From US-31, take the Ferrysburg exit west on to 3rd Street to North Shore Drive. Turn west on North Shore and travel just over one mile to the Ottawa Sands entrance (a tenth of a mile west of City of Ferrysburg's Coast Guard Park). Overflow parking is available at North Beach Park (lot not plowed in the winter) and Coast Guard Park.
Crucial Funding NeededAlthough Ottawa County Parks does not yet own the entire Ottawa Sands property, the 345-acre site opened to the public on October 15, 2018. Ottawa County Parks was able to purchase half of the property using a Michigan Natural Resources Trust Fund grant. The other half was purchased by the Land Conservancy of West Michigan, using a $4 million loan, and leased to Ottawa County Parks. A second grant application was submitted to the Michigan Natural Resources Trust Fund to fund acquisition of the remaining property and repay the loan. An announcement is expected in December. Until then, the Land Conservancy is fundraising to cover costs related to the loan and to permit the grant amount to be reduced, which would increase the likelihood of getting the grant. Without the Land Conservancy’s help, this property would likely have been sold to a private developer. Public support will be taken into account by the MNRTF and any amount of support will help.
Amenities & Activities
- Natural surface trail around the in-land lake
- Marked hiking trails
Anyone interested can make a contribution and
help save this property for public enjoyment and nature preservation:
Since the addition of this property to the county parks system was unexpected, funds are not available for its immediate development. For now the site will remain undeveloped.For more information about development, please click here.
Upon opening on October 15, 2018, these are some rules visitors should expect to follow:
- No swimming. For the safety of park users, swimming will not be allowed until a safe beach and necessary support facilities are developed.
- Catch and release fishing only. Ottawa County Parks is partnering with the DNR and MSU Extension to study the lake’s fishery and may revise this rule in the future.
- No live bait. Live bait can introduce invasive species; only use artificial bait while fishing.
- Boats, kayaks, canoes, paddle boards, inner tubes, and other watercraft on the lake are prohibited. The inland lake is free of invasive species. Watercraft can introduce invasive pests like zebra mussels, sea lamprey, and New Zealand mud snails. Access may be available in the future, after the park is developed.
- Dogs must be on a 10' leash and in control. There are no off-leash areas at this location.
- Hunting by special permit only.
- All other Ottawa County Parks rules and regulations are in effect
It is very likely these rules will be revised in the future after the park is developed.
This map shows the trail system and natural features at Ottawa Sands. The 345-acre property sits between green space owned by the cities of Grand Haven and Ferrysburg and North Ottawa Dunes. The site has long been used for sand mining, but has been inactive in recent years. The property includes forested dunes, an 80-acre inland lake, and riverfront land with wetlands. This property will remain undeveloped until funding is available to make improvements.
March 1 through October 15: 7am to 10pm
October 16 through February 28: 7am to 8pm
There are no entry fees.