Ottawa County Parks Department
OCBA was selected by the Ottawa County Parks Department to complete the connector trail and waterfront fishing and kayak access facilities at Grand River Ravines, a recently expanded park which first opened in 2000.
The 1.3-mile accessible trail links North and South Grand River Ravines and provides stunning views of the Grand River from high bluffs after passing by deep wooded ravines and a restored prairie. It provides access to the waterfront where a barrier-free fishing dock and kayak launch offer visitors access to the Grand River. Water trail wayfinding signage located along the riverfront educates park visitors about the Grand River Heritage Water Trail.
A key goal for this project was to provide public access while protecting high quality natural features. Within the 187-acre park, the trail location for this particular project was carefully selected for slopes to accommodate universal design. Over 7,100 feet of paved path was installed as part of this project with width ranging from 8 to 10 feet. Paved trails allow users to experience the full range of habitats including old field, wooded ravines, prairie, forested areas and riparian zone. Those users not physically able to hike deep into the ravines are able to experience the site via overlooks. The emphasis is on inclusive design with no separate ramps or access points. Benches provide resting areas at key intervals and all support facilities such as restrooms, parking, and picnic areas are universally accessible.
OCBA led a design team which included Cornelisse Design Associates and Prein and Newhof through the completion of final design, construction document preparation, bidding assistance, and construction administration. The project was bid and implemented in multiple phases based on the availability of funding. A portion of the funding was from a Michigan Department of Natural Resources Land and Water Trust Fund grant.