5 Things to Do This Winter in Spring Lake
| 3 min read
Spring Lake is a West Michigan community that sits on a peninsula surrounded on three sides by Spring Lake and the Grand River. It has many public water access points, including a municipal boat launch, canoe and kayak launches, a sandy beach, and fishing platforms. Spring Lake is home to miles of bicycle paths, including a 12-mile loop that weaves around the lake. The community’s downtown is decked out in colorful lights during the holidays. Here are 5 things to do in this winter in Spring Lake:
If you want to get outside for a winter walk, run or bike ride, hit the 12-mile Lakeside Trail. This paved path wraps around beautiful Spring Lake. The trail is generally considered a moderately challenging route. Dogs are welcome, but they must be on a leash.
This waterfront park is a new community gathering spot that provides incredible views of the Grand River. The parkland was gifted to the village around the turn of the 20th century by the Thum family, who made their fortune through their company Tanglefoot Flypaper. The park also offers an outdoor fireplace, transient boat docks, a universally accessible kayak launch, public art, fishing pier, and a new self-service kayak rental kiosk.
The preserve features various ecosystem habitats, making it a naturally attractive area for a range of wildlife. The natural area promotes local biodiversity within a developed residential area, providing a destination to connect with nature. A nearly 1-mile long trail snakes through the preserve’s gentle hills, leading hikers through towering hardwood forests and over a babbling stream. In 2001, the Land Conservancy was given the property that became Minnie Skwarek Nature Preserve from the estate of Ruth Skwarek, whose mother, Wilhelmina (Minnie), bought the property and named it Die Kleine Farm, German for “The Little Farm.”
Every December, over 400,000 multicolored lights and holiday displays adorn the trees and businesses in Spring Lake’s downtown corridor, creating a luminescent winter wonderland. During the holiday season, businesses extend the fun of the Spring Lake Sparkle by offering extended hours to greet visitors with holiday cheer and special gifts. Epicurean Village, the center of holiday activities during Sparkle, is the location for the community Christmas tree, Santa’s house, fireplace, and seating. The hub is also part of the village’s social district, so visitors can grab their favorite cocktail or cocoa and cozy up to the festivities. The lights shine every night through New Year’s.
5. Lilley House
This historic bed and breakfast is a destination for public and private events. The Lilley Mansion was built by Francis Lilley in 1876 and is a classic example of the Second Empire style of architecture. Born in Essex County, England in 1844, Lilley immigrated with his parents at the age of 11 to the United States, first settling in New York and later Milwaukee. In 1867, Lilley relocated to Spring Lake, where he worked in the lumber industry. When the town was incorporated in 1869, Francis served on the Spring Lake Council as the city marshal.
There’s lots to see and do in Spring Lake this winter. Check out the highlights in this video.
Photo credit: BCBSM