North Beach Park – A West Michigan Gem
North Beach Park, among the many west Michigan beaches, is 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.
You’ll want to stay late and watch a beautiful Lake Michigan sunset when your plans allow.
North Beach Park Overview
18775 North Shore Drive, 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.
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
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
There are several sets of swings nearby, with one accessible swing and several toddler 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).
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.
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
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.