Parks tour offers summer guide to Montcalm County parks (Photo Gallery)

By Kelli Ameling • Last Updated 1:24 pm on Monday, May 07, 2012

Artman Park in Howard City is one of the most popular parks in Montcalm County for weddings. The park includes a pavilion with picnic tables and activities for all to enjoy. — Daily News/Kelli Ameling

Montcalm County is currently taking park reservations.
The Montcalm County Administrative Building (old courthouse) in Stanton is open from 8 a.m. until noon and 1 to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday.
Parks can be reserved by calling (989) 831-7300.


Montcalm County parks and pavilions officially opened for the season on Tuesday and will remain open until Oct. 31.

Members of the Montcalm County Parks & Recreation Commissioner took their annual parks tour on Tuesday.

Jeni Williams, administrative assistant for the Montcalm County Controller’s Office, said the commission usually tours the parks in May so notes can be taken if anything needs to be fixed before the parks enter the busy summer season.

McCarthy Park

McCarthy Park, located at 592 S. Greenville Road in Montcalm Township, is stocked with picnic tables, grills, pavilions and playground equipment.

“This is our most popular park for family reunions and open houses,” Williams noted.

Three pavilions are available for rent. The pavilions seat 200-400 people. The large pavilion can be rented for $100 or $50 for half. The two smaller pavilions can be rented for $50.

McCarthy Park was named after Lt. William “Mac” McCarthy a Montcalm County sheriff’s detective who was killed in the line of duty 30 years ago on April 27, 1982.

McCarthy party covers 26 acres that boarder the Flat River on the west, according to
People can hike, fish and swim at their own risk while at McCarthy Park.

Carl Paepke Flat River Nature Park

Carl Paepke Flat River Nature Park, located at 3494 S. Johnson Road in Montcalm Township, is a quiet nature park aligning the Flat River.

“It has 4,200 feet of frontage on the Flat River,” said Parks & Rec member and Montcalm County Drain Commissioner Don Cooper.

The nature trail is open for hiking and horseback riding. Once additional funding becomes available, the commission will look into expanding the parking lot so it is not as cramped when horse trailers come in.
“It’s one of our most beautiful parks,” Williams said.

The nature park sits on 69 acres and is not far from McCarthy Park, according to the county website.

Ford Lincoln Park

Ford Lincoln Park, located at 6551 Schmeid Road in Lakeview, is opened year round with the off-season being November to April and the in-season being May to October.

“It’s very nice,” observed Parks & Rec President Sally Thomsen.

The two heated cabins can fit about 20 people and come equipped with refrigerator and microwave. The two smaller cabins give campers a more rustic feel while camping on the north part of Townline Lake.

All four cabins have access to a heated dining hall, including a kitchen, bathrooms and showers.

Williams said campers can bring tents and small campers to the park; however, there are not hookups outside.

Ford Lincoln Park sits on three acres and is the only overnight park in Montcalm County, according to the county website.

The park is rented out for a week at a time. Williams said it is usually booked full for the months of June through August.

In the future, the commission would like to build another cabin when funds are available.

Schmeid Park

Schmeid Park, located at 5603 Caroline Drive in Lakeview, is a small park also located on the north part of Townline Lake. The park was gifted to the county and sits on four acres by the lake.

The park is a quiet place for people to picnic, barbecue or have children play on the playground equipment. The park also includes many recreational activities, including a basketball court, boat launch, fishing area and swimming.

“Someday we would like to put in a pavilion,” Thomsen said.

Schmeid Park is open to the public on a first-come, first-served basis and no reservations are needed.

Artman Park

Artman Park, located at 7095 N. Amy School Road in Howard City, is one of the more popular sites for weddings in Montcalm County.

“This is a two-piece park,” said Parks & Rec member Ron Braman.

This scenic park comes equipped with a picnic area and a bridge area. People can reserve the bridge area, which includes an island, or the picnic area for $40.

Artman Park sits on 30 acres with Tamarack Creek running through it. The area is available for swimming, hiking and fishing.

“We would eventually like to put a pavilion here too,” Williams said.

Krampe Park

Krampe Park, located at 14555 W. Church Road in Winfield Township, is a place where people can spend hours having fun.

“This is my favorite park,” Williams said. “It is beautiful in the summer.”

Krampe Park sits on Winfield Lake and gives people the feel of being on a peninsula because of how the lake wraps around the park.

A pavilion that holds up to 400 people can be rented for $100 or $50 for half. A group of eight tables can be reserved for $40.

The lake is known for wildlife and fishing.

The commission once applied for a grant to put in a handicap-accessible fishing pier at the park, but Winfield Lake residents were against the idea, so the proposal fell through.

That park is equipped with a small bandstand with electrical outlets, tables, grills, horseshoes and a playground with swings, slides and climbing equipment, beach access and a boat launch.

Bass Lake

Bass Lake, located in Vestaburg in the southwest corner of Richland Township, is a popular destination for swimming and boating.

The lake’s 100 acres includes a small public boat launch and picnic area.

No reservations are needed for Bass Lake Park.

“We have lots of nice parks,” Thomsen concluded. “And they are being used.”

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