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Best Hiking Trails In GR

Riverside Park during the summer! Image courtesy of Grand Rapids Kids.

Now that the weather is finally warming up, people are beginning to spend more time outside. Whether it be walking, cycling, running, or some other sort of exercise, getting outdoors and into nature is becoming more common. And with today being Earth Day, what better way to celebrate than to share some of the most popular hiking trails in Grand Rapids!

Starting off with Crahen Valley Park Loop, this popular 3.1 mile trail is a favorite year round. During the spring, all of the wild grasses begin to regrow, as well as the flowers beginning to bloom. During its peak in the summer, the trail is encompassed in a large array of natural phenomena including local birds, animals, and plants! The trail takes you through a nice wooded area that eventually leads to a large, open grassy field with a small pond in the center. The altitude of the trail varies, providing those who like some variation a well-maintained and simple path to enjoy!

Next up is Reeds Lake Trail. This path follows Reeds Lake, providing those who use it with a nice view of the water. Connecting up to a local park and easily walkable township, this trail is perfect for those looking for a relaxing walk or run. The elevation change isn’t much — if any — allowing those who are not used to such changes to find this path enjoyable! Adam Rhodes (’25) described the trail, saying “It’s got a pretty good view of the lake, I would totally recommend people to try this out!” If the 4.9-mile walk isn’t far enough for you, then feel free to walk around the full perimeter of Reeds Lake, which would provide you with an 11-mile journey.

If you’re looking for a shorter — yet still beautiful — trail, then be sure to check out the Highlands Loop! Coming in at about 1.9 miles, this trail takes you through three loops within the Blanford Nature Center. While remaining a simple walk, these loops provide you with breathtaking scenery to enjoy along the way. While being popular for walking and hiking, you can also find people bird watching here, as benches are available! Due to the trail being part of the nature park, you can also often spot several cute creatures and wildlife!

Provin Trails is another great place to hike. Although, it’s especially known amongst runners! Open year-round, this is another trail that provides a place for multiple outdoor exercisers to enjoy! During the winter you’ll often find many cross-country skiers exploring the short 0.8-mile path, while during the summer you can find families exploring the wooded area. This is the perfect place to stop by to have a short walk (estimated to take around 19 minutes to complete) and then enjoy a nice picnic afterward!

Finally, Riverside Park is located along the Grand River. This path is less embedded in nature and more of a nice walk to follow while enjoying the river scenery. As a 3.9 mile walk, it provides people with a nice intermediate distance, without much elevation gain. This sidewalk is extremely well-traveled, with people walking it at all times of the day. You’ll often see families, runners, bikers, rollerbladers, and walkers along this! Be sure to enjoy a game of chess at one of their free boards as well!

While the trails listed above are only a few of the many within Grand Rapids, they still provide a nice intro to your outdoor walking experience! Be sure to check them out!

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About the Contributor
Anna Alt
Anna Alt, Editor
Anna Alt is a senior at Forest Hills Eastern. This is her second year on the Hawk Herald staff and first year as the Editor-In-Chief. In school you can find her in National Honors Society, Kids Food Basket, Volunteer Club, and most commonly, struggling over her AP Chemistry notes. Outside school, however, you’ll often see her on (hopefully not in) the Grand River rowing with her team. If she’s not spotted there, then she’s at home with her favorite chocolate chip cookies on the couch watching the wondrous show “Bluey.” After graduating, Anna hopes to pursue a career in either Pediatrics or Neuroscience.
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