North Beach Park – A West Michigan Gem
If you’re looking for a low-key alternative to the buzzing beach at Grand Haven, head to nearby North Beach Park in Ferrysburg, MI.
North Beach Park
18775 North Shore Drive, Ferrysburg, MI 49409
Families have great reason to love this lesser-known Lake Michigan destination; the large playground, updated facilities, and wheelchair-accessible beach walk make this beach a thoughtful escape.
Plus, North Beach Park is one of the closest spots around to find dunes with a short hike to a scenic overlook of the big lake.
You’ll want to stay late and watch a beautiful Lake Michigan sunset when your plans allow.
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PS – North Beach Park is on our list of over 50 walking trails in West Michigan and also on the 85+ playgrounds list, too!
North Beach Park Overview & FAQs
Where is North Beach Park?
Located about 45 minutes West of Grand Rapids, MI, North Beach Park is tucked away in a little spot in Ferrysburg, just north of Grand Haven.
Because of the sprawling Grand River and Spring Lake just south of here, there are very few roads leading to North Beach Park. It’s definitely off the beaten path – you have to work to get here.
When is North Beach Park open?
The park is open year-round but hours change seasonally.
March – Oct 15: 7 am – 10 pm
Oct 16 – Feb 28: 7 am – 8 pm
What amenities & activities are available at North Beach Park?
The park has a nice reservable picnic shelter next to the great playground.
You’ll also find:
- Sugar-sand Lake Michigan swimming beach
- Dune stair-climb trail with panoramic lake views
- Modern restrooms (closed in winter)
- Beach walkway
- Beach volleyball court
- Picnic tables and grills – some strategically placed near shade trees
- Hiking trails that connect with PJ Hoffmaster State Park
How is the parking?
Parking is typically easy at North Beach Park. The lot can get full on holidays or really good beach days, though.
There is a per vehicle fee for parking.
You can also park for free at Coast Guard Park and hike 0.6 miles through the woods to the beach (this is hilly.)
Does North Beach Park have an entrance fee?
Yes, if you’re visiting between Memorial Day and Labor Day.
The park is part of the Ottawa County Park system and charges its associated fees.
The daily motor vehicle fee is $8 per vehicle for residents or non-residents.
Purchase daily permits at the credit card pay station on-site if no attendant is available.
You may also purchase an annual permit sticker. It’s $25 for non-residents or $15 for Ottawa County residents.
This is strictly enforced; while we visited numerous vehicles were ticketed for non-compliance.
Are dogs allowed at North Beach Park?
It depends on the date. Dogs are allowed at North Beach Park in the off-season. Dogs are not permitted from May 1 – Sep 30. Any dogs that do visit the park must be on a 10-foot leash.
Is North Beach Park accessible?
A barrier-free beach walk will let wheelchair users get close to the sand but not always the water. In years past, the beach walk has extended further down the beach. In 2022, it is much shorter. In 2016, the park debuted a beach wheelchair. The playground does have an accessible swing.
What is the beach like?
The beach is large with 745 feet of sandy Lake Michigan shoreline.
It’s clean and well-kept.
The picnic pavilion, playground, and amenities are located on a hill perched above the beach.
You’ll need to climb down that hill to get to the water.
Are there lifeguards at North Beach Park?
No lifeguards are on duty at this park. Practice safe swim practices and be aware of changing weather conditions. Life jackets may be available for visitors to borrow.
Water currents in the lake can pull even good swimmers under. People drown in Lake Michigan every year, sometimes at North Beach Park. Use life jackets when swimming and learn how rip currents work.
What is the playground like?
The main playground structure is newer and has a soft, rubbery surface. It’s close to the pavilion.
There are several sets of swings nearby, with one accessible swing and several toddler swings.
Dune Hike Details
When you visit, be sure to climb the wooden staircase up the dune stairs for an amazing view of Lake Michigan on the dune deck.
The North Beach Park Loop is a short dune & lake view trail that includes boardwalks, stairs, sandy spots, and wooded sections.
Trail Length: 0.67 mile loop
Trail Difficulty: Easy to Intermediate
Hike to PJ Hoffmaster State Park
If you’re feeling ambitious, you can make the trek from North Beach Park to adjacent Hoffmaster State Park via the North Ottawa Dunes trail system.
The length of the hike varies with the trails you choose but plan on about a two-mile hike (one-way.)
Leave your comments about North Beach Park below!
Map of Grand Rapids Parks and Trails
Find your next outdoor adventure near you with this map of the best hiking trails, playgrounds, and parks in West Michigan.
1 thought on “North Beach Park: The Secret Lake Michigan Beach that Families Adore”
Can we bring in a motorhome for the day at north beach ( we have a handicapped daughter?