Hawk Island County Park is A Local Favorite in All Seasons + 9 Tips for your Next Visit


Bring Kids of All Ages to Hawk Island

As a mom play-dating at parks in the Lansing area for over a decade, I can pinkie-promise that if you head over to Hawk Island kids of any age – and at any time of year – will have a blast!

It can be a challenge to find a park that caters to everyone, but this one seriously has it ALL  – from baby swings and a splash pad for toddlers to swimming, boat rentals, fishing, sand volleyball, and biking for the older kids.


The community-built playground is one of the best in the area.

The wooden play structure has two different sections for different ages – perfect for those of us wrangling babies, toddlers, and elementary ages all at once.

There’s Much More to Hawk Island Than its Playground


Some want to play but others want to bike?

The paved walking/biking path circles right by the playground and is a beautiful 1.5. mile loop – easy with a stroller or great for little bike riders (or your newest two-wheel learner!) to safely practice and ride.


No kids for the day? You can still stay in the loop! When I luck out and happen to have a few hours to myself, the paved path is a beautiful place to run or meet up for a walk with a friend.

Hawk Island is a Park for Both Warm AND Cold Weather Fun!


Hawk Island isn’t just great for all ages, it’s also great for ALL seasons.

In the hotter summer months, the splash pad is a blast (and I have to add, kept noticeably clean) with everything from small gentle fountains for the little ones to exciting pour-over buckets for the olders.

The bathrooms are next door for easy changing and bathroom stops, and concessions are convenient for an afternoon snack or ice cream treat!

The beach is a quick walk across the lawn and offers another fun place to swim and cool off. Lifeguards on duty add peace of mind and make sure the lake is a safe and family-friendly place to enjoy those carefree summer days.


After summer, Hawk Island is a place that actually gets us excited for winter to hit! The downhill tubing and warming shack are a ton of fun. The tubing is great for anyone – from the age of 2 all the way up to the active grandparents.

The mechanical hill lift makes it super easy for anyone to get to the top (again, and again, and again) so you can save all energy for the thrill of the ride.

Meet up with Friends at this Central Location


One of my favorite parts of Hawk Island is the location. It’s an easy drive from any side of Lansing (or suburb).

This makes it a great regular meeting spot for making memories with everyone you love, no matter what side of town!


9 Helpful Hawk Island Tips

01. Hawk Island Location:

Hawk Island is in south Lansing on 1601 E Cavanaugh Road, between Pennsylvania Ave and Aurelius Road. Park hours are between sunrise and sunset. Winter hours depend on conditions – you can check by calling 517-676-2233.


02. Three-In-One Annual Pass:

There is an entrance fee of $3 for an Ingham County resident or $5 for non-resident. You can also pay a $32 annual fee if you live in Ingham County  ($42 non-resident) – this gets you not only into Hawk Island for a year, but also into the Lake Lansing parks, Burchfield Park, and parking at the Lansing Zoo – if you visit these throughout the summer, it’s well worth it to get the pass.

Hawk Island Beach Kids water playground

03. Bathrooms:

Bathrooms are located on each side of the park – one next to the splash pad and the other across the park toward the tubing hill. From the playground, the bathrooms are a bit of a hike, so a potty-stop on your way in might help!


04. Parties & Hangouts:

Pavilions and grills are located around the park and can be reserved for events up to a year in advance by calling the park office 517-676-2233.

Hawk Island Park kids

05. For parents of fur babies:

Dogs are allowed in most areas of the park as long as they are on a leash, with the exception of the swimming area. Soldan Dog Park is also right next door and is the place to get a pup’s energy out!

Hawk Island Beach and splash pad Kids water playground

06. Trails and Adventure

The park’s hiking trails connect to the Lansing River City Trail, so the park is a great start and endpoint for a longer run or bike.

Hawk Island Water Park Lansing Kids

07. Travel Through Hawk Island Park with Ease

Each portion of the park comes with its own type of fun and this can require lots of “stuff.” Bring a stroller or cart to easily navigate the grounds.


08. Geocache through Hawk Island

There are a few geocaching located along the trails. Kids love to search and find treasures here. If it’s your first time geocaching try an app on your phone or Geocaching 101.

Hawk Island Outdoor Play Lansing Michigan Water Kids

09. Rent the Tubing Hill

The tubing hill can be rented out exclusively for a group. Great for a family reunion, birthday party, or field trip group. Find this year’s rates and details by calling the park office 517-676-2233.


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