Getting your sweat on is one of the best feelings in the world. That euphoric moment at the end of a hard workout is always worth it! The key to real change though (we all know this) is consistency and dedication. To help keep you motivated, here are 14 of the best sweat spots in GR that focus on sustainable change, serious sweat, and building a community of fitness fanatics that will keep you coming back for more!

4G Athletic

4g athletic

4G combines the best parts of any kind of fitness facility you can think of to create a one-of-a-kind space that’s revolutionizing boutique fitness. For real. The atmosphere is modern and cool looking, with sleek designs and a very clean interior. It’s a fun space that members looking forward to going to. Unlike many boutique fitness centers that focus on one form of exercise, 4G stands for four fitness groups: MOVE, BIKE, FLOW, & LIFT.  With a variety of options to choose from on a daily basis, you’ll never get bored. Each workout is structured within a 45-minute format and has its own custom space. The yoga is room is absolutely beautiful, the bikes are state of the art, and they offer a variety of equipment for their HIIT workouts.

Allegro Coachingfitness studio

A boutique studio in the heart of Eastown, Allegro Coaching believes in conditioning the body, mind, and spirit through fun and effective fitness classes. In musical terminology, Allegro means “fast and fun” and the 40 large group classes offered here weekly truly reflect their namesake. From Pilates and TRX to BODYPUMP, Boxing, Team Shred, and Tai Chi, Allegro infuses their studio with a variety of classes making the dreaded fitness plateau a thing of the past.

Title One Kickboxingfitness studio

Located in Kentwood and Knapps Corner, Title One Kickboxing will make you drip within the first 10 minutes – no joke. Their kickboxing workouts incorporate kicking with punching (yelling is optional!) for a dynamic and uber-challenging experience. They also offer Power Hour (a true boxer’s workout) and Mixed Martial Arts. Title One believes in digging deep and seeing what you’re really made of. If stumbling out of a workout in a haze of sweat and satisfaction is what you’re looking for, this is for you.

F45 Fitnessfitness studio

F45 stands for Function 45, as in 45 minutes of functional, no-nonsense, air-gasping fitness. Hailing from Australia and located near Woodland Mall, F45 training merges three separate fitness styles (High-Intensity Interval Training, Circuit Training, and Functional Training) into one heart pounding, station-based workout. The fusion of these three training concepts has led to the development of 27 different workouts that rotate throughout the gym on a regular basis. If you’re looking for a punch in the gut with a side of variety, F45 Fitness is for you.

FLEXcity Fitnessfitness studio

FLEXcity calls Downtown GR its home and is a HIIT focused studio blending leading techniques into a one-of-a-kind training concept. Built for ALL fitness levels, FLEXcity sessions are 56 minutes and interval based, incorporating cardio, strength training, and flexibility into each and every class. This signature FLEX56 workout was created to make exercise fun and effective. If you don’t have time to pick and choose between 50 different classes and want to place your chips on a sure thing, check out FLEXcity.

Orange Theory Fitnessfitness studio

Located in Kentwood and Knapps Corner, Orange Theory Fitness takes your workout to a whole new level by incorporating data into the science behind getting sweaty. Each session is one hour and combines cardio with strength training using treadmills, indoor rowers, hand weights, and floor exercises to get serious results. During your gym session, you wear a heart-rate monitor that displays the data in real time on a screen, letting your trainer know how you are doing and keeping you accountable too. The goal is to hit the “Orange Effect” or the level where there’s increased energy and calorie burn up to 36 hours after the workout!

Grit Life fitness studio

Grit Life focuses not only on physical conditioning, but also nutrition, recovery, and mindfulness. It’s a community more than a workout class, and when it comes to fitness, there’s strength in numbers. They offer daily classes both indoor and outdoor that focus on boxing, full-body strength, and circuit training. Drop in classes are only $15.00, making it an affordable option anytime of the year.

Burn Boot Camp GR fitness studio

Ok, you’re a busy parent with a full-time job – how are you supposed to find time to work out? Enter Burn Boot Camp GR. Each class is only 45 minutes but boasts an average burn of 700 calories per session! AND they offer free childcare at select times throughout the week. They also provide members with Focus Meetings every three weeks, or one-on-one time spent with a trainer to help you track fitness, nutritional, even personal goals. It’s a true lifestyle transformation program that helps busy families make time to get their sweat on.

 MVP Sports Clubsfitness studio

If you want big-time variety and amazing amenities, MVP is your place! Offering over 400 complimentary group fitness classes each month, MVP Sports Clubs provides its members with classes to fit even the busiest schedule. From Group Power to Yoga, Aqua Fit to Zumba, they have what you need to get moving and get motivated! It’s anything and everything you would want in a workout facility.

Friction CrossFitfitness studio

It’s no secret that CrossFit has been taking the nation by storm, but have you checked out Friction CrossFit yet? At Friction, they leave the fancy equipment at the door and focus instead on great coaching and personalized attention. It’s group class, but the coaches and community at large are focused on helping you achieve optimal results by pushing you to the ultimate limit – and then a little bit further.  If you’re looking for a no-frills, personalized workout, head to Friction.

CKO Kickboxing fitness studio

CKO offers 30 group classes per week combining kickboxing with conditional drills for a total body workout. Located in North Downtown with free parking, their trial deal is unbeatable – 3 classes and kickboxing gloves for $20.00. Get all the stress of the day out at CKO and pack it into your punch!

 GR Challenge Center

Located on Monroe in the heart of Grand Rapids, the GR Challenge Center is more than a traditional fitness facility. It offers challenging, sweat-worthy classes such as Yoga, Strength, and Total Body workouts, but brings a community element to the class that isn’t easy to imitate. As a member, you are embraced by a family of fitness and health providers dedicated to helping you find your best self through understanding, coaching, and training. If you don’t want to be another face in the crowd, check out GR Challenge Center. 

YMCA of Greater GR

 fitness studio

Who doesn’t love the YMCA? Nobody. With multiple accessible locations peppered throughout the Grand Rapids region, a ridiculous amount of fitness classes for any ability level, child care, robust aquatics programming (the list goes on!) there’s something for everyone here. Get your sweat on exactly how you want to, without breaking the bank, at the Y.

Armentality Movement Arts Centerfitness studio

Find a low-stress workout that stills makes you sweat at Armentality Movement Arts Center. Joy, laughter, meditation, strength, and friendship are woven throughout every program at Armentality. Offering dance, yoga, concert dance, martial arts, global culture themes, fitness classes, and more, this facility is a place where you can get fit physically while also growing mentality at the same time. Feel energized and refreshed at Armentality.

Grab a towel, water bottle, and a friend to check out one of the 15 sweat-worthy hot spots in Grand Rapids. Share your favorite workout program or place with us in the comments below and be sure to subscribe to GR Healthy Living for all our latest updates and health happenings in the GR area!

SaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSave

Get to the heart of your healing journey, the natural way–that’s the idea behind GR Natural Health. A natural health center that focuses on patient-centered care, GR Natural Health does it all, really. Over the years, they have developed a collaborative team of practitioners who inspire their clients to restore all areas of wellness: physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual. I’ve visited these practitioners for a number of reasons, and can honestly say that everyone here is just amazing.

About GR Natural Healthnatural health

GR Natural Health is the only business in Grand Rapids that combines integrative health care with naturopathic medical professionals and natural healing methods such as acupuncture, health coaching, and energy therapy.

