11 Parks in Flint, Michigan

Last Updated on February 27, 2024 by Emily Johnson

Flint, Michigan is home to several wonderful parks that offer residents and visitors ample opportunities for recreation, relaxation, and connecting with nature. From scenic riverfront parks to community parks with sports fields and playgrounds, Flint has green spaces that appeal to outdoor enthusiasts of all ages.

#Park NameFeatures
1Riverbank ParkFeatures a unique design with waterways, perfect for water activities.
2Ballenger ParkOffers sports facilities and open spaces for various recreational uses.
3Kearsley ParkKnown for its historic pavilion and hosting community events.
4Max Brandon ParkProvides extensive trails, playgrounds, and picnic areas.
5Chevy CommonsTransformed industrial land into green space for events and leisure.
6Flint River TrailOffers scenic views along the Flint River, ideal for biking and walking.
7Bluebell BeachFeatures a beach along the Flint River, playground, and picnic areas.
8For-Mar Nature Preserve & ArboretumCombines nature preserve with educational programs and walking trails.
9McKinley ParkA community park with amenities for sports and family outings.
10Thread Lake ParkOffers boat access to Thread Lake and outdoor recreational opportunities.
11Vietnam Veterans Memorial ParkHonors veterans and provides a reflective space with walking paths.

This article will highlight 12 of the top parks in Flint and provide an overview of the amenities and attractions that each one offers. For families seeking playground equipment for their children or trails to walk their dogs, couples looking for romantic picnic spots, outdoor adventurers wanting to kayak or bike, and anyone desiring a breath of fresh air, Flint’s parks have something for you.

1.Riverbank Park

Name and Location: Riverbank Park is located along the Flint River at 130 Rico Road in Flint, Michigan.

History and Significance: Established in the 1990s, Riverbank Park transformed abandoned industrial land into a large recreational area for community gatherings, festivals, sporting events and outdoor relaxation along the Flint River.

What to Expect: Expect open spaces for soccer, rugby, cricket and disc golf, miles of paved trails, children’s playgrounds, fishing access points, performance pavilion, botanical garden, rental facilities and seasonal events.

Visitor Information: Park hours are 6am-10pm. Leashed pets allowed. Most amenities are free but some require rental fees.

Spanning 87 acres along the Flint River, Riverbank Park is one of the city’s most beloved green spaces. Visitors flock to the park to enjoy walks and bike rides on the scenic river trail, which extends 1.6 miles to connect Riverbank Park to Kearsley Park.

The paved trail offers easy walking and cycling with views of the river and its banks lined with trees and native vegetation. Fishing platforms along the riverbank allow anglers to cast their lines for walleye, bass, pike, and more.

For those seeking active recreation, Riverbank Park contains tennis courts, basketball courts, baseball diamonds, a skate park, and playground equipment including slides and swings. After working up an appetite, head over to the large covered pavilion which contains picnic tables and grills for cooking up the perfect BBQ lunch.

With ample parking and restroom facilities, Riverbank Park is great for hosting family reunions or other large gatherings. Its natural beauty, recreation amenities, and riverfront access make Riverbank Park one of Flint’s most valuable green gems.

2.Ballenger Park

Name and Location: Ballenger Park is a neighborhood park located at 2500 Worthington Drive in Flint, Michigan.

History and Significance: Developed in the 1960s, Ballenger Park provides close-to-home recreation with playgrounds, ball fields and open space for the many families living in the surrounding community.

What to Expect: Expect playground equipment for both older and younger children, a baseball diamond and basketball court, walking paths, trees and benches in a relaxed neighborhood setting.

Visitor Information: Open daily from dawn to dusk. No fees or reservations needed to use the park.

For residents of south Flint, Ballenger Park offers 65 acres of outdoor facilities and fields amid peaceful, green surroundings. Families make frequent visits to take full advantage of amenities including playground equipment, walking trails, basketball and tennis courts, baseball diamonds, and an 18-hole disc golf course.

The playground contains several climbing structures and slides which provide thrills for young children while the surrounding open field areas offer space to play catch, fly kites or simply spread out a blanket and relax.

Leagues and clubs often reserve Ballenger Park’s baseball diamonds, tennis courts, and indoor facilities for practices and competitive play. Inside the Harry A. Mitchell Recreation Center, visitors can shoot hoops in the full-sized gym or sign up for activities happening in the craft room and meeting spaces. Great for exercise, friendly games, or pure recreation, a trip to Ballenger Park delights visitors of all ages.

3.Kearsley Park

Name and Location: Kearsley Park is located along the Flint River at 2600 Ballenger Highway in Flint, Michigan.

