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190. North Ottawa Dunes

July 11, 2011

Hikers get your shoes out and your cameras ready this is wonderful trail system just off the Lake Michigan shoreline, between the Grand River and the southern boundary of P.J. Hoffmaster State Park, this tract is one of the largest wooded dune assemblages remaining in the central West Michigan area. The property is uniquely situated between state, county and city parks and is adjacent to township-owned undeveloped land. This acquisition links P.J. Hoffmaster State Park, Ottawa County’s North Beach Park, Ferrysburg’s Coast Guard Park and undeveloped land owned by Spring Lake Township. This is a trail system that can not be enjoyed in an entire day and you want to come back several times. Because this park is linked with so many other parks the number of  opportunities of summer and winter fun is ginormous.

The property features tremendous topography with an elevation change of 185 feet in the parabolic dune formations. Eight distinct dunes in the rugged landscape exceed 750 feet in height. The property varies in width from 900 feet to 4,200 feet and has a north to south reach of approximately 10,200 feet (1.93 miles.) Today, this park offers 513 acres of wooded dunes located just off the Lake Michigan shoreline. Ten miles of hiking link North Ottawa Dunes to North Beach Park and P.J. Hoffmaster State Park. Some trails are designated for cross-country skiing. But NO Bikes on the trails.

Facilities

Access, trail head and parking at Coast Guard Park

Picnic tables

Modern restrooms during warm months

Hiking and ungroomed cross country ski trails

Park Hours

North Ottawa Dunes is open year-round at the following times.

April 1 through October 31 – 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. November 1 through March 31 – 7 a.m. to 8 p.m.

Fees

There are no entry fees.

Directions

North Ottawa Dunes is located in Spring Lake Township and the City of Ferrysburg. From US 31, take the Ferrysburg exit and go west on 3rd Street to North Shore Drive. Turn west on North Shore Drive and travel about 1 mile to the City of Ferrysburg’s Coast Guard Park. Enter Coast Guard Park and look for the North Ottawa Dunes trail head.

For trail maps and other detailed info visit: http://www.co.ottawa.mi.us/ParksVI/Parks/dunes.htm

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