Practice Director & CEO: Kelly Peterson

natural health center

Kelly Peterson opened GR Natural Health inside a chiropractic office in 2012 after completing her doctorate in Naturopathic Medicine. Since then, the practice has moved to the west side of downtown. Her team of integrative practitioners and services and continues to grow. Over the years, Kelly has cultivated an environment that appeals to anyone seeking holistic wellness, clean beauty, spa services, and natural remedies.

What to Expect

natural health center

During my first visit, I instantly noticed the bright, clean, and relaxing ambiance. Plenty of windows and natural light create a beautiful environment that’s ideal for anyone’s health and wellness journey. The front desk staff is friendly, helpful, and make you feel right at home. Need extra guidance choosing a service or want to get to know a staff member? They offer complimentary 15-minute meet and greet consultations to get you on the right track.

natural health center

Ok. Let’s get a couple wonderings out of the way.

Acupuncture? Energy healing? Sounds a little woo-woo, I get it.

But, give it a try. I did. Stephen Durell, a National Board Certified acupuncturist who works out of GR Natural Health one day a week, treats a wide range of conditions.  After just one session with him, I felt totally refreshed, euphoric, and less achy. It was a serious difference and totally worth the investment.

natural health

I also had the pleasure of getting to know Chris Wheeler, an energy touch practitioner/ CranioSacral Therapist, and had an incredible experience. Her passion for showing people how the body can naturally heal itself was evident during my time with her.

natural health

By incorporating breath, spiritual guidance, guided meditation, and intention, she helps people recover from trauma, pain, and even disease. She has extraordinary testimonials from clients who have been healed through her spiritual energy work and the results are impressive.

Integrative Health Carenatural health

More and more people are realizing the importance of preventative and natural medicine. Being prescribed prescription medications without a long-term solution doesn’t fully treat the problem. GR Natural Health utilizes a medical director, David Johnson MD, and a team of naturopathic doctors to provide both conventional and alternative therapies. Naturopathic medicine decreases the need for medical interventions by improving your well-being, preventing disease, and enhancing your overall health.

natural health

Each doctor incorporates Integrative medicine, a healing-oriented practice that takes into account the whole person (body, mind, and spirit). Natural therapies include nutrition, exercise, stress/relaxation, herbal medicines, dietary supplements, and functional lab testing. Rest assured that you’ll not only receive sound medical advice but also additional support to enhance all areas of your life. 

Light Therapy

natural health center

LED Light Therapy offers serious benefits for the body, mind, and skin. LED stands for Light Emitting Diode.  It sends low level light energy into the deepest layers of the skin, which stimulates multiple functions of repair and regeneration depending on the color of the light used.  Each light produces chemical reactions throughout damaged blood and nerve cells, which enables healing and relieves pain. If you’re dealing with common concerns such as inflammation, slow healing wounds, depression, stress, or even fine lines and wrinkles, give LED Light Therapy a try!  It’s a safe, noninvasive, procedure to help your body heal itself naturally.

Health Coachingnatural health

Every staff member at GR Natural Health is invested in your health and wellness. For example, Andrea Hop, certified health coach, is passionate about making knowledgeable food choices and focused on improving all aspects of wellness. She really gets to the root of your nutritional needs and guides you through a comprehensive evaluation that determines how to take more control of your health through food, mental clarity, and daily routines/ habits.  She’s personable, educated, and empowers you to build healthier habits.

Holistic Spa Servicesnatural health

Claudia Ellenberger, the massage therapist, is phenomenal, and uses hot stones and cupping to help alleviate stress and tension. If you haven’t tried cupping, you must! It’s invigorating, therapeutic, and helps improve circulation. I’ve also been treated to many facials by their phenomenal team of Estheticians and holistic skin care specialists.

natural health

After months of treatment, I can say with confidence that they genuinely address your skin care needs, help you choose products that are most beneficial, and personalize each and every facial. GR Natural Health is committed to using organic, toxic-free products. The pumpkin and dark chocolate seasonal masks are heavenly. You can literally eat them, that’s how clean they are. Want to make your eyes really pop? They just added brow, lash, and waxing services.

natural health center

Treat yourself to a spa package for ultimate pampering and rejuvenation. If you need to restock, you can also purchase select skincare and makeup products via the GR Natural Health online store. I’ve used several from each line and LOVE the results. BONUS: They smell amazing and FEEL incredible. 

Plan a Visitnatural health center

GR Natural Health hosts fun and informative community events once a month including panel discussions that dive into healthcare concerns and trends. We especially loved the panel about cleansing and the many ways we can detox and give our bodies a break. Need a girl’s night out!? Stop by for their next beauty and spa event complete with appetizers, samples of skincare products, and mini facials!

Get Connectednatural health center

Want to schedule an appointment or learn more about the comprehensive services at GR Natural Health? Check out their integrative health blog or website, where staff regularly address a range of trending healthcare issues and controversial concerns. Schedule an appointment online or contact them anytime with questions. Oh! And you have to follow GR Natural Health on Instagram – they are all over it!

About the Author

Marjorie Behm founded GR Healthy Living in 2017 and has lived in Grand Rapids since 2006. She’s passionate about supporting local businesses that are positively impacting the community. She graduated from Hope College, has a Masters in Education, and loves anything health, wellness, and fitness related. When she’s not creating awesome content for GR Healthy Living, you can typically find her jogging Oscar the Weim (her sweet fur baby), exploring new trails on her road bike, planning travel adventures, and hanging with her friends and family.

 

With 111 parks, scenic sites, and recreation areas, Michigan boasts the largest state park system in America. Recreation culture runs strong in the Wolverine State, and Michigan’s numerous public lands are certainly reflective of how much we value our natural assets. From the Saharan sand dunes of Silver Lake to the rugged profiles of the Porcupine Mountains, Michigan’s state parks feature a diverse array of natural beauty. It’s an ambitious endeavor to visit them all, but you can get a pretty good scope of the state parks within a one-hour radius of Grand Rapids. Check these out:   

White Pine Trail State Parkstate parks

Image via @jenna.lorae.photography | Instagram

Grand Rapids’ closest state park starts right here in the city! White Pine Trail State Park is one of several “linear” state parks across the Mitten. Whether you bike a mile through Riverside Park, or the full 184-mile round-trip to Cadillac, the White Pine Trail is sure to make for a satisfying experience. Experience a slice of small-town Americana and Northern Michigan charm—it all starts in downtown GR!

Bass River State Recreation Areastate parks

Image via @court.e.allen | Instagram

At the Bass River-Grand River confluence lies a true hidden gem: 1,665 acres of hidden bayous, pristine lakes, and winding trails. Mountain bike single-tracks lace the woods near the western entrance. Canoers, kayakers, and paddleboarders can choose a slow float, winding creek, or open water on which to paddle. Equestrian trails venture into the seldom-traversed heart of the park. When you’re done adventuring, cool off at one of the many rope swings on Max Lake.

Yankee Springs State Recreation Areastate parks

Image via @adventures_0f_ktod | Instagram

The hilly terrain of Yankee Springs state parks is a haven for backpackers, boaters, and bikers. Hikers on the 4,600-mile North Country Trail often stop overnight at Deep Lake, while Gun Lake hosts countless kayaks, stand-up paddleboards, and sailboats daily. If you’re a mountain biker, test your skills at the annual Lord of the Springs event on 38 miles of glorious singletrack!