History and Significance: Flint’s first municipal park built in the early 1900s, Kearsley Park offers recreation facilities and river access to enjoy sweeping views of the water and wooded bluffs surrounding this historic, community treasure.

What to Expect: Expect playing fields, tennis courts, playgrounds, picnic shelters, fishing spots along the river trail, a dance pavilion, rowing activities and scenic lookout points across its 160 acres.

Visitor Information: Park hours 6am-10pm. Some amenities like shelters and courts require reservation and fees.

Connecting to Flint’s beloved Riverbank Park, the 144 acres of Kearsley Park offer fresh air, scenic views, and plenty of recreation options to enjoy. Visitors delight in strolling or cycling on the trails, which wind through open grass areas and tranquil wooded sections along the Flint River bank.

The centerpiece of Kearsley Park is the memory pine grove honoring veterans with a moving plaque and row of trees. The expansive E.A. Cummings picnic grounds provides tables situated in relaxing, grassy hillside spots – perfect for family reunions.

For recreation, Kearsley Park contains tennis, basketball, and volleyball courts while baseball diamonds accommodate competitive leagues and youth sports. The campground and fishing sites allow visitors to fully immerse themselves in the natural surroundings while canoe and kayak launches provide access to the winding Flint River. With lovely scenery, recreation facilities, and walking trails, Kearsley Park is a beautiful oasis minutes from downtown Flint.

4.Max Brandon Park

Name and Location: Max Brandon Park is located along Thread Creek at 2100 Kraatz Road in Flint, Michigan.

History and Significance: Named after a 1970s Flint attorney and youth sports advocate, Max Brandon Park transformed a polluted industrial dumping ground into a 120 acre oasis with restored wetlands, trails and recreation facilities enjoyed by the community.

What to Expect: Expect paved walking/bike trails, fishing pond, picnic pavilion, playground, several sports fields, disc golf course and access to Thread Creek Scenic Trail linking parks across Genesee County.

Visitor Information: Daily hours dawn-to-dusk. Most park use is free but some fields and facilities require reservation and fees.

As one of Flint’s largest parks at 160 acres, Max Brandon Park offers delightful recreation opportunities including a 9-hole golf course featuring a driving range and clubhouse to supply gear. You don’t have to be a pro to try your skills on the course navigating sand traps, water hazards, and tree-lined greens.

Bordered by the Swartz Creek, the park landscape contains meadows, woods, and hilly terrain, which golfers traverse amid fresh air and sunshine. Visitors who prefer walking to golfing can explore the park trails and discover the wildlife who make their homes in the large wooded areas.

In addition to golf, Max Brandon Park provides facilities for softball, volleyball, horseshoes, and disc golf on its well-groomed grounds and lighted courts. Families delight in spending the day together picnicking, playing on the equipment at two different playground areas, or exploring the park’s natural habitats. Leashed dogs are also welcome in specified areas, ensuring the whole family can enjoy a day connecting with nature at Max Brandon Park.

5.Stephens Park

Name and Location: Stephens Park is located along Thread Creek at 1300 Pyclik Drive in Flint, Michigan.

History and Significance: Built along Thread Creek in the 1960s, Stephens Park offers open green space, playgrounds and league sports facilities conveniently located within a densely populated residential neighborhood.

What to Expect: Expect athletic fields for baseball, softball and soccer, playground equipment for both younger and older children, walking paths under the shade of tall trees, and creek access for fishing.

Visitor Information: Park hours dawn-to-dusk daily. Most recreation is free but athletic field reservations can be made for a nominal cost.

As one of Flint’s oldest parks located downtown along the Flint River, Stephens Park offers historical significance along with space to enjoy community gatherings or solo contemplation.

Upon entering Stephens Park, visitors see memorials honoring fallen veterans before walking through scenic grounds containing relic covered bridges, a wishing well, and the “constitution elm” dating back to the 1800s. On summer weekends, community groups host events at the covered picnic pavilion and outdoor amphitheater featuring live music, plays, and dance performances.

Stephens Park contains playground equipment including slides and swings for children to burn energy climbing and seeking thrills. Leashed dogs can walk the paved riverside trail with their owners and watch kayakers maneuver through gentle rapids.

Maintained flower beds, old stone bridges, veteran memorials, and towering historic trees give Stephens Park its endearing charm and make it a delightful place to visit in downtown Flint for residents and tourists alike.

6.Broome Park

Name and Location: Broome Park is located along Thread Creek at 2501 Flushing Road in Flint, Michigan.

History and Significance: Developed in the 1950s, Broome Park has long served the recreational needs of families in Flint’s south side with ball fields, playgrounds, open space and access to Thread Creek.

What to Expect: Expect a ball field complex, playground areas for both younger and older children, basketball court, trails along Thread Creek, and open green space for picnics under shade trees.

