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Eaton Rapids Parks, Trails, Historic Spots & More

Situated along a fork in the Grand River, Eaton Rapids features an historic downtown and relaxing waterfront parks.

City Parks

Grand Army of the Republic Island Park has been a city park since 1897 and is the jewel of Eaton Rapids' park system. The island is in the middle of the Grand River and connects to shore by paved walkways. It's a perfect spot for relaxing on a summer day and for taking in the colored landscape in the fall. A playground with brightly-colored equipment can be found at the center of the island, and several monuments honor the park's long history. On the southside of the park, a stately gazebo is bordered by a picnic area overlooking the water. Island Park is a great spot for fishing for small mouth bass.

To the southeast, McArthur Park features a spectacular view of the Grand River, as well as picnic areas and a small playground.

Howe Memorial Field is the largest park in Eaton Rapids and features baseball diamonds, a football field, volleyball court, skate park, and pavillions. The park's large wooden playscape is very popular and offers lots of fun for kids.

Adjacent to Howe Memorial Field, Martin Hansen Memorial Park features an the Eaton Rapids Rotary Club Ampitheater and a small parking lot on Knight Street. The park is named for former Eaton Rapids Mayor Martin Hansen, who served from 1921 to 1923.

On the eastern shore of the Grand River, Hall Street Park has a fishing pier and picnic area. The W. Scott Munn Riverwalk connects Hall Street Park and Howe Memorial Field.

Memorial Park features monuments that honor those who have have served in the armed forces and a monunment dedicated to former mayor Charles S. Horner.

Dr. J.B. Bradley Park is named for the man who ran for governor (and lost by a slim vote). The park features a small playground.

Hall Street Park is on the east side of Hall Street, near King Street. The park has a grassy area and picnic table.

Riverwalk and Bike Lanes

W. Scott Munn Riverwalk is a perfect route for a casual stroll, offering a scenic view of the Grand River. On the eastern shore of the Grand River, there is a parking lot for the trail on Hall Street, which also features a fishing pier and picnic area. The section of the W. Scott Munn Riverwalk near Hall Street connects to a beautiful bridge that carries users across the river to Howe Memorial Field. The path goes north to Martin Hansen Memorial Park, crossing Knight Street near the road bridge, and then following the path of the river to a sidewalk on Main Street/M-50 next to the River's Bend Mesquite Grille.

Bike lanes on State Street lead from downtown near the river to Miller's Dairy Farm Museum and Eaton Rapids' school complex.

Kayaking and Canoeing

At the end of Mill Street, there is a small park that has a kayak/canoe launch and a small parking lot. The park is at a fork in the Grand River, and you will need to paddle north (straight ahead) from the launch. You can't go south on the forks to the right or left because both have dams in the river.

Historic Spots

The historic Red Ribbon Hall was built in 1878 by the Eaton Rapids Reform Club and was an important part of the temperance movement. The building has recently been undergoing restoration.

Miller Dairy Farm No. 1 on State Street first produced ice cream in 1896, and the 111-acre farm blossomed into a business with 22 stores and 200 independent retailers during the 1960s. Eaton Rapids Area Historical Society acquired the property of the Miller Dairy Farm in 1992, and the Miller Complex now features a museum, village, and Safety Town.

There are several historical markers that describe significant locations and people in Eaton Rapids. The green and silver markers were commissioned by the Michigan Historical Commission and are generally placed prominently near the front of historic buildings or locations. Along Main Street, there are historical markers for Austin Blair, Red Ribbon Hall and "The Saratoga of the West." An historical marker is also located at Grand Army of the Republic Island Park and the Miller Dairy Farm Complex.

More About Eaton Rapids

Downtown Eaton Rapids features several stores and eateries. Eaton Rapids Public Library and city hall are both located on Main Street/M-50 in downtown.

Eaton Rapids is only 19 miles from Lansing.

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