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Fitzgerald Park and the Ledges of Grand Ledge

July 12th, 2020 by Corey A. Edwards

Ledges Trail in Fitzgerald Park

“Ledges Trail, Grand Ledge, Michigan” by Guettarda
is licensed under CC BY-SA 4.0

Looking for a unique and beautiful place to get out into nature? Explore Grand Ledge’s Fitzgerald Park and discover The Ledges, an ancient and beautiful series of sandstone cliffs along the Grand River.

Folks may not realize it but Grand Ledge, MI gets its name from an actual grand ledge – or a series of them, anyway. Known as “The Ledges,” the mile long, 300 million year old, sedimentary rock outcropping rises as much as 60 feet (18 m) above the shores of the Grand River.

This unique formation is the largest outcropping of rocks in Central Michigan. Local native tribes knew the area as “Big Rocks” and came here each spring to tap the sugar maples. A spiritualist summer campground was established here in 1894 and the Ledges Playhouse Theater pavillion they built still stands.

The property became a public park in 1919 and has remained a popular Grand Ledge attraction ever since.

Grand Ledge is located northwest of Lansing, MI just a short, half hour’s drive from The English Inn in Eaton Rapids. It would be easy to make a fun day-trip out of your visit. The town is full of fun shops, good restaurants, and lovely Victorian homes.

Spend the day investigating the area, then enjoy the short drive back to our Eaton Rapids inn, restaurant, and pub!

Visiting Fitzgerald Park

133 Fitzgerald Park Drive, Grand Ledge, MI 48837

The Ledges at Fitzgerald Park in fall

“Ledge Work” by LadyDragonflyCC
is licensed under CC BY 2.0

Fitzgerald Park is a 78-acre, day use facility offering 3 miles of hiking trails, a nature center, picnicking, and canoe/kayak access to the Grand River. The park also has softball, volleyball, basketball, horseshoe pits, disc golf, a skatepark, and a playground. In the winter months, the park has cross country ski trails and a sledding hill.

The trail to the Ledges remains the big draw, however, offering amazing views of the river and the ancient, sandstone cliffs. The Ledges trailhead is located next to the Eaton County Parks and Rec office.

Sandstone Creek in Fitzgerald Park

“Sandstone Creek” by LadyDragonflyCC
is licensed under CC BY 2.0

The Ledges tempt many climbers but please don’t climb them here. They are simply too fragile and popular for climbing. If rock-climbing is your thing, nearby Oak Park offers well over 100 routes up the cliff face. In fact, it is one of the only places in southern Michigan where you can climb.

The park offers a variety of other hiking trails as well, none of them over half a mile in length. Be sure to check out the eastern side of the park for stunning views of the Grand River and the Grand Ledge Dam with its fish ladder.

Historic Ledges Playhouse Theater, on the bluffs overlooking the Grand River, offers dramatic productions from May through September.

The naturally gorgeous and beautifully maintained park is a nature lover and shutterbug’s dream. If you can, visit in fall when the leaves are at their peak. Spectacular!

The park is open daily, 8am to dark. Learn more at the park website.

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