De Graaf Nature Center of Ottawa County, Michigan
Photos by Phil Seng
From I-196 or US-31 in Holland take the 16th Street Exit. Turn west onto 16th and travel through town. Sixteenth eventually joins 17th and the name changes to Southshore Drive. Continue one block to Graafschap Road. Turn left (south) onto Graafschap and proceed 5 blocks to the nature center on the right (west) side of the road.
This small but unique nature center in the city of Holland provides a close look at several of Michigan’s natural communities, including forest, wetland, pond, creek, and meadow. The Helen O. Brower Interpretive Center describes and interprets these communities and the animals that live here.
A barrier-free trail winds throughout the nature center grounds. Walk the trail early in the morning for a fair-to-good chance of viewing white-tailed deer, cottontail rabbits, and raccoons. In early May, 25-30 kinds of warblers can be seen here during their migration to northern breeding grounds. The banks of the permanent creek that runs through the property are often covered with animal tracks. See if you can match the tracks to the animals that made them. Stop by the interpretive center if you need help with the tracks and to learn more about the animals that made them.
Facilities and Opportunities:
- Restrooms – two restrooms on site.
- Trails – Easy self-guided trails, 1/4 to 1/2 total miles. Open 7 days a week from dawn to dusk.
- Visitor center – Open Tuesday through Friday from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. and Saturday 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
- Cross-country skiing –There are no ski trails, but snowshoes available at no charge.
- Drinking water – located in the Nature Center.
- Barrier free – Main trails and Visitor Center.
- Additional Information: De Graaf web site
Return to Ottawa County, MI Trails Page
Permission and information sources are from Contributers to this Web Site, the Department of Natural Resources, Michigan.gov, National Park Service,
and the USDA Forest Service.