Ottawa County offices will be closed on Monday, May 27, 2024 in observance of Memorial Day.

Ottawa County Parks & Recreation

Ottawa Sands

Ottawa Sands
Ottawa Sands
Ottawa Sands
Ottawa Sands
Ottawa Sands

Ottawa Sands Closed for Construction

As of April 1, 2024, Ottawa Sands County Park will be closed. In addition to the work that continues at the Idema Explorers Camp, major construction will commence this spring on the day-use area parking lot and modern restroom, paved loop path around the lake, and ecological enhancements at the lake and other restoration areas in the park. All these activities make the park unsuitable for public use at this time. We are sorry for the inconvenience but look forward to opening all these projects later this summer. For announcements on when the park will reopen and when camp reservations will be taken, please follow us on Facebook.

Improvements to Ottawa Sands including the Idema Explorers Camp were jumpstarted with a $3.48 million gift from the Bill and Bea Idema Foundation. The camp features three treehouses, five yurts, and ten tent camp sites that offer unique overnight experiences. Combined with County Funds and State and Federal grant funding, park improvements will greatly enhance accessibility to the site for all users and improve natural habitat.

Learn More

Directions

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.

18280 North Shore Drive
Ferrysburg, MI

Hours

March 1 through October 15: 7am to 10pm
October 16 through February 28: 7am to 8pm

Fees

There are no entry fees.

Ottawa Sands Park

Ottawa Sands County Park Master Plan

Following months of public input and information gathering and the development and revision of multiple ideas and concepts, a final master plan for Ottawa Sands was approved at the December 2020 Parks Commission meeting. See the Ottawa Sands County Park Master Plan report for a complete description of the process and results.

Supporting Documents


If you would like updates regarding the master plan at this site as well as information about public meetings, please sign up here.
Financial assistance for the Ottawa Sands Master Plan was provided, in part, by the Coastal Management Program, Water Resources Division, Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy, under the National Coastal Zone Management program, through a grant from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, U.S. Department of Commerce. This grant leveraged funds from the Parks & Recreation millage. Funds were also donated to the project from the Ottawa County Parks Foundation. The Ottawa County Parks Foundation exists to ensure additional funds are available to support the parks system.

Amenities & Activities

  • Natural surface trail around the in-land lake
  • Marked hiking trails

Map

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.

Rules

  • 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.