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Ottawa County Parks passes now available

• Mar 2, 2017 at 4:00 PM

It's cold today, but it’s not too early to start thinking about future beach days.

Of the 38 parks and open spaces in the Ottawa County Parks system, only five require a parking fee during the summer season, and a sixth requires a boat launch fee.

Parking fees are collected at North Beach Park, Kirk Park, Tunnel Park, Olive Shores and Rosy Mound Natural Area from Memorial Day weekend through Labor Day. A boat launch fee is collected at Riverside Park from May 1 through Labor Day.

An annual motor vehicle permit is an economical choice for frequent visitors or launch users. Annual permits can be purchased at park entrance gates when fees are in effect. There are limited annual permit sales available at Rosy Mound and Olive Shores trail heads when park attendant present; day passes are always available. Permits can also be purchased at the Nature Education Center or from the county parks office.

Boat launch permits can be purchased at the Oaklea Store, near Riverside Park.

Park users are invited to attend a free open house before the summer season at the newly renovated Kirk Park Lodge on May 6 from 2-5 p.m. The lodge is available to rent for events in the summer and for organized groups to rent for overnights in the off-season. Park passes will be available for pre-sale at the open house.

"We encourage park users to buy their passes early, so the lines move quicker on nice summer days," said parks spokesperson Jessica VanGinhoven.

Who does Ottawa County Parks charges fees at the lakeshore parks and boat launch?

"The boat launch and lakeshore parks are so busy during peak season that they require more supplies, maintenance, and onā€site staff," VanGinhoven said. "County residents receive discounted rates as they are contributing to the parks millage. These fees also give non-residents a way to support the parks system, since they often use our parks in the summer, but do not contribute to the county millage."

Annual permit pricing for 2017 is as follows: resident: $15; resident seniors: $7; resident multi-vehicle: annual pass plus $5; resident hang tag: $20; nonresident: $25.

Daily passes are also available.

Hang tags are new in 2017. These are great options for families with multiple vehicles, rental cars, or anyone hosting guests in the summer months. They do not affix to the windshield like permits do, but they must be displayed in the vehicle when the vehicle is at the park. They are available to residents only.

Note that a Michigan State Recreation Passport is not valid at Ottawa County Parks.

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