Paw Paw Park: Disc Golf, Trails, and More in Ottawa County
Located on the site of the former Holland Country Club, Ottawa County’s Paw Paw Park is now a top destination for hiking, birdwatching, disc golf, and more. This 172-acre park was known as the Macatawa Greenspace after it was acquired by Ottawa County Parks in 2010, and reintroduced as Paw Paw Park a few years later. There are both East and West segments of this park, separated by Paw Paw Drive and each with their own parking areas.
We first visited the Paw Paw Park West Area, which has a hiking loop, playground, and a fishing area. The trail along the Macatawa River offers some scenic views and this is a great place to watch for birds and other wildlife.
Our next stop was Paw Paw Park East where there is a large parking lot that provides access to a picnic pavilion, trails, and the disc golf course. The trails here are a mix of paved surface and natural surface, so they are good for hiking and biking. One thing I liked about this park was the abundant trail signage – it’s always easy to figure out where you are on the map and follow the trails.
There are also a few signs in the park that showcase the work that went into restoring this beautiful property. The wetlands here are part of what makes the park so appealing, and an excellent habitat for frogs, ducks, herons, and turtles.
A lot of work went into restoring the riverbanks, moving bridges, excavating soil, and other projects that will help keep this area beautiful for many years to come.
The trails were level and easy to navigate. We found that most of the great scenic views came from along the Macatawa River or Noordeloos Creek. This park is open year-round, but it definitely seems like it puts on the best show during spring and summer months.
The disc golf course features 18 holes and many positive reviews from sites like DG Course Review and The Disc Golf Scene. It is praised for being “very aesthetic with rolling greens, ponds, walking bridges, and a river with a small boulder waterfall at the end of hole #3.” DG Course Review also notes that there are some challenges present here: “High risk on many holes with water, three 500+foot holes, and with the old ball golf course, wind speeds can be high affecting discs more than golf balls.”
If you’re headed to Holland and looking for a great park with lots of open space and some easy trails to explore, Paw Paw Park is a great spot to keep in mind! It was great to see that a property that served the community well for many years as a golf course could be successfully rehabilitated and turned back into a great ecosystem for plants and animals that can be enjoyed by visitors as well.