My favorite hiking areas

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Walks through the woods have always been relaxing to me. Every time I take a hike, all of my concerns are lifted from my shoulders. Nothing can compare to the smell of fresh air after you’ve been stuck indoors all day long. These descriptions are some of my favorite hiking areas around Grand Rapids.

Seidman Park: The wooded paths in Seidman Park are perfect for cross country skiing, running, and walking. Seidman Park covers over 400 acres of woods, fields, and wetlands offering an extensive range of hiking trails. I have seen a wide range of wildlife including pileated woodpeckers, eastern hognose snakes, numerous deer, and owls.

Pickerel Lake Park: Probably one of the best parks for observing nature. I remember a time when dozens of frogs in a swampy area were croaking so loudly that it was hard for me to hear my own voice. One of the main trails goes around Pickerel Lake, and others pass through wetlands and sandy woods. A walk around Pickerel Lake can be beneficial if you want a sense of solitude.

Crahen Valley Park: Although many of the paths aren’t marked very clearly, Crahen Valley Park is an excellent park for trail running. The paths in Crahen Valley Park can be pretty extensive depending on where you go (now that I think about it, I’ve probably wandered far off of some of the trails), and the winding streams throughout the park are amusing obstacles to leap over.

Roselle Park: Roselle Park provides paved trails that makes it another good park for running or a destination to stop at if you’re riding a bike. Portions of the trails that run alongside the Grand River are scenic and enjoyable to view on a morning run. In the summer, the park can be infested with grasshoppers along the trails, which are hard to avoid, but they only cover a portion of the first few trails. Roselle Park is also ideal for bird-watching. Bald eagles and sandhill cranes reside alongside the river, and various songbirds can be spotted in the different fields in the park.

Aman Park: In May, trilliums and bluebells take over the beech/maple forest in Aman Park, making it a good spot to take lots of photographs. Aman Park covers 339.1 acres, so there is a lot to discover there. Aman Park is also beautiful during the fall when you can see the vibrantly colored leaves that the trees have to offer. Although it can be quite a drive if you live around the Forest Hills area, it is still definitely worth the trip.

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