Ionia State Recreation Areastate parks

Image via @lindastouffer1 | Instagram

Most GR-Lansing commuters barely regard the Ionia exit on I-96, and that’s too bad. This charming small town on the Grand River is home to one of the most versatile state parks around. Fall is the perfect time in Ionia to pitch a tent or rent a mini-cabin! Hike the trails around Sessions Lake, or bike into town on the Grand River Valley Trail. In the winter, Ionia keeps the trails well maintained for cross-country skiers and snowshoers.

Hoffmaster State Parkstate parks

Image via @natalie_winter | Instagram

A 38-minute drive from downtown is all it takes to reach the golden sand beaches of Hoffmaster State Park. With its myriad of trails and dunes, it’s no wonder many locals call Hoffmaster one of their favorite Lake Michigan state parks. Hoffmaster is adjacent to Ottawa County Parks’ North Ottawa Dunes, so there’s always plenty of trails for hikers, skiers, and snowshoers to explore!

Saugatuck Dunes State Parkstate parks

Believe it or not, Saugatuck Dunes is actually a shorter drive than the beaches of Holland. And if you prefer to avoid the beach crowds, it’s a better option anyway. Miles of trails cut paths through the dunes, all leading out to a vast expanse of completely undeveloped Lake Michigan shoreline. If “long walks on the beach” is your thing, Saugatuck Dunes is your place.

Grand Haven State Parkstate parks

Image via @daisy.roux.mitten | Instagram

If one state park could be picked out of the line-up as the most quintessentially ‘Michigan,’ it’d be Grand Haven. You can’t beat those rosy sunsets at the pier, kite surfers bobbing on the waves, the smell of campfire smoke wafting over the beach… this is what being a Michigander is all about.

Holland State Parkstate parks

Speaking of iconic Michigan moments, taking in a sunset behind Holland’s “Big Red” lighthouse is definitely near the top. But there’s more to Holland State Park than the beach. Climb the steps to the top of Mt. Pisgah, rent a paddleboard on Lake Macatawa, or have a campfire and spend the night. Holland has a campground right on the beach, and another tucked back in the woods to suit all sorts of camping styles.

Newaygo State Parkstate parks

Image via @jesuz_28 | Instagram

“Up North” is a special phrase to Michiganders. It conjures images of towering pine forests, quiet lakes, and sweeping dune vistas. It’s the vacation capital of the Midwest. Just about any given Friday, there’s a long line of vehicles headed up 131, and for a good reason. The traffic usually disperses past Rockford, but you don’t have to go much further than that to experience one of the gateways to the north. Newaygo State Park is just 44 minutes from downtown, and it has all the Northern Michigan comforts you need to unwind from a week of fast-paced city life. A rustic campground on the shores of Hardy Dam Pond, lofty vantage points to take in a good sunrise, and thousands of acres of Manistee National Forest land all around you.

Muskegon State Parkstate parks

Image via @lllizzie | Instagram

If chilly weather doesn’t stop you from taking the tent or RV out for a weekend, head to Muskegon State Park. The campground is open year-round and sees few visitors in the offseason. If you’ve ever wanted a beachside campground all to yourself, you can make that happen here!

Across the street is where the party’s at. Just as camping and hiking season starts to wind down in Muskegon, winter sports are ramping up. The Muskegon Winter Sports Complex is one of the park’s best assets, complete with a luge track, hockey rinks, and trails for cross-country skiers, snowshoers, fat-tire mountain bikers, and even ice skaters. Yes, you can ice skate on a trail through the woods at Muskegon State Park! If you still need some coaxing on the merits of going outside in the winter, Muskegon will change your whole outlook on the season.

Duck Lake State Parkstate parks

Image via @steffyjoelle1 | Instagram

Another park just above that invisible “Up North” demarcation line, Duck Lake is a great place to see fall colors on the lakeshore. With acres of forests, undeveloped lakeshores, and one of the best beach views on Lake Michigan, Duck Lake State Park is sure to take your breath away.  

Kal-Haven Trail State Parkstate parks

Image via @theemilyforce | Instagram

For 33 miles, the Kal-Haven Trail cuts through orchards, blueberry patches, vineyards, and small towns along this former railroad corridor. As the name implies, you can find trailheads at Kalamazoo and South Haven, as well as at numerous villages along its route. Make sure you go through the covered bridge over the South Branch Black River!

Van Buren Trail State Parkstate parks

Image via @travis-worden | Instagram

Between the Kal-Haven Trail and the Van Buren Trail, South Haven is becoming somewhat of a biking hub of the state parks. This 14-mile linear state park heads through more vineyard-and-blueberry country on a southeast beeline toward Hartford. With fall colors peaking soon, it makes for a perfect day trip or out-and-back ride.

Van Buren State Parkstate parks

Image via @julie_lynn_rmz | Instagram

According to Google maps, Van Buren State Park is exactly 59 minutes from the corner of Fulton and Division. So if any of your go-to adventure pals are sticklers on the “one hour or less” rule, Van Buren is still in the cards. It’s worth the drive to see the towering dunes, the lofty overlooks, and the wooded trails. A paved spur trail connects the state park with the Van Buren Trail as it heads toward South Haven, making it easy to head into town for food, drinks, and things to do.

About the Author

Nick Meekhof  graduated from Calvin College with a major in writing and a minor in geography. A farmer for the first twenty-three years of his life, Nick currently works for the Michigan Department of Agriculture. When he’s not traversing the state conducting orchard inspections, he can be found exploring the rivers, forests, and small towns all throughout the Great Lakes State. His current goals include kayaking one hundred Michigan rivers, swimming in Lake Michigan during every month of the year, and visiting as many Michigan breweries as possible.Follow Nick’s adventures on Instagram: @puremichiganguy

 

 

You know the drill, it’s lunchtime and you’re starving. Maybe you forgot your lunch at home or maybe you just need to get outside a bit. Regardless, you’re on the hunt for a healthy lunch spot that doesn’t break the bank or enlarge your waistline. Luckily, Grand Rapids has a ton of healthy lunch locations that are both lovely and healthy. Here are my top choices for a lunch date or when I’m on the go:

The Sovengardlunch Grand Rapids

Photo via @thesovengard | Instagram

If you’re on the West Side and looking for a healthy lunch meal, The Sovengard is your place. They serve up locally sourced, seasonal fare that’s truly farm-to-table. Expect a delicious meal and a trendy, cozy atmosphere each and every visit. During the warmer months, enjoy their seasonal patio and Biergarten. You can’t go wrong with a lunch break paired with Bocce ball & incredible food.

Clean Juicelunch Grand Rapids

Photo via @ashleyesugg | Instagram

Located in Gaslight Village, Clean Juice serves 100% organic juices, smoothies and more. Enjoy a post-workout smoothie or acai bowl made with immune-boosting superfoods. If you’re a little hungrier, they also have toast, bites, and the Heart Healthy Smoothie is so filling. You’ll love the bright atmosphere and smoothie bar. There’s something for everyone!

The Green Welllunch Grand Rapids

Photo via @thegreenwell | Instagram

A local favorite day and night, The Green Well stacks its menu with a variety of healthy options. Think warm kale salad, smashed brussels sprouts or quinoa falafel wrap. They have an adorable patio that’s perfect for some fresh air during a much-needed lunch break and many unique, flavorful dishes. Enough said.

