Rules & Regulations

Season & Hours

  • Kent County Parks open at 7:00am and close at sunset.
  • Our picnic areas and shelters may be reserved for events taking place May 1 through October 31. The heated enclosed shelter at Douglas Walker Park is also available for rentals during some winter months, typically November through February, plus April.
  • Our restrooms are closed and water lines are shut off from November 1 through April 30.

For more detailed off-season information, including winter activities, please refer to the specific park page.

Park and Trail System Rules

Park employees are agents of the County and are authorized to enforce park rules and regulations. The Kent County Sheriff’s Department also patrols county parks and enforces our rules and regulations. Below are some of the general rules that come up most often.

Cancellation & Refund Policy
No refunds are allowed for picnic areas or open shelter reservations. Enclosed shelterhouse reservations are entitled to a 50% refund with a 30-day notification. For information on canceling a campsite, cabin or cottage reservation at Wabasis Lake Campground, please click here.

Shelterhouse Reservations
Reserved shelterhouses will be held for one hour. Reserving party must contact the Park Manager in the event of lateness or any time changes.

Special Events
Special permission must be granted for special events and items such as tents, ponies, pig roasts, space-walks, dunk tanks, portable toilets, amusements and rides, any off park road vehicle, stages, amplified music, etc. Reserving party must contact the Park Manager at least two weeks before the date of the reservation to determine the locations of items. There is an additional fee of $25 per amusement if permission is granted.

Please build fires in camp stoves and fireplaces only. Permission must be secured from the Park Manager to build other fires.

Destruction of Property
Persons destructive to trees, buildings, equipment, signs, flowers, lawn, shrubs, etc. will be prosecuted and held liable for damages.

Trash Cleanup
All camp or picnic refuse must be placed in receptacles provided for that purpose. Please help us keep the parks clean.

Park Closures
All county parks shall close at sunset. All park users must leave at closing time.

Ball fields are on a first come, first served basis.

Beer and wine are allowed in all parks during Memorial Day weekend and from June 15 through October 31. Beer and wine are only allowed prior to that with a paid reservation. Beer and wine are also permissible for reserved events inside the Douglas Walker shelterhouse year round.

You must leash and clean up after your dog while in any Kent County Park. It’s the law! We DO NOT allow pets at Pickerel Lake Nature Preserve.

A permit and fee are required for commercial or educational photo or video shoots in County parks. The application form must be submitted at least seven days in advance of the proposed shoot. No commercial or educational shoots will be allowed without an approved copy of the form and any other required documentation. News/community interest features and commercial filming or photography of private functions are exempt from this requirement.

Motorized Vehicles
Motorized Vehicles are prohibited outside marked parking areas. Single seat Motorized Vehicles used by or for accommodation purposes under the Americans with Disabilities Act or the Michigan PWDCRA are permitted. All vehicles used under this Rule shall not exceed five (5) miles per hour on park trails, shall stay to the right on all trails, and shall make an audible noise or alarm to signal or alert other trail users to their presence.  UTVs and ATVs are not allowed in our parks unless they have Michigan License plates and are street legal. Plated vehicles are only allowed on park roads, not on trails. Golf carts are not allowed in parks or on trails. 

Beach Rules & Regulations

These are NOT allowed at Kent County Beaches

  • Pets
  • Biking
  • Smoking
  • Skateboarding
  • Fishing or Trapping
  • Portable Grills
  • In-Line Skating
  • Portable Grills
  • Alcoholic Beverages
  • Glass Containers
  • Obscene Language
  • Loud or Boisterous Conduct
  • Loud Music
  • Fireworks
  • Merchandise or Concessions Sales
  • Feeding of Waterfowl