Personally, Grand Ledge is my favorite city in the Greater Lansing area. It has everything that I love. The city sits directly above the Grand River and is mostly in Eaton county. The city is home to 7,786 people, so it’s a small town when compared to other cities around Lansing.
Grand Ledge got its name from the beautiful 300-million-year-old, sandstone and quartzite rock ledges that rise 60 feet above the Grand River. Kayaking down the river and seeing the ledges is always exciting. Many recreational rock climbers use the ledges to climb.
The ledges are one of the few areas in Michigan to go rock climbing. The sandstone ledges have over 100 different climbing routes ranging from beginner to advanced.
Like most cities around Lansing, the area was home to the Potawatomi, Chippewa, and Ottawa tribes. They all dug claims to the river and mined for coal on the river banks. Their name for the area translated to “Big Rocks”.
The city is composed of a downtown area along the Grand River and the rest of the city, which is more spacious with homes on a few acres of land. Interestingly, Grand Ledge became the second city in Michigan to get electric lights.
One of the State’s Best Football Teams
Grand Ledge schools were established in 1886. The district is composed of one early childhood and kindergarten center, four elementary schools, one middle school and one high school. The district scored an 8 out of 10 according to GreatSchools.org.
The school has great extracurricular activities and has one a great sports program. Their sports program is so good that the Grand Ledge Football team is among the best in the state. In 2015, they had an impressive 9-0 record.
While their sports are great, their academics are only slightly above average. The school has a 72% reading proficiency score, but is below average — 39% — when it comes math scores. However, the school has an impressive 89% graduation rate and an average ACT score of 26.
The school district has saw a lot of controversy over the last year as the last contract ended in June of 2015. The union and the school district have been working to negotiate a new contract. A lot of parents are concerned with how Grand Ledge has been treating their teachers.
Learn more about living in Grand Ledge
There isn’t much happening in Grand Ledge in terms of events — at least not in comparison to other parts of Lansing. However, Grand Ledge has two major parks — Fitzgerald and Oak Park — that people love.
Oak park is easy to get to and is where the ledges are. Walking down by the river and seeing the ledges is really an exciting experience. When my husband was attending school at Grand Valley State, they made a special field trip for his Geology class to see the ledges.
Fitzgerald park has three miles of nature trails to walk or run through. They also have some volleyball courts, basketball courts, and two horseshoe pits.
In the winter, it gets really fun because they have some excellent sledding hills. Snow days are a blast. They are also one of the few place to have some cross-country ski trails this far south in Michigan.
My favorite part is the 18-hole disc golf course they have available. And they have a place to launch your kayak, so you can take a nice trip down the Grand River.
Lansing has a humid continental climate that is influenced by the Great Lakes.
The region often experiences large seasonal temperature differences. The summers are hot, typically reaching 100-degrees in the peak of summer. The monthly daily average temperature in July is 71-degrees. It’s also very humid in the region, although not as bad as some parts of the Midwest. The winters are cold — sometimes severely cold. So cold, school is canceled just because it’s too cold out.
Precipitation is greatest during the summer, but we have significant snowfall which occurs from November to April. We average around 51 inches per season, but has far exceeded that average over the last couple of years. The growing season is short — only about 149 days.
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Grand Ledge is on the outer edge of the Lansing metropolitan area, so there is a lot of land available. Travelling to Grand Ledge from Lansing is easy. A quick shot down W. Saginaw will get you there. There are plenty of three-bedroom homes and homes with a lot of acreage. You can easily find a home with five-acres available. If easy access to the city, but being a bit more in the country is your taste, then you’ll love Grand Ledge.