Wikiwiki Poke Shoplunch Grand Rapids

If you’re on Wealthy Street during lunch hour and craving a fishy fix, head to Wikiwiki Poke Shop. Their poke bowls are packed with protein and pure deliciousness. The sauces, flavors, and portions are perfect for a lunch on the go or you can relax in their casual, modern space. The O.G. and Gucchi Sushi are our go-to dish & if you’re looking for something really tasty and unique, try the Bowl’d Up.

Freshiilunch Grand Rapids

Photo via @freshii | Instagram

Located in Knapps Corner and Monroe Center, Freshii is one of the first restaurants to make kale and quinoa convenient for everyone. Turmeric juices, energy bites and grain bowls only skim the surface. They offer 7 different menu categories – bowls, burritos, salads, wraps, soups, smoothies & juices – and each one is full of innovation. We especially appreciate that they’re environmentally friendly and the variety of vegan/ vegetarian options.

CoreLife Eaterylunch Grand Rapids

Believe in the power of eating well with CoreLife Eatery. Food is viewed as a true energy source here. Enjoy green bowls, grain bowls, and broth bowls–always filling and always healthy. All of their ingredients are free of GMO’s, trans fats, artificial colors, sweeteners, and other artificial additives. That’s a huge high-five in my book.

Fruition Acai & Juice Bar

lunch Grand Rapids

Fruition Acai & Juice Bar is a super cute establishment serving fast healthy food for Grand Rapids folks. Choose from Acai bowls, juices, wraps, bagels, & toast. They even offer the original ‘I’ll-avo-bowl’–an avocado smashed base with your choice of toppings.  You’ll be obliged to snap a photo with Insta worthy ‘Acai You Baby’ neon sign. I also suggest their best-selling item, the fruition bowl!

Terra GRhealthy lunch Grand Rapids

Photo via @andi_fisher | Instagram

Terra GR serves up fresh woodfired pizzas, sustainable seafood, soups, salads and more. You can always count on Terra for a meal that’s not only filling but super delicious and guilt-free. The staff is top notch and they go out of their way to accommodate your dietary needs. Rest assured that their food is always served sustainably with a focus on local, healthy ingredients. The atmosphere is super cozy, dimly lit, and perfect for a relaxing lunch.

Local Salad & Deli Barslunch Grand Rapids

Photo via @ubcfoodie | Instagram

If you’re in a hurry or need a few grocery items in addition to lunch, check out the deli bar at Horrocks or Fresh Thyme. Both are stacked with amazing lunch options that are entirely customizable. They offer a variety of soups, every kind of salad topping imaginable, and even custom-made sandwiches. Grab a kombucha or some trail mix if you need to hit the road, and you’ll be all set.

Irie Kitchenlunch Grand Rapids

Photo via @irie.kitchen | Instagram

You can’t go wrong grabbing lunch at a spot infused with rhythmic Island music and positive vibes. Caribbean flavor and ethnic street food with a healthy twist, that’s Irie Kitchen. Try an Irie Box with Jerk Chicken, Rice, and Veggies – it’s the best! If you’re going the vegan/ vegetarian route, the vegan sampler with jerk tofu, curry garbanzo beans, and Irie shrooms is both filling plus oh-so-satisfying. The owners are intent on serving healthy, local options, and genuinely care about sustainability and quality of the food. Expect a plate full of healthy, organic, non-GMO food every time.

Bliss & Vinegarhealthy lunch Grand Rapids

Find fresh food, chopped salads and healthy cuisine at Bliss & Vinegar. (I love the name!) It’s a quick service, healthy option in the Forest Hills area. And their dressings are to die for. Not only can you pile your salads with a variety of tasty, healthy toppings, but they have soup with focaccia bread, warm bowls with a quinoa blend, and wraps. Need a healthy snack to go? Stash a few of their homemade protein bars in your car and you won’t be reaching for any junk food.

Sip Organic Juice Barhealthy lunch Grand Rapids

Photo via @bringoutyourbliss | Instagram

Nestled directly next to Bliss & Vinegar, find your juice fix at Sip Organic Juice Bar. This place was made for health and wellness fanatics. Not only do they use the highest quality, most sustainable ingredients, but they offer a variety of menu options that are packed with nutritional value. Think elixers (try HELP! for an anti-inflammatory cocktail), juices, smoothies, acai bowls, and sustainable meal replacements. The Jenergy bar compliments any smoothie and you can also scoop up lettuce wraps or infused water. For a complete reset, try their 3-day and 5-day raw food detox plans.

Grain Sandwich Shop

healthy lunch Grand Rapids

At Grain Sandwhich Shop, you’ll find traditional, staple lunch options with a healthy twist.  They only use the freshest local ingredients from local farms and meat shops (they even list the vendors on their website).  Try the That’s My Yam or Veg Head to get your vegetarian fix or the Chicken Salad to fill your sandwich craving. Need catering for your office or event? They have reasonably priced catering options and even offer bagged lunches.

There are my top lunch spots for a satisfying and delicious midday meal in Grand Rapids. Have I missed anything? Let me know in the comments! And be sure follow GR Healthy Living on Instagram for the latest health-related news and updates.

SaveSave

SaveSave

You may have heard about Michigan’s reputation as one of the top apple producing states in the country. But did you know that most of those apple orchards are concentrated just outside of Grand Rapids? Known locally as “the Ridge,” this agricultural mecca northwest of GR is home to dozens of orchards, where apples are grown by the billions. Take a drive up Fruit Ridge Avenue this fall, or better yet, get in on the action with eight great u-pick apple orchards!

Schwallier’s Country Basket

grand rapids apple orchards

Image via @creagekt  | Instagram

Conveniently located at the corner of 9 Mile and M37, Schwallier’s Country Basket offers all sorts of local produce grown minutes away. Schwallier’s grows fifteen different varieties of apples. Check out their Facebook page for the most recent information on U-Pick hours.

Ed Dunneback & Girls Farm Marketgrand rapids apple orchard

Image via @leannaalynn | Instagram

Look for the bright pink John Deere tractor; you can’t miss Ed Dunneback & Girls Farm Market. These “farm lovin’ females” know how to host a fun afternoon! In addition to the U-Pick apple orchards, Dunneback & Girls also have a corn maze, bakery, and gift shop on site. When you’re finished picking, treat yourself to a homemade caramel apple shake on the deck and enjoy those farm views!

Steffens Orchard Marketgrand rapids apple orchards

Image via @nataliegswanson | Instagram

Another great option on the Ridge is Steffens Orchard Market. Steffens will get you outfitted with wagons, bags, and baskets, and point you in the right direction. The hardest part will be deciding which of their ten delicious apple varieties to take home! An excellent option for those with kids, Steffens also has a swing set, wooden tractor, and a free moon bounce on the weekends.

Fruit Ridge Hayridesgrand rapids apple orchards

Image via @imagesbyallen | Instagram

What better way to #discovertheridge than to enjoy a hayride after apple picking? At Fruit Ridge Hayrides, you can do both! On Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays, you can easily lose track of time at the corn maze, petting zoo, pony rides, and of course, while picking your share of Honeycrisp.

