Today was the day we have been waiting for with great anticipation, the grand opening at Boulder Ridge Wild Animal Park. We, it seems, were not alone. The parking lot filled quickly as families from all over arrived to see Michigan’s newest zoo.
Boulder Ridge is the brain child of Dave and Dawn Hoekstra, who for the last 20 years have developed a passion for wildlife and the desire to share it with others. Rick “the reptile guy” is also on staff and the three of them have developed something very special. Not only is Boulder Ridge an amazing place to visit, but they pride themselves on being self-sustaining by growing their own grain and hay.
Now you might be wondering why you should take the time to visit Boulder Ridge versus another zoo. Well for me, the fact they have animals that no other zoos in Michigan have, such as the cassowary, made the drive and price of admission well worth it. These prehistoric looking birds are very shy, but when disturbed, they are capable of inflicting serious injuries
What else does Boulder Ridge have to offer? Glad you asked! Their exhibit are is very nice. The reptile house is full of interesting critters. The bridge over the gator pond is a nice touch and the tractor ride tour is full of surprises. One of my son's favorite exhibits was the aviary, where you can feed the parakeets.
We could have spent hours in the aviary with all of his new "friends."
I am sure you all have been to the petting zoo portion of a zoo, but you have never had the chance to pet anything like the petting zoo at Boulder Ridge! When was the last time you petted a baby bison or a 4 day old wilderbeast!?!?! Not to mention I have it on good authority that the zebras are expecting and a baby zebra may be making an appearance in the petting zoo.
While Boulder Ridge does not currently offer food, they do have a beautiful picnic pavilion in the zoo you are welcome to use. The are in the process of putting in a play area for the children. And as a parent I am happy to announce their gift shop will not break the bank!
|One gator grabber thing, a snake and a stuffed parrot, less then $11. The dorky smile on his face? Priceless!|
I don't want to spoil your fun, because you really need to see this place for yourself, so I am only going to post a few more photos. I hope they peek your interest and get you motivated to go out and have some family fun this summer at Boulder Ridge Wild Animal Park!