As a child, there were so many cool places to visit in the West Michigan area. We had Deer Park Funland in Muskegon (now Michigan's Adventure), Deer Forest in Coloma (now closed), and a place in Bradley called Plank Road Farm.

We visited Plank Road Farm more than the other places -- probably just because it was the closest one to Grand Rapids. It was located off US-131 at the Bradley exit. Many people have commented that the Gun Lake Casino now sits on the land that was once Plank Road Farm -- but I seem to remember the farm being a little further east than that.

From what I can find, it looks like Plank Road Farm opened in the 1960s. The farm offered the chance to pet farm animals and take hayrides. I remember the goats at the very front of the farm and how they would climb up structures to get to a bucket a food that was provided to them by a bucket on a rope with pulleys. Sadly, Plank Road Farm closed in 1979.

As a child, whenever our family went to visit a place like Plank Road Farm, for a souvenir I would get a felt pennant flag. Just about every place you visited had them for sale. I had them from Deer Park, Deer Forest, Castle Rock, Indian Village, and other places around the state. I also had one from Plank Road Farm! My pennants are long gone (I wonder whatever happened to them?) but Linda Dietrich posted a picture of one on Facebook...

Plank Road Farm Pennant
Photo: Facebook/Linda Dietrich

I miss good wholesome family attractions like this, however it today's high-tech, hustle bustle world, I'm just not sure a place like this could even survive. Even though places like this are long gone, they still live on in our memories!


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