Robinette’s Apple Haus & Winerygrand rapids apple orchards

Image via @fluffychelsea | Instagram

Of course, not every great apple orchard is located on the Ridge. Robinette’s Apple Haus is right at the corner of 4 Mile and East Beltline and has all the staples of the perfect fall day: U-Pick Apple orchards, a hiking trail through the farm, wine and cider tasting, hay rides, and a corn maze. Check out their website to see the latest apple varieties.  

Crane Orchardsgrand rapids apple orchards

Image via @heidikooienga | Instagram

A visit to Crane Orchards is well worth the drive to Fennville! Located on the shores of beautiful Hutchins Lake, U-Pickers at Crane’s are free to peruse the farm in search of all seventeen apple varieties. When you’ve picked your fill, be sure to stop at Crane’s Pie Pantry, the famous on-site restaurant that put Fennville, Michigan on the map!

Hanulcik Farm Marketgrand rapids apple orchards

Image via @brynn_lepien | Instagram

If you’re looking for apples on the east side of Grand Rapids, head to Hanulcik Farm Market in Ionia! A family operation since 1936, Hanulcik has seven apple varieties available for picking Friday through Sunday. You can also visit their farm market, where you can browse for local honey, maple syrup, and locally-made goat milk soap!

Summersweet Orchardgrand rapids apple orchards

Image via @sarah.grasman | Instagram

During the summer months, peaches and cherries steal the show at Summersweet Orchard in Caledonia, but apples are the main fall attraction! Located on 92nd Street east of Kalamazoo Avenue, Summersweet will keep you updated with the best spots, varieties, and picking times on their Facebook page.

Apple season is in full swing, so grab some friends and get out there!

About the Author

Nick Meekhof  graduated from Calvin College with a major in writing and a minor in geography. A farmer for the first twenty-three years of his life, Nick currently works for the Michigan Department of Agriculture. When he’s not traversing the state conducting orchard inspections, he can be found exploring the rivers, forests, and small towns all throughout the Great Lakes State. His current goals include kayaking one hundred Michigan rivers, swimming in Lake Michigan during every month of the year, and visiting as many Michigan breweries as possible.Follow Nick’s adventures on Instagram: @puremichiganguy

 

Grand Rapids’ bike trails are growing bigger and faster than ever! Bike lanes, signage, and miles of new bike trails are being installed all over the city. Local businesses host cycling events year-round and bike racks are a storefront staple. Between construction projects and the downtown parking scene, biking is quickly becoming a fun alternative to getting around. Whether you’re looking for a bike trail to get downtown, a scenic riverside loop, or a 90-mile journey toward the great white north, Grand Rapids is where it’s at!

Lemery Park Trail

1.9 miles one way

bike trails Grand Rapids

Image via @footballboi23 | Instagram

The city of Wyoming has some incredible green spaces tucked among its dense neighborhoods, and Lemery Park is one of these hidden gems. The park features a 1.9-mile bike trail along Buck Creek. It’s a great place to take in a quick ride along the water, but you can double the distance by biking through Palmer Park via the Buck Creek Nature Preserve.

Buck Creek Trail

2.1 miles one way

bike trails Grand Rapids

Image via @sak93_mtb4 | Instagram

Just down the road, you’ll find the Buck Creek Trail winding its way through Grandville. Never straying too far from the creek, this bike trail weaves through the southwest suburbs all the way out to the Grand River confluence. Parking is available at Wedgwood Park and downtown Grandville.

Plaster Creek Trail

2.8 miles one way

bike trails Grand Rapids

Image via @ericalangwoosah | Instagram

The foliage is dazzling along the Plaster Creek Trail, which hugs the banks of its namesake creek from Ken-o-sha Park to the Kroc Center. In addition to the paved trails, mountain bike trails are also interspersed throughout the greenway. You can get your fill of both styles on your ride!

Kentwood East-West Trail

3 miles one way

bike trails Grand Rapids

Image via @bbender785 | Instagram

The name is self-explanatory; it’s a bike trail that runs east-west through Kentwood. Starting at Kellogsville Park, the East West Trail traverses creeks, wetlands, and southside neighborhoods for three miles before joining the Thornapple Trail. More on that later.

Oxford Street Trail

3.1-mile loop

bike trails Grand Rapids

Image via @mpsteen2 | Instagram

South Dakota’s Black Hills might be famous for a different sort of bike scene, but this Grand Rapids neighborhood has a quality bike trail as well! Beginning on Oxford Street near Godfrey Avenue, the Oxford Street Trail connects the Black Hills to Millennium Park, the Kent Trails, and the rest of the downtown trail network. At 3.1 miles, it’s a scenic spot to train for 5Ks. The route includes views of the Grand River, the downtown skyline, and a restored urban prairie.

Interurban Trail

3.5 miles one-way

grand rapids bike trails

Image via @lancew3544 | Instagram

The Interurban Trail cuts a path through suburbia on the south side of Grand Rapids, connecting Godwin Heights to Kelloggsville. The simplest way to ride its length would be to start at Ideal Park in Wyoming, at the confluence of Buck and Pine Hill Creeks. After a short ride through the woods, the bike trail heads north over streams and through neighborhoods up to 36th Street.

Cannon Township Trail

4.8 miles one way

grand rapids bike trails

Image via @justinarltofficial | Instagram

On Grand Rapids’ northeast side, the Cannon Township Bike Trail offers a beautiful ride past lakes, over wetlands, and through wooded valleys. This is an excellent place to take in fall colors in a natural setting. Parking is available at the Cannon Township Hall, Townsend Park, and the village of Cannonsburg.

Standale Trail

5.7 miles one way

grand rapids bike trails

Image via @fanofbaacon | Instagram

2018 marks the 40th anniversary of the capture of Big Sid, a circus python that escapes its cage and roamed the streets of Standale, Michigan for over a month. Some spent the summer searching for the snake, while others stayed inside out of fear. Ultimately, it was a young couple on bicycles who found and helped capture Big Sid.

Today, you can bike the Standale Trail through the very farms and fields that Sid called home for one infamous summer. The trail connects Walker City Hall with the Millennium Park bike trail network. It features boardwalks, hills, bike trails, and a pedestrian tunnel. Be sure to stop in town for some ice cream, smoothies, or some Standale-brewed craft beer!

Flat River Trail

7.2 mile loop

grand rapids bike trails

Image via @theappleofmyisaac | Instagram

It’s a bit of a hike to get out to Greenville, but the Flat River Trail is one of the best loop bike trails in West Michigan. This 7.2-mile route follows a long, C-shaped arc along the Flat River through downtown Greenville. A couple of lakes are thrown in for good measure. There is hardly a curve on this loop in which something scenic isn’t revealed around the bend. The trailhead is conveniently located on M-57, right next to Castle Brewing Co.

M6 Trail

9.6 miles one way

grand rapids bike trails

Image via @bridget.beusing | Instagram

When M6 was installed as a way to get around Grand Rapids’ sprawling south side, planners of the highway had the good graces to include a bike path. You’ll find surprisingly lofty vantage points along this 9.6-mile corridor, high above the road where you can see the profile of 92nd Street Hill, some of the highest elevation in Kent County.

Thornapple Trail

10 miles one way to Caledonia

grand rapids bike trails

Image via @misstrish.311 | Instagram

If you start at 44th and Kalamazoo, it’ll be a 10-mile ride down the Paul Henry Thornapple Trail to get to Caledonia Lakeside Park. The plans are much bigger than that, however. Local municipalities are working on paving their own segments of this former railroad corridor, and soon you’ll be able to ride a bike trail all the way out to Vermontville, 42 miles away!

