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Ottawa County Parks & Recreation

Ottawa Sands

New! Ottawa Sands concept plans now available scroll down to take a look and share your thoughts with us!

Ottawa Sands
Ottawa Sands
Ottawa Sands
Ottawa Sands
Ottawa Sands

18153 North Shore Drive
Ferrysburg, MI

Ottawa Sands Park


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.

Future Development

Initial Concept Plans – October 3, 2020

Initial public input events for the Ottawa Sands Master Plan have been completed, as well as natural features inventory and analysis of plant communities, wetlands, and herpetology. Based on this input, our consultant has developed two concepts and options for park development. They are available for your review below:

Concept Plan – November 24, 2020

The most recent version of the Ottawa Sands concept plan is the culmination of many months of site analysis, public discussion, and synthesis of these findings by the design team. Since the beginning, the design has revolved around several ideas relating to Ottawa County Parks well established overarching goal of providing appropriate public access and enjoyment of park sites while maintaining and enhancing their natural and aesthetic features.

Supporting Documents

After reviewing the plans, we welcome you to share feedback with us. Please send your comments via email by October 20, 2020. Feedback on the plans will be discussed at the November 4 Ottawa County Parks & Recreation Commission meeting from 3-5 pm. This meeting will be open to public comment via Zoom (meeting link will be available at

We encourage you to also review the inventory and analysis documentation below:

Focus Group Notes Field Day Notes
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


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.


  • 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.


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


There are no entry fees.