North Beach Park: The Secret Lake Michigan Beach that Families Adore

North Park Beach Ferrysburg MI

North Beach Park – A West Michigan Gem

North Beach Park, among the many west Michigan beachesis a low-key alternative to the buzzing beach at Grand Haven.

Families have great reason to love this lesser-known Lake Michigan destination in Ferrysburg MI: the large playground, updated facilities, and wheelchair-accessible beach walk make this a thoughtful escape.

North Beach Park Picnic Tables

Plus, North Beach Park is also one of over 50 hiking trails. It’s 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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North Beach Park Overview

18775 North Shore Dr, Ferrysburg, MI 49409

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.

North Beach Park Map

Amenities & Activities at North Beach Park

The park has a nice reservable picnic shelter next to the great playground.

Along with the shelter, there’s also picnic tables and grills – some strategically placed near shade trees

North Beach Park Picnic Table and Grill

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
  • Hiking trails that connect with PJ Hoffmaster State Park
North Park Beach Ferrysburg MI Restrooms
Restrooms and Vending Machines
North Beach Park Volleyball

Hit the Beach

The beach at North Beach Park is large, with 745 feet of sandy Lake Michigan shoreline.

It’s clean and well-kept.

North Park Beach

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.

North Beach Park Beach

There are 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.

BEACH SAFETY ALERT

Water currents in Lake Michigan can pull even good swimmers under. People drown in the lake every year. Pay attention to the flag system, use life jackets when swimming, and learn how rip currents work.

Video showing how rip currents work in Lake Michigan

Hike the Dunes

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.

North Beach Park Back Dunes
best lake michigan beaches - north beach park dune overlook
North Beach Park Dune Hike Michigan
North Beach Park map
Map by Ottawa County Parks

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.)

North Ottawa Dunes Trail Map
North Ottawa Dunes Trail Map

Take a Beach Break on the Playground

The main playground structure is located close to the pavilion.

It’s newer and has a soft, rubbery surface.

Playground at North Park Beach Ferrysburg MI

There are several sets of swings nearby, with one accessible swing and several toddler swings.

North Park Beach Playground
North Beach Park Swings

Parking at North Beach Park

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).

North Beach Park Parking Lot

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. 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.

North Beach Park Pay Station

FAQs

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.

How long is the hiking trail at North Beach Park?

North Beach Park has a 0.67 mile loop

What is the difficulty level of the hiking trail?

This is an easy trail, but does some stairs, sandy spots, and wooded sections.

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 time of year 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

Nearby Attractions

Hoffmaster State Park

Lake Michigan beach, camping & hiking destination

Ottawa Sands park

Hiking around the lake & maybe see Bald Eagles

Tanglefoot Park

Splash pad, kayak rentals, farmer’s market in Spring Lake

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.

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Legacy Park in downtown Ada

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