Kent Trails

15-mile network

grand rapids bike trails

Image via @zander.e.willoughby | Instagram

The pioneer of the Grand Rapids bike scene, we owe a lot of credit to the Kent Trails system. It was ahead of its time and still serves as the central hub to which future bike paths aim to connect. From the trailhead near John Ball Zoo, you can enjoy this unabridged bike trail network through Millennium Park all the way to Jenison, Grandville, Wyoming, or Byron Center.  Trail highlights include the Grand River, Buck Creek, the Sand Mines, and the Hopewell Indian Mounds.

Ada Township Trails

16-mile loop

grand rapids bike trails

Image via @melindak_photography | Instagram

Another great loop option, the Ada Township Trails run a hilly course around the northeast side of Grand Rapids. Beginning in downtown Ada, the loop offers wide panoramas of the Grand River, boardwalks over wetlands, and an endless array of fall foliage.  

Millennium Park

18-mile network

grand rapids bike trails

Recent transplants to Grand Rapids likely won’t remember when Millennium Park was just a 1400-acre sand mine, but today it is one of the finest parks in all of Michigan. Kent County Parks has invested deeply in Millennium Park, which now plays host to numerous bike races, running events, concerts, and even the X-Games.

The 18-mile network of bike trails is one of Millennium’s best assets. Frequent intersections allow for loops of any distance to be made. This makes Millennium an excellent destination for beginners through experts, and the varied terrain means there’s something new around every bend.

Musketawa Trail/Pioneer Trail

33.6 miles one way

grand rapids bike trails

Image via @fanofbaacon | Instagram

The Musketawa is another trail that’s been around for some time. This 22-mile linear bike trail runs from Marne all the way to Muskegon, stopping through small towns and bucolic farmlands along the way.

Recently, Kent County Parks built a connector route through Walker called the Pioneer Trail. This greenway provides a vital link between the Musketawa and the White Pine Trail, extending the route to Muskegon by eleven miles. It also gives Northwest-siders a convenient way to bike downtown.

Grand River Greenway

40 miles one way

grand rapids bike trails

Image via @theblehmgroup | Instagram

The project has been in the works for decades, as Ottawa County Parks quietly acquired riverfront parcel after parcel. The objective was announced just two years ago: the Grand River Greenway, a 40-mile swath of preserved natural areas along the southern shore of the Grand River. In addition to a water trail for paddlers and a habitat corridor for wildlife, the Greenway also includes plans for the Idema Explorers Trail, a bike trail path that will connect downtown Grand Rapids to Grand Haven’s lakeshore. Segments are still under construction, but keep an eye on this project. They’re making strides every day.

White Pine Bike Trail

92 miles one way

grand rapids bike trails

Image via @loose_spokes | Instagram

Some state parks are 92 miles long and only 20 feet wide. Such is the case of White Pine Trail State Park, West Michigan’s premier long-distance bike path. Many area bikers are familiar with the picturesque stretch that runs from downtown Grand Rapids up to Rockford, but few have attempted the daunting century ride to its terminus in Cadillac. The White Pine Trail crosses six major rivers, seventeen towns, and countless creeks and farms through Northern Michigan.

About the Author

Nick Meekhof  graduated from Calvin College with a major in writing and a minor in geography. A farmer for the first twenty-three years of his life, Nick currently works for the Michigan Department of Agriculture. When he’s not traversing the state conducting orchard inspections, he can be found exploring the rivers, forests, and small towns all throughout the Great Lakes State. His current goals include kayaking one hundred Michigan rivers, swimming in Lake Michigan during every month of the year, and visiting as many Michigan breweries as possible. Follow Nick’s adventures on Instagram: @puremichiganguy.

 

The leaves are changing, the temperatures are dipping, and Halloween costumes are popping up on grocery store shelves. It’s shaping up to be another beautiful fall in West Michigan! One of the best ways to take advantage of the autumn weather is to get off the couch, off the pavement, and perhaps even off the grid. Thankfully in Grand Rapids, we have no shortage of hiking trails just minutes from downtown. If ghost towns, bayous, hidden beaches, and the longest trail in America pique your interest, take some time this season to check out these 15 hiking trails near Grand Rapids you need to explore:

Aman Park

hiking trails Grand Rapids

Image via @cannon00 | Instagram

Aman Park is one of those places that seem to magnify whatever season it is. In the spring, the scent of budding flowers is almost intoxicating. In summer, the amount of lush greenery is staggering. In autumn, the fall colors are overwhelmingly vivid. In winter, snow sticks to the trees and the banks of Sand Creek in a way only Robert Frost could describe.

Located just seven miles west of Grand Rapids, Aman Park features 339 acres of wooded bottomland and towering bluffs. A meandering trail network allows hikers to observe various ecosystems all while feeling far removed from the city.

Knapp Valley Forest

hiking trails Grand Rapids

Image via @great.escape.fit | Instagram

Become one with the forest on Grand Rapids’ hilly northeast side. Knapp Valley Forest’s 87 acres of secluded trails provide the perfect daily dose of nature for anyone looking for a quick hike close to the city. Kent County Parks has done an excellent job keeping this quiet tract undeveloped, and under the radar.

Crahen Valley Park

hiking trails Grand Rapids

One of the best overlooks in the Grand Rapids area can be found at Crahen Valley Park, where biking and hiking trails traverse the hilly terrain just northeast of town. You might be able to see farther in the winter, when the leaves are off the trees, but the fall color explosion is hard to beat. The trail heads down a steep bank into Crahen Valley. You’re free to roam the numerous ravines, creeks, ponds, and prairies, before coming back up on the other side. As of now, Crahen Valley is mostly undeveloped, but there are big plans for the future. This includes a snowboarding hill, paved bike paths, and a fat-tire mountain bike trail. Until that happens, hikers are free to explore this unspoiled valley undisturbed.

Cascade Peace Park

Hiking Trail Grand Rapids

Image via @cannon00 | Instagram

Wendell Berry’s “The Peace of Wild Things,” inscribed on a large boulder, makes for a romantic first impression as one enters the wooded sanctuary of Cascade Peace Park. Topping out at almost 200 acres, there is plenty to explore along the wooded ravines of the Grand River valley. Four miles of trails wind through forest glades, spacious meadows, and leafy views of the river down below.

Lepard Nature Preserve

Hiking Trail Grand Rapids

Image via @meghan.worley | @Instagram

Don’t let the name scare you away; the only leopards you’ll find in Caledonia’s Lepard Preserve are of the amphibious kind. It’s a smaller park that often gets overlooked. If you’ve ever driven south on the East Beltline and noticed a stretch of woods gilded in October gold, chances are you’ve peered into the enchanting Lepard Preserve. A short loop follows a seasonal creek bed through deciduous trees and gently sloped ravines. When you get your fill of exploring, head down the road to EB Coffee & Pub, a combination coffee shop/brewery for some après-hike beverages.

Grand River Park

Hiking Trails Grand Rapids

Image via @puremichiganguy | Instagram

On the southwest side of Grand Rapids, Grand River Park has three miles of trails that showcase a wide range of scenery. The low-lying, riverside paths offer great views of the river, wetlands, and meadows blooming with wildflowers. Head further in, and you’ll find the higher elevation trails, where you can get an overview of the entire park through the fall foliage. The westernmost hiking trails give hikers a taste of “ravine country,” a local ecosystem of steep riverbank bluffs that line the Grand from Jenison all the way up past Allendale.

