Knapp Valley County Park
This is a small park just east of the Grand Rapids city limits, behind the new Forest Hills elementary school. There isn’t much there, the trails aren’t marked at all, but they are well-worn, so you won’t have any trouble finding them. The park is only 104 acres, and completely undeveloped, no restrooms or anything else, just a parking lot and the woods. It does receive quite a bit of use even in the winter, enough to keep the trails open. The biggest reason that I go there is that it is less than a mile from where I grew up, so it is nice to go back and visit my old neighborhood.
The park is mostly woods of a middle age, with a few larger trees interspersed throughout. The woods open up a little on the north end as you approach 3 Mile Road, and there is a small pond and stream in that area as well. The wildlife is typical of a Michigan woods, mostly birds, squirrels, and rabbits. There are deer in the area, but they use the park mostly for cover as they move to and from other feeding and resting areas, as do the turkeys. Because of the size and age of the trees, there are many woodpeckers in the park, all the way from the small Downy woodpeckers all the way up to the Pileated woodpeckers.
It isn’t a “destination” park by any means, just a small plot of trees close to town that is nice to visit on occasion for a short walk in the woods. Some of the hills are quite steep and may be a bit slick in the winter, but other than that, there’s not much else to say. If you live in the area and are looking for a place to spend a couple of hours out in the woods, then this is one of those hidden jewels that few people know of.