Nestled between the Great Wolf Lodge and Kohl's, this park is a hidden gem along US-31. The 3/4 mile trail network includes wooden bridges and boardwalks following Kids Creek. Development of this park into a passive recreation resource is an ongoing process. Kids Creek Park makes for a great walk after some shopping at the nearby businesses!
Dedicated to Garfield Township during the development of the Great Wolf Lodge, this 20-acre park has seen extensive volunteer effort to restore the stream banks of Kids Creek, which meanders though the park. The stream banks had been damaged by decades of buffalo traffic (the former buffalo herd was once the largest east of the Mississippi River), but volunteer efforts have made an incredible difference to the stream's health, and ultimately, West Bay's health by reducing sedimentation and increasing shade and habitat for fish and insects. Click here to read more about restoration efforts at Kid's Creek.
Recent improvements including rerouting over 300-feet of Kids Creek was around a drop-culvert, an obstacle that was limiting the upstream migration of fish. An entirely new streambed was created, and the stream now looks like it was always there! While the construction crews were there, they also dredged out the old Oleson fish pond, which is now stocked with brown trout and bluegill for a great kids fishing excursion. Additionally, a new bridge was built to connect the park directly to the bike path on the west side of US-31, and a new trailway was built with the help of Great Wolf Lodge volunteers.
Kids Creek Park is accessed via the parking lot between Kohl's and Bed Bath & Beyond (look for the "Exit" sign), or from the non-motorized trailhead along the US-31 bike path, which is a great spot to pull off from the path, park your bike, and take a walk around the stream! Public restrooms at the site are not available. Very shortly, this park will be accessible from the west (such as the new YMCA and Traverse City West Middle School) via the new Buffalo Ridge Trail!