Hawk Island County Park originated as a gravel pit that was established in the early 1940's by Sablain's Gravel Co. Gravel was mined and used for cement. Water filled the pit from underground aquifiers to form a pond. An island formed in the center of the pit from mined calcium carbonate by-products. Wild fish, turtle, and plant populations were established by seasonal flooding from nearby Sycamore Creek. The pond currently covers 30 acres and has a mean depth of 13.5 ft and maximum depth of 27 ft at a maximum water level.
In 1994, the Ingham County Board of Commissioners appropriated $300,000 to match a $900,000 Michigan Natural Resources Trust Fund grant to acquire the property known as the Sablain Gravel Pit.
In 1998, preliminary work was completed including the diversion of a storm drain from the lake to Sycamore Creek, the construction of a dike and spillway along the Sycamore Creek, the installation of perimeter fence and the planning of approximately 126 trees to provide a natural buffer along the eastern boundary.
In 1999, Phase I included restoration, and the first phase of a water resource oriented park, including picnic areas/shelters, sledding hills, cross-country ski rentals, boardwalks, and fishing docks, playground, roads and parking, and the maintenance building.
In 2000, Phase II included the construction of the swimming beach, including underwater grading, bathhouse/boat rental/snack bar, sand volleyball courts, additional fishing piers and boardwalks, a children's play area, and boat dock.
In 2001, the pond was partially drained to install a sand beach in the southeast corner. In July 2002, Hawk Island County Park opened to the public for swimming, boating, picnicking, and fishing.
A community built playground was added to the park in 2004 and a state-of-the-art Splash Pad® opened in August 2006.