Grand Ravines Park

grand rapids hiking trails

Image via @puremichiganguy | Instagram

Just a couple miles downstream from Grand River Park, the ravines reach their most dramatic depths at the aptly named Grand Ravines Park. This is one of the most magical places to take in fall colors in West Michigan. The trails here include long, steep hiking trails to the heart of the ravines, a hundred feet below the bluffs’ sharply defined edges. Hiking the ravines during or after a heavy rainstorm is particularly satisfying, as the trickling creeks turn into torrents and temporary waterfalls.

Ottawa County Parks is fully invested in making Grand Ravines accessible for everyone, including off-leash dogs and those in wheelchairs. In addition to the dog park and paved trails, Grand Ravines also features a covered bridge, a kayak launch, and a 70-foot high suspension bridge. There’s always a new way to explore Grand Ravines!

Provin Hiking Trails

hiking trails Grand Rapids

If you’re ready to take your hiking game to the next level, Provin Trails are your provin’ grounds. The hills are steep, the hiking trails are sandy, and the routes are numerous. If you’re gearing up for a long day-hike, a big backpacking expedition, or if you’re trying snowshoes for the first time, a few laps at Provin Trails might be just what you need to test your readiness. The sandy, hilly terrain is a perfect match for the wilderness that awaits in Northern Michigan. It’s all right here on Grand Rapids’ northeast side. After your hike, reward yourself with some homemade cider or wine from Robinette’s Apple Haus, which is adjacent to the park.

North Country Trail

hiking trails Grand Rapids

Image via @puremichiganguy | Instagram

If you didn’t think backpacking was possible in Kent County, you’d be wrong. Did you know that the longest trail in the United States travels right through Grand Rapids’ backyard? The North Country National Scenic Trail is over 4,600 miles long—more than twice the length of the Appalachian—showcasing America’s northern tier of states from North Dakota to Vermont. It’s crazy to think that while on a walk in West Michigan’s woods, you’re on the same trail that stretches from the Missouri River badlands to the Appalachian Mountains. In addition, the NCT’s national headquarters are located right here in Lowell, MI!

Locally, the trail meanders through the Rogue River, Lowell, Middleville, and Barry State Game Areas, as well as a number of Kent County Parks. In addition to numerous private campgrounds adjacent to the trail, you can also camp for free in Game Areas between September 10 and May 15. Click here to see a map of the NCT’s route across West Michigan.

Seidman Park

hiking trails Grand Rapids

Another Kent County Park gem, Seidman Park showcases a plethora of habitats along its extensive trail system. Boardwalk trails traverse wetlands and paved hiking trails line the park’s perimeter, but the majority of pathways are natural-surfaced hiking trails. Boulder-strewn Honey Creek surges through the southern portion of the park. The hilly northern half hosts sweeping meadows, towering forests, and even an inland sand dune. The North Country Trail meanders through Seidman’s 435 acres. There’s always a chance you might stumble across a troupe of backpackers during their 4,600-mile journey.

For those who enjoy a spookier walk in the woods as Halloween nears, Seidman also delivers, as it’s reputed to be haunted by the ghost of the “Ada Witch.” Maybe do a double-take when looking over your shoulder!

Yankee Springs State Recreation Area

hiking trails Grand Rapids

Image via @alyssamcelheny | Instagram

Yankee Springs is one of GR’s nearest units in the Michigan State Park system, and the designation is well-deserved. There isn’t much you can’t do at Yankee Springs. The 5,200-acre park is loaded with options for camping, skiing, fishing, horseback riding, kayaking, paddleboarding, mountain biking, and backpacking. The park includes several miles of Gun Lake shoreline, widely regarded as one of the best recreation lakes in southern Michigan. It also has some of the highest elevation in the area. The North Country Trail weaves through it all, passing places like McDonald Lake, Graves Hill, Devil’s Soup Bowl, and Turner Creek.

Eastmanville Bayou

Grand Rapids hiking

Image via @puremichiganguy | Instagram

If you haven’t explored West Michigan’s bayou country yet, you’re in for a treat. The Grand River widens and slows as it nears Lake Michigan, creating brackish backwater lakes, the ideal habitat for turtles, herons, and bluegill. These bayous are often given colorful names, like Jubb, Dermo, Ripps, and Lloyd. You can find them on either side of the river as far upstream as Allendale. Eastmanville Bayou is one of the more developed parks, with trails running the narrow ridge of land between the bayou and the river. You’ll be transported straight into the southern Louisiana swampland, without having to watch out for alligators!

Pro tip: Wait till winter, when the mosquitos have died off and the ice is thick enough. You can hike back on the frozen bayou for a unique perspective.

Hemlock Crossing

Grand Rapids hiking

Image via @em_jo_mo | Instagram

As you head out closer to the lakeshore, you’ll notice that wind and sand are the primary factors that shape the land. This is true at Hemlock Crossing in West Olive, where you’ll notice two things: The trails become sandy and hilly, much like the dunes that rise out of Lake Michigan, and also the Pigeon River begins to wind, widen, and slow down—more bayou country. The trails are well marked and scenic. You can supplement your hike with a visit to Ottawa County’s Nature Education Center, located on site. They are open year-round and are happy to rent a pair of snowshoes for anyone looking to dabble in winter hiking.

Rosy Mound Natural Area

hiking Michigan

Image via @ottawacountyparks | Instagram

Thirty miles west of Grand Rapids you’ll find the golden sunset shores of Lake Michigan, nicknamed the ‘Gold Coast’ for a good reason. The lakeshore is filled with hidden gems like Rosy Mound, a park with a one-mile trail that leads back to a hidden beach. It’s a short hike, but a mile over sand dunes is about the toughest mile there is, so don’t underestimate the trail.

The sweeping view of Lake Michigan is well worth the effort. Depending on the lake temperature, the lakeshore can either be the first place or last place to experience fall color changes. This makes a trip to Rosy Mound feel kind of like a “bonus” week of peak color out of season. Whether you’re high up on the dunes or down at the waterline, sunsets at the Mound are always rosy.

Saugatuck Dunes State Park

hiking Lake Michigan

Image via @puremichiganguy | Instagram

A little further south, Saugatuck Dunes features a windswept, wilderness-like haven for hikers seeking that “off-the-grid” feeling. Along with the North Country Trail, Saugatuck Dunes is another local area where you can really rack up the distance. The park features thirteen miles of trails, not counting the lakeshore.

Lake Michigan has been high in recent years. This has created some spectacular sand cliffs along the shore, some higher than ten feet. If that’s not indicative enough of nature’s power, consider the fact that Michigan’s most famous ghost town was once swallowed up by the very sand dunes on which you tread, buried a couple hundred feet below the surface of the hiking trails.

The woods are beautiful and the weather’s even better. Get out on those beautiful hiking trails and explore!

