old pine plantations and along the river.”
Olive Shores: “this mostly wooded 20-acre site includes a mature beech-maple-hemlock forest, a steep dune formation, and 738’ of Lake Michigan frontage. Decks provide seating and views of Lake Michigan and host a display highlighting the property as the site of a scene from the Tom Hanks movie, “Road to Perdition.”
North Ottawa Dunes: “This property offers 513 acres of wooded dunes located just off the Lake Michigan shoreline and uniquely situated between state, county and city parks. The property features tremendous topography with an elevation change of 185 feet in the parabolic dune formations. Eight distinct dunes in the rugged landscape exceed 750 feet in height for spectacular, scenic views of the surroundings.”
Hemlock Crossing: “offers 239 acres of woods and wetlands along the Pigeon River. Over six miles of trails meander through bottomland and upland forest, old pine plantations and along the river.”
Pigeon Creek Park “is 282 acres with another 130 adjacent acres of County Open Space land. Over ten miles of ski trails and snowshoe trails wind through old pine plantations, mature deciduous forests and through bottomland forests along the Pigeon River.”