For residents of Grand Rapids who want to explore the great outdoors, the state of Michigan gives them plenty of choice.
Established in 1919, Michigan’s state park system boasts 101 state parks, and covers over 306,000 acres.
Incorporating such diverse landscapes as soaring mountain peaks, lush forests, rampaging rivers, beautiful meadows, deep caves, picturesque creeks and stunning lakes.
Featuring over 900 miles of trails, these park collectively house 14,100 campsites in 142 campgrounds. They also receive over 26 million visitors a year. Most of whom engage in activities like swimming, fishing, hiking, boating, biking and camping.
If you would like to partake in any of these activities yourself there are a plenty of state parks near Grand Rapids you can go to.
Below is a selection of five of the best of them we are happy to recommend.
Map of State Parks Near Grand Rapids OH
Here is a map of the Michigan state parks covered in this post:
List of State Parks Near Grand Rapids
Outlined below are five state parks near Grand Rapids. All of them can be reached within an hour and 40 minutes of driving from the city. They also offer plenty of camping and other overnight accommodation options too.
1. Sleepy Hollow State Park
Location: 7835 E Price Rd, Laingsburg, MI 48848
Situated a 75 minute drive east of Grand Rapids, the Sleepy Hollow State Park is a stunning 2678 acre landscape of fields, woodland and rivers.
Centered around Lake Ovid, which was created by the damming of the scenic Little Maple River, the park is a notable year round spot for fishing, as well as kayaking, canoeing, jet-skiing and paddle boarding.
It is also a favored destination for birdwatchers, with around 228 species resident in the park including Blue Jays, the Eastern Bluebird, and even the more rarely sighted Bald Eagle, or Bonaparte’s Gull.
Throughout the year many people also come here for its excellent hiking opportunities, whilst in the winter snowshoeing is also popular.
For those who want to stay overnight, the modern campground offers 181 sites, as well as a modern and also a rustic cabin.
2. Newaygo State Park
Location: 2793 S Beech Ave, Newaygo, MI 49337
Sitting atop 20-foot embankments that overlook the stunning Hardy Dam Pond, the Newaygo State Park offers something for everyone.
Lying a 45 minute drive north of Grand Rapids, the Hardy Dam Pond is the result of a 6-mile flooding of the Muskegon River.
Now a haven for all lovers of water based recreational activities, the pond provides terrific opportunities for fishing and boating.
For those who prefer to keep their feet on dry land there are a number of fabulous hiking and biking trails that will take you through various parts of the neighboring Manistee National Forest.
In addition there is an 18-hole disc golf course onsite to entertain you as well as a scenic butterfly habitat that is home to the endangered blue Karner.
In terms of accommodation, the park features two rustic campgrounds which have a total of 99 sites available for you to book.
3. Muskegon State Park
Location: 3560 Memorial Dr, North Muskegon, MI 49445
If you love the beach then you should make a beeline to the Muskegon State Park.
Just a 50 minute drive north west from Grand Rapids, the park is home to three scintillating miles of shoreline. Two of which run along Lake Michigan whilst the other is on Muskegon Lake.
Replete with a lovely harbor, picturesque forested dunes and a number of charming picnic spots, the highlight of the park is undoubtedly the blockhouse. A pleasant lookout structure that enables you to enjoy panoramic views of the area.
The park is also notable for the Muskegon Luge Adventure Sports Park. Open all year round it features a fantastic range of activities including an Olympian-designed luge track, as well as a sledding hill, a 1,300-foot dual zip line and an archery range.
In addition it has both ice-skating and cross-country ski trails too. While its two campgrounds accommodate 245 sites.
4. Grand Haven State Park
Location: 1001 S Harbor Dr, Grand Haven, MI 49417
The Grand Haven State Park is another gorgeous state park that is set along the shoreline of Lake Michigan.
Reached via a 40 minute drive west from Grand Rapids, this 48-acre park maybe small but it enjoys a stunning lakeside setting.
Running along a half-mile long sandy stretch of Lake Michigan on its west side, while its north side is located on the fringes of the Grand River.
The main attraction of the park is its beach, which is great for walking and sunbathing on. However it also has a lovely pier, with a boardwalk that is great for fishing, as well as two stately lighthouses, that are Instagram photos waiting to be taken.
Home to a modern campground that has 174 campsites, many of them with 50 amp service, as well as an overnight lodge, the park also has several really cool picnic spots and a quaint beach pavilion.
5. Ludington State Park Beach
Location: 8800 M-116, Ludington, MI 49431
Boasting glorious sandy beaches and delightfully scenic sand dunes, the Ludington State Park Beach is an excellent place to visit.
It will take you an hour and 40 minutes to drive north from Grand Rapids, but once you get there you will find a beautiful shoreline that sits adjacent to dense woodlands, verdant marsh and wetlands, and the notable Big Sable Point lighthouse.
Nestled between Lake Michigan and Hamlin Lake, the park is a terrific place to walk or beach comb. A one mile long stretch of the Big Sable River also runs through it, creating wonderful opportunities for paddling, tubing and fishing, while there are also 21 miles of hiking trails for you to explore.
The park is also home to three campgrounds, which collectively house 346 campsites. Many of which come with electricity and water hook up, as well as a range of other amenities including toilets, hot showers and a dumping station.