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red lighthouse at Holland State Park at night

If you are looking for a place to relax in the coastal bosom of nature then consider a trip to Holland State Park.

Situated just a 45 minute drive from Grand Rapids, this public recreation area is centered around a stunning sandy beach on Lake Michigan.

While boating, paddling, swimming and fishing are all popular on the lake, the park also features picnic areas, several miles of hiking trails, and a historic carousel.

This Michigan state park is also home to a well-known lighthouse, the Big Red Lighthouse, which is open to the public and offers tremendous scenic views of the lake and its surroundings.

Holland State Park is open year-round for recreational activities and is a popular destination for tourists and locals alike. Very good camping facilities, including RV and tent sites with electric hookups, are available to those who want to stay at it for a few nights.

Activities

During their time at Holland State Park, visitors can engage in a wide range of outdoor recreational pursuits.

Showcased below is a brief overview of some of the main activities you can do during your time there.

Boating and Paddling at Holland State Park

If you have your own vessel or watercraft, you will be pleased to read that boating and paddling are allowed at Holland State Park.

The park has a boat launch and a marina with seasonal and transient dockage available. As well as heading out onto the lake, you can also choose to explore the nearby channels and beaches.

Boaters must follow all state and federal boating regulations, including having the proper safety equipment on board.

If you don’t have your own vessel or watercraft you can hire them out at the park. However, launch fees may apply.

people kiteboarding at Holland State Park

Fishing at Holland State Park

If you are into fishing, you should enjoy the opportunities the park gives you to cast a line.

Both the park’s sandy beach, and its pier on Lake Michigan, provides access to a variety of fish species such as salmon, trout, steelhead, whitefish and perch.

The specific types of fish and the best times to catch them may vary depending on the season and weather conditions. To establish what is biting, it is worth contacting the park’s main office.

To fish at the park you will need a license if you are aged 17 and older. You will also need to abide by state fishing regulations and limits.

Should you not have your rods or reels with you, visitors can also rent fishing equipment at the park.

Hiking at Holland State Park

Holland State Park features several hiking trails for visitors to enjoy. These trails range in difficulty and length, providing options for both experienced and novice hikers.

Two of the popular trails include the Dunes Trail, which takes visitors through sand dunes along Lake Michigan, and the Boardwalk Trail, which winds through a marsh and provides scintillating views of the lake.

Visitors are encouraged to wear appropriate footwear and to stay on designated trails to minimize their impact on the park’s natural resources.

When tackling the trails they should also wear a hat, especially in the summer, as well as plenty of mosquito spray and sunscreen. You would be well advised to take plenty of water and hydralites with you as well.

Lighthouse at Holland State Park

The lighthouse at Holland State Park is a well-known local landmark.

Taking the form of a red, steel skeletal tower with a white lantern room, it is located on the north side of the park near the beach and pier.

The lighthouse provides a beautiful view of Lake Michigan and the surrounding area. It is not open to the public for tours, but is a popular spot nonetheless for taking photos and enjoying the scenery.

picnic area at Holland State Park

Birding at Holland State Park

Holland State Park is a popular destination for birdwatching and offers a variety of habitats for bird enthusiasts to explore.

The park features forests, dunes and lake shore environments that attract a myriad of bird species. Some of the breeds that have been spotted at the park include waterfowl, songbirds, shorebirds, and raptors.

The park is also a migratory stopover for many species of birds. This makes it an ideal location for birdwatching during the spring and fall migration seasons.

All throughout the year, visitors are encouraged to bring binoculars with them. They can also pick up a bird guide from the main office, to help identify the different species they see during their time at the park.

Pets

Pets are allowed to join you at Holland State Park, however they must be leashed and under control at all times.

Unfortunately your pooch is not allowed on the sandy beach or in any of the park’s buildings. You are also responsible for cleaning up any mess they make and disposing of it properly.

Visitors are encouraged to be mindful of other park users and to respect park rules and regulations when bringing pets to the park.

For a full rundown of the park’s pet policy it is worth contacting the main office.

Camping

For those who want to stay overnight, Holland State Park offers a range of camping facilities for visitors to enjoy.

These include modern campsites which come with electrical hookups. It also incorporates a rustic campground for those who prefer a more natural experience.

To camp at the park guests are required to have a valid camping permit and follow all park rules and regulations.

If you have the proper permits you will be able to enjoy amenities like hot shower facilities, flush toilets, a camp store for supplies, and a playground for the children.

As the park is a popular destination for camping, reservations are recommended during the peak season.

Park Location

Holland State Park
2215 Ottawa Beach Rd
Holland, MI 49424
Phone: 616.399.9390

Park Website
Reservations

Map

Video

Here is a short YouTube video showcasing several attractions at Holland State Park: