Ingham County Parks
If you love living summer outdoors, the Lansing area’s Ingham County parks may be your version of heaven. The parks span more than 1,200 acres dedicated to sports and recreation. Enjoy the quiet simplicity of a sailboat on Lake Lansing or spend an afternoon playing volleyball, hiking or canoeing the Grand River. Sports fanatics crush home runs at the two ball diamonds, toss a ringer at horseshoes, or play volleyball. Each park offers something unique.
Burchfield Park is Ingham County’s largest park with over 540 acres of woods, trails, and beach. It sports some of the best fishing in Ingham County. A stocked fishing pond offers a chance to hook eight to thirteen-inch trout or tell tall tales about that “big one” that got away. Accessible fishing docks and boardwalks allow you to take the kids fishing without getting muddy.
Canoes and kayaks can be reserved ahead of time and rentals are weather dependent. The Grand River has three routes; McNamara, the shortest, is about 45 minutes. Fifteen-passenger vans are available to take you upstream, so you paddle your way back to Burchfield Park. For larger parties, multiple vans are available.
The swimming beach is open Memorial Day through Labor Day only on weekends and holidays, 12 p.m. to 8 p.m. weather permitting. The beach is closed Monday through Friday. Other water activities include renting pedal boats.
For land lovers, there are hiking trails, six miles of single-track mountain bike trails, and disc golf. Disc golf is similar to traditional golf; but instead of a ball and clubs, players use a flying disc or Frisbee. Play starts at a designated tee area, and you throw to a goal basket. A daily disc golf pass is $4.00.
According to Tim Morgan, Director of Ingham County Parks, Burchfield Park will have some accessibility updates from two park improvement grants. As early as fall 2017, crews will renovate Overlook shelter area (overlooking the pond). The grant will replace the shelter; switch the porta-john with permanent bathroom facilities and widen access to the bathroom and drinking fountain. Paved hard surfaces will replace the gravel in the parking lot. The improved pavilion will be available to rent. The second grant, available in 2018, funds the McNamara Landing universal accessibility project.
Burchfield Park’s volunteer opportunities allow you to give back locally while getting outdoors and helping the park get back to its native roots. Seasonal naturalist, Emma Jakobcic needs volunteers to assist with getting rid of invasive plants, planting native trees, restoring the prairies, and cleaning up the Grand River. Contact Emma Jakobcic at email@example.com to volunteer.
Nature Day Camp at Burchfield Park
There are five themes of Nature Day Camp at Burchfield Park. The first, Winged Things explores the world of birds, bats, and bugs where kids learn to identify local winged friends and their unique characteristics. Water World dives into the world of water whether it’s the Grand River, Peppermint Creek or a rain puddle, and explores the life it brings to all kinds of creatures, including humans. Jump, Slither & Slide explores the unique life cycles of the cold-blooded world of reptiles. Discover what makes them so important to our ecosystems. Warm-Blooded Wonders explores what makes mammals so special and how mammals are similar to birds. Explore a world of fur, feathers, and special adaptations. Finally, Ecosystem Explorers observes all forms of life, from the bald eagle fishing out of the Grand River to the tiny creatures that live in the dirt and how they are interconnected.
Nature Day Camp activities include morning hikes, swimming, and fishing, lunch, and snack time, making forts and campfires and doing crafts and projects. Camp sessions run 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. or 7:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Enrollment in Nature Day Camp is open to children ages five (must have completed kindergarten) to twelve. Campers are limited to five weeks of camp and should not attend the same camp theme more than once. To register, choose your session(s) and call the Ingham County Parks office at 517-676-2233.
881 Grovenburg Road
Holt, MI 48842
Hawk Island is a 100-acre park and the newest to the Ingham County park system. There’s lots of water fun at Hawk Island. Enjoy the swimming beach open seven days a week. Run through the water sprays or wait for a bucket of water to dump at the Splash Pad. Rent pedal boats or rowboats. Fish from the accessible fishing docks and boardwalks to stay dry.
Crews recently resurfaced Hawk Island’s ten-foot wide, one and a half mile long trail that connects with Holt Trails and Valhalla Park, Lansing Trail and to Michigan State University (MSU) trails. This was done with Trails and Parks Millage Funds and a MDNR State Passport grant funding.
Bring the family dog along to play in Soldan Dog Park (part of Hawk Island). Purchase a key fob for entry from either the gatehouse, maintenance barn, the city of Lansing, county parks or the animal shelter. Dogs must have a dog license to enter the Dog Park.
Hawk Island Park
1601 E. Cavanaugh Road
Lansing MI, 48910
Lake Lansing Park South is a 30-acre venue with the largest lake within 30 miles of Lansing. A sandy beach with four acres of green grass surrounds the beach. Memorial Day through Labor Day, use the beach with restrooms to change into swimming suits. Enjoy the convenience of concession stands.
The Friends of Ingham County Parks host free Friday Night Concerts at the Lake Lansing Park South Band Shell concert stage in June, July, and August. All Friday evening performances begin at 7:00 p.m. Parking and admission are free. The park opens to free admission beginning at 6:00. For the kids, entry to play on a Moonwalk and Giant Slide is free. Bring your lawn chair, blanket, and food to have a picnic.
Lake Lansing Park South
1621 Pike Street
Haslett, MI 48840
Lake Lansing Park North is a wooded 530-acre natural recreation area. Mature oak and maple woodlands, marshlands, pine plantations, and transitional field areas exist in the area.
Lake Lansing Park North offers two playgrounds, a basketball court, hiking trails, horseshoe pits, picnic shelters, sand volleyball courts, and softball diamonds. There’s also a nearby boat launch (The boat-launching fee is $50 annually.)
The park also provides more than five miles of trails where interpretive signs mark a 2.4-mile loop of the trail. The trails and boardwalks provide access to evergreen forests, swamps, marshes, a deciduous forest, and fields.
Lake Lansing Park North
6260 East Lake Drive
Haslett, MI 48840
All Parks’ Summer Hours
Parks open one half hour before sunrise for pedestrians and 8:00 a.m. for vehicle access. Parks close one-half hour after sunset unless otherwise posted.