Summertime is the best time in West Michigan, and there’s no better time of year to explore the many parks the lakeshore has to offer.
Jessica VanGinhoven, communications specialist for Ottawa County Parks and Brandy Gildea, parks manager for Allegan County Parks, Recreation and Tourism, shared their favorite parks to check out this season.
Tunnel Park’s unique feature is right in its name — the concrete tunnel that cuts through a sand dune provides access to Lake Michigan, and it’s a popular spot for swimming, sunbathing, picnicking and catching the sunset. In addition to the unique tunnel through a dune, this park has a children’s playground complete with a dune climb and a dune stairway.
What you can do
-Grab some fro-yo at Peachwave’s new mobile frozen yogurt cart
• No dogs allowed during the summer months
Nature’s Playground: Sandcastles
Aug. 6, 10 a.m.–Noon
Learn how to build a fantastic sand castle with award-winning sand sculptor Bryan Obermeyer and discover more about dune ecosystems. This program is brought to you by a special partnership with Herrick District Library.
One of the many trail parks surrounding Holland, Hemlock Crossing offers 239 acres of woods and wetlands along the Pigeon River. Over 6 miles of hiking and cross-country skiing trails meander through bottomland and upland forest, old pine plantations, and along the river. A pedestrian bridge and numerous overlooks offer scenic views of the river corridor, wetland, natural springs and woods.
What you can do
-Visit the Nature Center
Night Out with the Stars
July 13, 8–11:30 p.m.
Enjoy story time, constellation-themed crafts and stargazing. This program is brought to you by a special partnership with Herrick District Library.
West Side County Park is located right on Lake Michigan’s sandy shoreline. The park sprawls across 11 acres with 630 feet of beach. Two dune stairways provide easy access to the beach. West Side has picnic tables, two covered pavilions, two modern restroom buildings and a fenced playground.
The centerpiece of this historic park is a fully restored swing bridge which spans 400 feet across the Kalamazoo River. New Richmond Bridge Park includes five fishing piers, a half-mile of boardwalk trails that run along the river and through the surrounding wetland areas, several interpretive signs, a restroom building, a small picnic area, and a boat launch and parking area.