You may or may not have heard of Grand Rapids, MI. Well this is where we call home and we couldn’t be happier about it. Michigan has a lot of great things to offer Outdoor Enthusiasts and while some of those things may be a bit of a drive from Grand Rapids (the Upper Peninsula) that doesn’t mean we are without our fair share of great spots to enjoy the outdoors.
Take a Hike: The Grand Rapids area has a lot of great parks. Riverside Park is always a great spot to walk the trail, ride your bike, set up your hammock along the Grand River or even get a game of Frisbee Golf in (their course isn’t easy). If you venture out a little further, past the Grand Rapids City limits you will find a whole lot more options. One of our favorites is Siedman Park. With several miles of trails a couple of nice rivers and changing scenery this park is not to be missed. http://www.friendsofgrparks.org/parks/find-a-park/ https://www.kentcountyparks.org/
Jump in a Kayak: Grand Rapids is also surrounded by great kayaking opportunities. The Rogue River is one of our favorites. The upper Rogue is great for families and takes you on a nice easy run, but if you are looking for something a little more challenging try the lower Rogue with much faster moving water and rapids. The Grand River is also a nice spot to for an evening paddle. It’s slower and very wide so it makes for a nice leisurely way to end a day.
Mountain Bike Trails: In Rockford, the northern most suburb of Grand Rapids, you will find an amazing array of mountain bike trails in the summer. Check out Merrell Trail, Luton Park or Cannonsburg Ski Area for some great mountain bike riding and well groomed trails. http://wmmba.org/
Blandford Nature Center: The Blandford Nature Center is, in my opinion, an undiscovered gem. It is very close to Downtown Grand Rapids, but takes you outside of the noisy city and gets you back into nature. They have miles of trails, offer classes year round for adults and kids alike, and also have a wildlife center where they have taken wounded wild animals in to care for them. From owls and hawks to bobcats and reptiles. http://blandfordnaturecenter.org/
White Pine Trail: This Trail that starts in Grand Rapids and runs north 92 miles to the City of Cadillac. You don’t have to experience the whole trail, but it is a great way to walk, run or bike along the Grand River and take in some great views of Downtown Grand Rapids. In the near future the trail will connect to the middle of downtown Grand Rapids and will add a few extra miles onto the length, so if you want to run or bike the entire things you might want to do it now before you have a couple extra miles to add. http://www.whitepinetrail.com/
Cannonsburg Ski Area: You can obviously guess that in the winter it’s a great spot for skiing in West Michigan, but Cannonsburg also offers tubing in the winter, ziplining during warmer months as well as bike trails year-round. In the winter, they groom their trails for Fat Tire Bikes (which you can rent) and in the summer all mountain bikes are welcome. http://cannonsburg.com/
Beer City USA: Even at night you don’t have to worry about staying inside. You can go on a walking tour of the many Breweries around Grand Rapids that led it to be called Beer City USA. Many of the breweries have outdoor areas where you can take in the fresh-air and enjoy the sun in warmer weather. Some of the great spots to hit with outdoor areas, Founders Brewing, Brewery Vivant, Elk Brewing and New Holland Brewing’s KnickerBocker https://www.experiencegr.com/things-to-do/beer-city/brewsader/
And these activities don’t even include the amazing beaches that are just a stone’s throw away along Lake Michigan or a short drive to some of the best wine in the world in Traverse City, MI. If you have never visited Michigan, maybe you should.