Grand Haven State Park



Grand Haven State Park is a public recreation area on the shores
Lake Michigan Lake Michigan is one of the five Great Lakes of North America. It is the second-largest of the Great Lakes by volume () and the third-largest by surface area (), after Lake Superior and Lake Huron. To the east, its basin is conjoined with that ...
on the south side of the mouth of the Grand River and harbor in
Grand Haven Grand Haven is a city within the U.S. state of Michigan and the county seat of Ottawa County. Grand Haven is located on the eastern shore of Lake Michigan at the mouth of the Grand River, for which it is named. As of the 2010 census, Grand H ...
Michigan Michigan () is a state in the Great Lakes region of the upper Midwestern United States. With a population of nearly 10.12 million and an area of nearly , Michigan is the 10th-largest state by population, the 11th-largest by area, and the ...
. The
state park State parks are parks or other protected areas managed at the sub-national level within those nations which use "state" as a political subdivision. State parks are typically established by a state to preserve a location on account of its natural ...
encompasses consisting entirely of beach sand. It features camping and beach activities along with scenic views of the Grand Haven South Pierhead Entrance Light and Grand Haven South Pierhead Inner Light.


The park is bordered by Lake Michigan to the west, the Grand River on the north, and City Beach to the south. A large pier next to the state park supports the harbor's entrance light and inner lighthouse (pictured at right). The pier connects to a
boardwalk A boardwalk (alternatively board walk, boarded path, or promenade) is an elevated footpath, walkway, or causeway built with wooden planks that enables pedestrians to cross wet, fragile, or marshy land. They are also in effect a low type of bridge ...
that extends approximately one mile upstream toward the commercial district of Grand Haven. The beach and state park were created by the interruption of the
littoral drift Longshore drift from longshore current is a geological process that consists of the transportation of sediments (clay, silt, pebbles, sand, shingle) along a coast parallel to the shoreline, which is dependent on the angle incoming wave direction ...
of sand along the coast caused by the navigation structure which was installed to protect the entrance to the harbor.


The park was among the 13 parks created in 1920 after the Michigan State Parks Commission was established in 1919. The park (popularly called "The Oval") was originally a 35-acre public beach that had been purchased by the city for $1,000. In 1920, the twenty-two acres closest to the pier were deeded from the city to the state for $1.00 for use as a state park, with the acreage to the south retained as City Beach.

Activities and amenities

In addition to swimming and other beach activities, the park offers a 174-site campground, rental house, fishing pier, picnicking area, and playground.


External links

Grand Haven State Park
Michigan Department of Natural Resources
Grand Haven State Park Map
Michigan Department of Natural Resources {{authority control State parks of Michigan Protected areas of Ottawa County, Michigan Protected areas established in 1920 1920 establishments in Michigan IUCN Category III Beaches of Michigan Landforms of Ottawa County, Michigan Grand Haven, Michigan