Visitor Information: Park hours dawn-to-dusk daily. Most amenities are free but occasional field reservations require fees.

Nestled next to the Flint River off Montgomery Street, Broome Park occupies a slice of green space in the midst of Flint’s busy urban setting. Visitors seek out the 44-acre park to connect with the peaceful environment and take advantage of amenities for recreation and relaxation.

Broome Park contains lighted tennis and basketball courts, baseball diamonds, open grassy fields for kite flying or frisbee, and playground equipment for children. Families gather for birthday parties under one of several covered pavilions outfitted with picnic tables and grills for tasty BBQs.

Two boat ramps provide access to the Flint River, allowing visitors to launch canoes, kayaks or floats for leisurely water-bound trips. Well-maintained walking trails wind through the park – perfect for joggers or dog walkers seeking exercise in the fresh air.

From bouncing on monkey bars to navigating river rapids, Broome Park appeals to visitors across ages and interests. Its scenic river frontage and diversity of recreation options makes Broome Park a fantastic natural refuge in the heart of Flint.

7.Thread Lake Park

Name and Location: Thread Lake Park is located at 300 W Pierson Road along Thread Lake in Flint, Michigan.

History and Significance: Developed along picturesque Thread Lake created by a damned portion of Thread Creek, this modern park built in the 1990s provides hiking trails, fishing access and open green space enjoyed by the growing suburban community.

What to Expect: Expect paved walking trails circling the lake, fishing access points, playground and picnic areas located on the water’s edge or scattered among open lawns surrounded by native trees.

Visitor Information: Open daily dawn-to-dusk. No admission fees. Catch and release fishing only. Leashed pets welcome.

For a peaceful lakefront retreat within Flint’s city limits, Thread Lake Park spans 32 acres bordering the shores of Thread Lake. Visitors claim picnic tables or open grassy areas to enjoy a relaxing afternoon fishing from the bank, reading in the shade of stately oaks, or simply admiring tranquil views across glistening waters.

For more adventure, a paved 2-mile walking trail encircles Thread Lake – ideal terrain for joggers, dog walkers, or cyclists to log some miles completely immersed in nature.

Kids expend endless energy climbing the jungle gym style equipment, navigating across rope bridges, and zooming down slides at two different playground areas. Game and league players appreciate several baseball diamonds, sand volleyball courts and full basketball court outfitted with bleachers.

Thread Lake Park also contains a covered pavilion hosting community events and ideal for groups to gather for a cookout. Quiet and scenic with plentiful amenities for play and relaxation, Thread Lake Park offers 32 acres of outdoor fun bordering the shores of shimmering Thread Lake.

8.Loft Apartments Park

Name and Location: Loft Apartments Park is a small neighborhood park located at 303 West First Avenue in downtown Flint, Michigan.

History and Significance: Created in the 2000s downtown revitalization efforts, this pocket park provides open green space and children’s play equipment conveniently located near Flint families residing in the surrounding apartments, condos and homes.

What to Expect: Expect playground equipment, a small basketball court, benches and trees contained within a compact city lot breathing life into the dense urban neighborhood.

Visitor Information: No admission fee. Open daily dawn-to-dusk for neighborhood use. Small size limits events and activities.

Tucked away off Lapeer Road, Loft Apartments Park offers neighborhood recreation space bordering the Swartz Creek. The charming 8 acres features open field areas where families come to picnic, fly kites, play catch, or spread out blankets to cloud watch for hours.

Two age specific playgrounds allow both little kids and big kids to challenge their coordination and dexterity climbing equipment, swinging over monkey bars, and zooming down slides. For more competition, groups gather on the basketball court outfitted with bright lighting and sound let’s play system.

A covered pavilion provides valuable shade from summer heat and shelter from light rain showers, containing tables where visitors enjoy meals together. Loft Apartments Park also features a splash pad with fountains spraying streams of cooling water for children to splash and play during steamy afternoons.

Providing playground equipment, basketball court, open green space and splash pad amenities, Loft Apartments Park delights both neighborhood kids and families.

9.Hanson Park

Name and Location: Hanson Park is located along the Flint River Trail at 121 E Hamilton Avenue in downtown Flint, Michigan.

History and Significance: Dedicated in the 1980s, Hanson Park transformed contaminated eyesore land into a rest stop along the River Trail featuring artistic metal arches symbolizing Flint’s resilient spirit as visitors pass through during walks or bike rides.

What to Expect: Expect paved trails, archway sculptures, interpretive signage, benches and landscape art blending nature with industry showcasing Flint’s past, present and future.

Visitor Information: Open daily dawn-to-dusk for strolling through or relaxing along the River Trail. No admission fees.

