Michigan Trail Tuesday: Enjoy A Scenic, Quiet Nature Walk at Stu Visser Trails in Holland

Michigan Trail Tuesday: Enjoy A Scenic, Quiet Nature Walk at Stu Visser Trails in Holland

Stu Visser Trails Holland Path and Bench

Michigan Trail Tuesday is our attempt to showcase a different trail or trail segment each week. The Mitten State is home to thousands of miles of trails, including the new Iron Belle Trail that runs from Detroit in the southeast to Ironwood in the western Upper Peninsula and more miles of the North Country Trail than any other state.

For all the times we’ve driven down Ottawa Beach Road on our way to Holland State Park, we had never stopped to check out the Stu Visser Trails before last week. The sign was right there and we always saw cars in the parking lot, but it looked like a small park and we had other places to go. What a surprise it was to find out this park is much bigger than it looks from the road and perfect for a hike in nature and seeing some wildlife. Today we’ll show some pictures from the trails here and a few shots of the birds and other animals we saw when we visited.

Stu Visser Trails Holland Michigan Map

Trails start at either side of a small parking lot and immediately head into the wetlands. We started on the east side where a boardwalk and trail runs alongside Pine Creek.┬áIt didn’t take long for us to realize we’d been missing out on a hidden gem in Holland. The trail is a combination of gravel and boardwalk as it heads north, with the creek on one side and a marsh on the other. There are overlook decks along the way for great views and wildlife watching. Interpretive signs let visitors know what kinds of turtles and waterfowl call this preserve home.

Stu Visser Trails Holland Observation Deck

Stu Visser Trails Holland Waterfowl Information

We walked all the way to the north end of the trail at Lakewood Blvd. then retraced our steps and headed back. We stopped and checked out the other paths here that cut through the marsh, for a total of a mile and a half of walking. A handful of people were fishing, while a few others were out birdwatching and walking through this 37-acre preserve on what shaped up to be a beautiful evening.

Stu Visser Trails Red Headed Woodpecker

Stu Visser Trails Holland Downy Woodpecker

Stu Visser Trails Holland Birdwatching

Stu Visser Trails Holland Mourning Dove

Stu Visser Trails Holland Northern Flicker

Stu Visser Trails Holland Mallard

Stu Visser Trails Holland Female Wood Duck

Stu Visser Trails Holland Muskrat Pine Creek

While at the Stu Visser Trails we saw muskrats, snakes, turtles, and a lot of birds. Among the birds we could identify were: red-winged blackbird, red headed woodpecker, downy woodpecker, Northern flicker, mourning dove, oriole, cardinal, robin, gray catbird, swallow, wren, sparrow, great blue heron, mallard, wood duck, and pileated woodpecker. There seemed to be no limit to the amount of birds you could see and hear if you paused for quiet reflection along the trail. A pair of binoculars and a Michigan birds field guide will be helpful if you’re looking to make the most of your visit.

Stu Visser Trails Ottawa Beach Holland MI

Parking for the Stu Visser Trails can be found on Ottawa Beach Rd. (929) or on Lakewood Blvd. near its intersection with 145th Ave. The next time you head to Holland State Park, don’t miss the chance to check out this amazing park too!