About the Author

Nick Meekhof  graduated from Calvin College with a major in writing and a minor in geography. A farmer for the first twenty-three years of his life, Nick currently works for the Michigan Department of Agriculture. When he’s not traversing the state conducting orchard inspections, he can be found exploring the rivers, forests, and small towns all throughout the Great Lakes State. His current goals include kayaking one hundred Michigan rivers, swimming in Lake Michigan during every month of the year, and visiting as many Michigan breweries as possible.Follow Nick’s adventures on Instagram: @puremichiganguy

 

 

yoga studio

Finding the right yoga studio can be tough to navigate. Some appreciate meditative, calming yoga, while others prefer sweltering heat. Fortunately, the yoga movement is thriving in Grand Rapids and there are plenty of fantastic studios where you can practice. With our list of 14 tried-and-true list places, we’ve made it easier for you to find your flow!

Funky Buddha Yoga Hothouse

yoga studios

Funky Buddha Yoga was the first hot yoga studio in Grand Rapids and has since become an institution in West Michigan. They offer hot yoga that is ridiculously fun, sweaty, relevant to everyday life. This place is all about getting active: you will sweat, and you will work! The studio has a Bohemian-Esque studio complete with an artistic chalkboard wall, strung lights, and lively color. Given the popularity, the classes are typically packed, so get there early. During the summer, they host free yoga in the park and stand up paddleboard yoga. You can find a Funky Buddha studio in Holland, Eastown, and Forest Hills.

AM Yoga

yoga studio

Through service, community, and love, AM’s mission is to help you discover who you are by removing what you aren’t. As their name says, AM is practicing the state of I AM – Sadhana (daily spiritual practice) + Satsang (sacred gathering) + Seva (selfless service). The 60-minute Vinyasa classes are the perfect balance of stretch and strength training. If you’re in need of a longer, deeper stretch, then try out Yin Vinyasa. Find time to meditate with classes like Meditation Vinyasa and New Moon Meditation. They also offer community classes in beautiful spaces like the GRAM and other trendy spots.

Yoga Fever

yoga studio

Yoga Fever combines the ancient science of yoga with contemporary warm and hot vinyasa yoga classes. The tastefully decorated studio has a spacious lobby and practice room. Their vigorous classes deliver exceptional results and continual advancement in a supported environment. You’ll have room during class to focus your energy and get stronger in each pose. The instructors take the time to explain what your body should be doing. They pay particular attention to the actual history and philosophy of yoga. Their practice is inclusive, diverse, creative, and positive!

Kula Yoga

yoga studio

Looking for a downtown studio where everybody knows your name? Then Kula Yoga is the place to be. They aim to provide quality yoga instruction and it’s great for those on a budget. Kula is an inclusive, judgment-free zone. Yogis are encouraged to explore their practices under the guidance of knowledgeable and nurturing instructors. They offer different types of classes as well as frequent workshops designed to enrich your knowledge, practice, and foundation of yoga. The historic space is beautiful and the authentic instructors encourage students to explore and discover their personal practice.

Twisted Hot Yoga

yoga studio

If you want to turn up the heat, head to Twisted. Twisted’s hot yoga classes are 99 degrees and 45% humidity, to be exact! Their Push and Chill classes are not heated, but there is residual heat, which keeps the room nice and warm. They also offer an encouraging environment and their instructors are friendly, positive, and genuine. Each teacher has a slightly different specialty, but all are knowledgeable and passionate about yoga. The studio is the perfect balance between not too big and not too small. And the cool lavender towel they place on your forehead at the end of class is heavenly.

Grand Rapids Healing Yoga

yoga studio

If you’ve experienced trauma or want to use yoga as therapy, then GR Healing Yoga is the place for you. They encourage self-care, learning to befriend the body, and connection to the present moment. All teachers strive to protect students from physical, emotional, and psychological harm. The instructors are carefully trained and follow a complete code of ethics. They will empower you to feel stronger in your body, mind, and spirit.

From the Heart Yoga & Tai Chi Center

yoga studio

This studio is guaranteed to give you a fun, challenging, and potentially eye-opening workout for both body and heart. Founded by Behnje Masson and Rick Powell, From the Heart was one of the first studios opened in Grand Rapids. The expert instructors attract multiple internationally known teachers every year. The alignment-based principles will make you stronger, more flexible, and empowered. From the Heart is a beautiful and serene space with a welcoming atmosphere. They offer explicit instruction, a great workout, and time to get focused and relaxed. You will learn yoga in a way that prevents injury.

The Yoga Studio

yoga studio

The Yoga Studio instructors are trained in the Iyengar system of hatha yoga. They focus on precise alignment and uses props (blocks, straps, bolsters, blankets, the wall), so there is less risk of injury. Teachers of Iyengar Yoga are held to a high standard of knowledge that is rigorously maintained through ongoing study. The Iyengar philosophy connects both the body and mind through its holistic approach. Class sizes are small, so each student receives individual attention and guidance. The Yoga Studio will encourage your pursuit of self ­knowledge while providing a well-rounded practice.

PeaceLab Yoga

yoga studio

The Mission of PeaceLab Yoga is to create a warm, inviting yoga community where yogis of all experience levels can come together to share in the Art and Science of Yoga. They aim to empower each student on their path towards wellbeing, growth, and personal fulfillment. PeaceLab Yoga strives to offer the highest quality yoga programs in a serious, yet playful, environment. They accept you as you are and know when to challenge what you thought you couldn’t do. PeaceLab will also help you slow down and deepen your practice, work on peak poses, and learn about the elements of yoga history and philosophy. You can find a PeaceLab studio in Grandville!

Yoga Blue Studio

yoga studio

This studio’s admirable mission is to support the police, fire, medical professionals, their families, and the communities they serve. They offer a counterbalance to high-intensity, high adrenaline work days through breath and mindfulness. A unique feature is that they provide Broga, yoga for men, which combines core-strengthening, muscle-toning, cardio-working, stress-reducing, clarity-enhancing yoga postures with functional fitness exercises.

Renew Mama Studio

yoga studio

With a niche focus on motherhood, Renew Mama Studio provides a variety of classes, services, and resources to both prenatal and postnatal mothers. Their classes are taught by instructors who are specifically trained in this area. They also aid in the physical and emotional demands of labor, birth, and motherhood. Come in for a little “me time” or bring your baby for a great bonding experience. Renew Mama Studio is hyperfocused on building community and supporting women during their motherhood transition.

Seva Yoga

yoga studio

Seva offers a variety of classes that can be physically challenging or more calming and meditative. The teachers, atmosphere, and culture of Seva are all-inclusive and nurturing. The studio has a lively energy, like-minded people, and fun music! It’s a wonderful space for a breath-based, soulful practice. Great teachers, community, and the studio itself is beautiful and relaxing. No matter your style, no matter your experience level, there is a class for you.

Cascade Yoga Studio

yoga studio

At Cascade Yoga Studio, the teachers work from their heart. Each class offers a different kind of practice (vinyasa, gentle, therapeutic, etc), and they’re all beneficial. The relaxed environment, positive vibes, and special classes (yoga with live music, meditation) all make this studio unique.

Iyengar Yoga Center of Grand Rapids

Iyengar Yoga Center

Iyengar yoga develops strength, endurance, and optimal body alignment, in addition to flexibility and relaxation. The Iyengar method also focuses on self-awareness, intelligent evaluation, and profound inward reflection. All classes at the Iyengar Yoga Center are taught by experienced, dedicated, and rigorously trained Certified Iyengar Yoga Teachers (CIYT). The Iyengar Yoga Center has a beautiful new facility and the classes will leave you feeling refreshed and energized.