Grand Rapids, Michigan, is a bucket-list destination for the outdoor adventurer. Whether you enjoy breathtaking forests, pristine lakes, or exhilarating skiing, this place has something for you. Furthermore, it’s the perfect travel destination in a campervan! The area has several convenient campgrounds with all the hookups, placing you right in the heart of all the adventure.
Keep reading to learn more benefits of visiting Grand Rapids in your campervan, including where to stop on the drive over.
About Grand Rapids, Michigan
Grand Rapids is a gorgeous city in the great state of Michigan. With a population of close to 200,000 people, Grand Rapids is the second largest city in the state. The town is situated along the Grand River, providing incredible views and several recreation opportunities. Grand Rapids is also home to over one million acres of public accessible land, offering hiking, biking, fishing, camping, and much more!
Where to Stop Along the Way
As you start your journey to Grand Rapids, be sure to make a few stops along the way.
Check out our favorite destinations below:
Heading north on your adventure? If so, try to stop in Chattanooga, Tennessee. This is a great stopping point for your journey, and outdoor activities are found all over. We recommend a visit to Rock City Gardens, which is a stunning waterfall along a magnificent rock formation.
Another must-see destination along the way is Mammoth Cave National Park in Kentucky. This is your chance to explore the longest known cave system on the planet!
On a western drive to Grand Rapids, you may pass through Toronto, Canada. If so, you have to check out Scarborough Bluffs Park. There are nine parks along the bluffs, providing walking paths and astonishing views!
Another cool destination along the journey is the famous Niagara Falls outside Buffalo, New York. These iconic falls are something you have to see for yourself! Consider taking a misty, exhilarating boat ride for a closer look at this miraculous act of nature.
A southern drive into Grand Rapids also provides tons of adventure. One place you can’t miss is Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore. Here you’ll find pristine, peaceful beaches for relaxing after a long day of driving. The park spans 35 miles along Lake Michigan’s gorgeous eastern coastline.
Another must-see destination is Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore, offering some of the most breathtaking coastal views you’ll ever see. This area features stunning rock formations, sand dunes, waterfalls, and more!
Headed east on your journey? If so, consider stopping at a few state parks in Wisconsin. Devil’s Lake State Park, Peninsula State Park, and Mirror Lake State Park are a few of our favorites.
You should also check out the lovely scenery at Apostle Islands National Lakeshore. This area is known for its sandstone sea caves, old-growth remnant forests, and historic lighthouses.
Grand Rapids—Outdoor Adventure Awaits!
While the weather is getting chilly this time of year in Grand Rapids, you can still have a phenomenal road trip! From cross-country skiing to peaceful hikes, there are plenty of ways to enjoy yourself.
Below you’ll find our favorite outdoor activities and attractions in Grand Rapids:
A hike is the perfect activity once you get into town! After driving for hours, it’s good to get the blood flowing. Luckily, Grand Rapids provides several amazing hiking experiences! If you want to walk near the Grand River, check out Grand River Edges Trail. This 5.4-mile scenic route offers excellent views of the river and surrounding area.
Here are some other top trails in Grand Rapids:
- Aman Park Loop
- Reeds Lake Trail
- Black Forty Loop
- Provin Park Trail
Soak up the lush greenery and fresh air on the many trails in the region!
Grand Rapids is known as a biking paradise. Whether you enjoy mountain biking or road riding, this city has something for everyone. Buck Creek Trail is a favorite in the area, which takes you 2.1 miles to the Grand River. It’s fully paved and offers plenty of beautiful, shady trees. The Forest Hill Trails area is also popular, connecting you to 50 miles of paths, boardwalks, and bridges.
Boating & Paddling
Grand Rapids is considered one of the top waterfront towns in the country. While the temperatures are dropping this time of year, an afternoon paddle is still a great idea! The Grand River provides nine convenient access points for the public, and you can also rent a canoe, kayak, or paddleboard near many of these locations.
Fishing is another loved activity in the area. Not only do you have the Grand River in the heart of town, but there are also many lakes and rivers nearby. The Grand River is home to several different kinds of fish, including salmon, steelhead, catfish, walleye, bass, and more! If you’re looking for a popular lake to fish, check out Campau, Lime, Myers, and Big Pine Island.
Skiing & Snowboarding
Looking to hit the slopes? If you’re planning a winter getaway in Grand Rapids, you’re in for an exciting adventure! Cannonsburg Ski Area, just 20 minutes from town, is popular among local residents and visitors. The resort features 21 runs for all ability levels, including nine lifts. Bittersweet Ski Resort and Mulligan’s Hollow are two other ski areas about 30 minutes from Grand Rapids.
As you get into town, the next step is to find your campground! Luckily, Grand Rapids has plenty of options. Many campgrounds and RV parks are also right next to rivers and lakes!
Here are some of the best campgrounds in the area:
- Steamboat Park Campground
- Woodchip Campground
- Sharp Park Campground
- Baldwin Oaks Campground
With the holiday season approaching, now is the perfect time to book your reservation. Campgrounds and RV parks are less crowded this time of year, which makes for a calm, relaxing vacation.
Consider these travel tips before heading out to Grand Rapids:
- Book your trip for the fall or winter to avoid the crowds
- Stop by the Gerald R. Ford Presidential Museum for a great history lesson!
- Low temps can dip into the 20s and 30s this time of year, so pack those layers!
- To avoid traffic and save money, consider riding DASH, the area’s free shuttle
Below you’ll find links and locations to the top attractions in Grand Rapids:
- Grand River Edges Trail: 2001 Monroe Ave. NE Grand Rapids, MI, 49503
- Black Forty Loop: Starts at the Blandford Nature Center
- Cannonsburg Ski Area: 6800 Cannonsburg Rd NE, Belmont, MI 49306
- Bittersweet Ski Resort: 600 River Rd, Otsego, MI 49078
- Steamboat Park Campground: 825 Taylor St, Georgetown Twp, MI 49428
- Woodchip Campground: 7501 Burlingame Ave SW, Byron Center, MI 49315
Here are some less popular, off-the-beaten-path destinations in the area:
- Pickerel Lake
- James C. Veen Observatory
- Downtown Hidden Garden Tours
- Chez Olga
These provide the perfect opportunity to see something a little different in Grand Rapids!
Hit the Road to Grand Rapids Today!
With exhilarating ski resorts, gorgeous hiking trails, and so much more, there are plenty of reasons to visit Grand Rapids in your campervan.
If you’re looking for a new adventure mobile with all the features you care about most, check out RecVan today! We carry some of the leading campervans on the market.
View our available inventory to get started, and call us if you have any questions.