Ottawa County Parks & Recreation
Riley Trails16300 Riley Street
Holland, MI 49424
Riley Trails is 300 acres of rolling terrain, beech-maple forest, pine plantations and an informal trail system located in Park Township. The property has long been enjoyed by hikers, cross country skiers, mountain bikers and other outdoor enthusiasts. Although county-owned, Park Township has provided assistance over the years in maintaining the site for public use. In 2006, the County Board of Commissioners transitioned the property to Ottawa County Parks.
Riley Trails includes 40 acres that was formerly the Southwest Ottawa County Landfill. The landfill closed in 1979 after ground water in the area showed evidence of contamination. Ottawa County installed a system of purge wells and a water treatment facility in 1987 and has been treating groundwater since that time. Working with the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality, Ottawa County developed a plan to recap the landfill with clay to further limit water leaching through the landfill and to update the system of purge wells to better treat groundwater contamination.
Despite challenges created by the landfill, the Parks & Recreation Commission has long recognized the value of this site. Although the groundwater clean-up efforts will continue into the foreseeable future, county administrative staff overseeing the landfill recapping project incorporated input from county park planners to protect, create, and enhance park amenities. Construction zones were carefully chosen to avoid impact on the beech-maple forest and other native vegetation. Excavation of a large quantity of sand from the site was required for the recapping which provided an opportunity to create a large pond and wetland feature to enhance wildlife habitat. Sledding hills with run-out areas were shaped during the landfill recapping process and oriented for optimal snow retention. Seed mixes selected for the landfill cap include native grasses and wildflowers. The Parks Commission also constructed a footbridge to reestablish a key trail connection affected by the pond construction.
Historically, the landfill cap itself has been closed to public use to protect the cap from damage and because of potentially harmful methane gas which was emitted through vent pipes. Because of the age of the landfill, gas levels are significantly reduced, but the landfill area will remained closed to the public until gas emissions are studied further and determined to be at safe levels. Following this determination, the top of the landfill will be opened to the public with trails, overlooks and sledding hills.
A Riley Trails Master Plan was approved in 2007 following two public meetings and extensive input from interested trail users. Plans call for continued hiking, biking and cross country skiing on park trails which will be upgraded to improve trail safety. A first phase improvement project was completed in 2007 involving parking lot upgrades, trail improvements and the addition of picnic sites and a rustic toilet.
Park Map - This printable map shows facilities, parking areas, features and trails (if any).
- Bridge over small lake
- Parking lot
- Pit toilet
- Picnic tables
- Trails for hiking, cross-country skiing and mountain biking
FeesThere are no entry fees.
Dogs are permitted at Riley Trails. For the safety and enjoyment of all park guests, pets must be on ten foot leashes and under control. Owners must clean up after their pet and dispose of waste in a trash receptacle. Recognizing that most dogs enjoy running and playing freely, many Ottawa County Open Space Lands allow dogs year-round off leash.
DirectionsRiley Trails is located in Park Township. The entrance is located on Riley Street between 160th and 168th Avenues.
Parks Administration Office
12220 Fillmore St.
West Olive, MI 49460
8:00am - 5:00pm
Fax: (616) 738-4812
(888) 731-1001 ext.4810
General Park Hours*March 1 - October 15
7:00am - 10:00pm
October 16 - February 28
7:00am - 8:00pm