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Ottawa County's newest park opens Monday

Alexander Sinn • Oct 13, 2018 at 2:00 PM

FERRYSBURG — Ottawa County’s new Ottawa Sands park, with hiking and fishing opportunities, opens Monday.

The 345-acre property in Ferrysburg was acquired through a partnership between Ottawa County Parks and the Land Conservancy of West Michigan. It features a dune landscape with an 80-acre lake and views of the Grand River. Bald eagles and the endangered pitcher’s thistle call the former sand-mining property home.

While a variety of recreation opportunities are in store for the park, the initial opening will present visitors with hiking on about 4 miles of marked trails around the lake and catch-and-release fishing.

The park will open at 7 a.m., and county staff and volunteers will be on site throughout the day to welcome visitors.

Parking is available outside the park entrance on the south side of North Shore Drive, while additional parking can be found at the nearby Coast Guard Park and North Shore Beach.

Catch-and-release fishing is welcome along the shore of the lake, while county officials hope to eventually survey the lake to allow for boating and swimming opportunities.

There will not be public bathrooms or amenities on the site when the park opens.

The stakeholders are seeking donations to convince the Michigan Natural Resources Trust Fund to grant $4 million to Ottawa County to fully secure the park. 

The site also presents possibilities for a campground and trails connecting P.J. Hoffmaster State Park to the north and the nearby Kitchel-Lindquist Dunes Preserve to the south.

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