Flanked by the Swartz Creek, Flint’s Hanson Park occupies a pretty 67-acre landscape featuring meadows, woods, and hills – a delightful natural environment in an urban setting. Visitors follow walking trails lined with wild flowers as they wind down to the water’s edge then back up wooded slopes while breathing fresh air and watching birds flutter by. For more adventure on the trails, visitors pull cross country skis from nearby wooden storage sheds for winter gliding escapades across snow-covered fields.

In warmer months, families come for all-ages fun starting on one of three playground areas fitting the size and skills of toddlers, youth and teens. Grown-ups pair up for tennis or sand volleyball while kids take hacks at t-ball and coach’s pitch baseball diamonds.

With picnic pavilions and BBQ grills on site, it’s easy to make a full day enjoying playtime and mealtimes with an idyllic creekside backdrop. Offering both scenic nature rich in wildlife and plentiful facilities for active recreation, Hanson Park has something special for visitors across ages to delight in during their time in Flint.

10.Veteran’s Memorial Park

Name and Location: Veteran’s Memorial Park is located along the Flint River at 7000 Lennon Road in Swartz Creek, Michigan, just outside Flint city limits.

History and Significance: Opened on Memorial Day 2002, this park pays tribute to military veterans with a memorial wall and speeches plus activities after the annual parade held in the nearby city of Flint.

What to Expect: Expect a small riverside park with memorial wall, pedestrian bridge, walking trails, fishing access and open-air pavilion available for community events. The Memorial Day parade ends here.

Visitor Information: Open daily dawn to dusk. Free admission. Public may reserve the pavilion.

On the northeast side of Flint, Veteran’s Memorial Park lives up to its name with multiple memorials honoring military service members amid 24 tranquil acres. Gently waving American flags border the perimeter while visitors walk a Flag Plaza paying respect to POW/MIAs from all branches of the armed services.

Families gather for photo opportunities by an F15 Fighter Jet and Huey Helicopter before reading additional commemorative plaques honoring Flint veterans.

Beyond the moving memorials, Veteran’s Park contains open grassy areas perfect for friendly games of catch or laying out blankets for relaxing picnics. Two age appropriate playgrounds allow both older and younger children to swing, slide and climb for hours while parents rest on nearby benches.

Walking trails provide space to exercise leashed dogs or take peaceful strolls viewing additional bronze memorial pieces along the paved paths. A covered pavilion supplies shelter from sun or rain where groups enjoy meals around picnic tables after time spent honoring veterans on the grounds of Flint’s moving memorial park.

11.Berston Park

Name and Location: Berston Park is located at 3010 Collingwood Drive in Flint, Michigan.

History and Significance: Donated from family farmland, Berston Park first opened in the 1920s as one of Flint’s early neighborhood parks offering ball fields and open space for community gatherings and recreation, improved across the decades to better serve area families.

What to Expect: Expect athletic facilities for baseball, tennis and volleyball, playground equipment, walking paths, picnic tables, trees and open fields available for rental gatherings.

Visitor Information: Park hours dawn-to-dusk daily. Most use is free but reservations needed for rentals or athletic fields.

Nestled along Carpenter Road on Flint’s north side, the 10 acres of Berston Park supply recreation facilities and green space for neighborhood residents. Kids laugh their way down slides and test daring skills across jungle gym style equipment on two different playground areas fitting small children up to teens.

Adjacent open grass sections serve as practice space for youth football teams or pick-up soccer games while designated fields accommodate competitive baseball. A paved walking path lined with trees offers families a route for strolls while flower beds, planting boxes and wooden benches provide places to stop and appreciate views of blossoming color.

Sheltered picnic areas allow gatherings to unfold over shared meals without worrying about weather conditions. For spontaneous recreation, groups play catch with baseballs and footballs, kick balls back and forth or test accuracy throwing discs through the air across Berston Park’s well-groomed grounds. Meeting both recreation and relaxation needs, Berston Park creates valuable community green space on Flint’s north end.

Conclusion

Flint’s collection of scenic parks provides residents and visitors endless opportunities to enjoy fresh air, recreation, and the company of friends and family with beautiful natural backdrops. From Riverbank Park’s riverfront trail to Thread Lake Park’s peaceful lakeside picnic spots, Flint’s green spaces supply places for walkers, cyclists, kayakers and casual wanderers to retreat into nature’s beauty.

Parks spanning over 10 acres to over 160 acres allow outdoor fun from playgrounds and sports fields to wooded trails and waterway access. Visitors connect with heritage strolling aged grounds or pay respects interpreting veterans memorials.

Whether you call Flint home or are visiting to explore the city, make time to discover Flint’s parks system with over a dozen scenic destinations ready to relax, invigorate and inspire you.

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