Yes, Grand Rapids owns a golf course! Golfers have the option to pay a daily rate (varies with day of the week, # holes, with or without cart and your age) or purchase a season pass, if you are an avid golfer. . The park underwent an update just recently, 2017.
But we were not there today to play golf, but rather to find what the park has to offer in the winter. We found at least 6 other people on the grounds this Friday afternoon, all doing something different. There were a few XC skiers like us, a couple of fat tire bike enthusiasts and one couple using the snowshoes that Indian Trails rents out. The ski trail is groomed and about 2 miles in length. The bike trail is 3.5 miles long and the snow was nice and deep for snowshoers today. Bring your own skis. The course features rolling hills with scattered trees and a club house and driving range.
We had been driving west on Leonard NE a lot lately, and noticing a lot of sledding at the corner of Lafayette and Leonard. Today we discovered this is part of the Mary Waters Park which has history dating back to 1891 when this area was a “streetcar suburb”, formerly farmland- Hard to think of this as the northern boundary! Mary Waters was the daughter of Dudley and Florence Waters who gave the city 4.5 acres in 1907, to expand the park.
The hill takes up a large part of the park along with a flat field with basketball courts to the south. An access road off Lafayette goes to the top of the hill where there is a playground, a splash pad and a covered picnic area-also bathrooms.
February 2, 2021 Park #10 700 College NE (parking off Grand Ave/ east side of park)
Highland Park isn’t easy to find as there isn’t much of an entrance on busy College Ave. NE, but drive around the north side of the park to Grand Ave and you will find a parking lot close to the playground equipment, bathroom and picnic tables.
This park has a lot to offer: sledding, disc golf, splash pad, playground and soccer field plus restrooms (in season-which apparently isn’t now!) There are free sleds to borrow on Saturdays, but this weekday the sledding hill was pretty bare even though there was plenty of snow in rest park. Apparently the hill had lots of use this past weekend! 27.9 acres, the majority of which is left in large open fields gave a wonderful sense of space and tranquility. Coldbrook Creek bisects this area, running east to west.
We were intrigued by the forested hill bordering the north side of the park and hiked a trail there populated with disc golf baskets.