Ottawa Sands Park: Fill Up on Gorgeous Lake Views, Dune Walking, & Bird Watching

Ottawa Sands path in fall Malski

The Ottawa Sands Park Trail is Just One Reason to Visit

Ottawa sands park

18153 N Shore Dr, Spring Lake, MI 49456

natural hiking paths through hardwoods, creek & hills
Trail Length: 2.9 mile loop
Trail Difficulty: Easy to Moderate, only because walking in the sand can be difficult. The trail is mostly flat.
Dogs Allowed? Yes, this is a popular spot for dogs, but they must be leashed.
Facilities: Port-a-potty facilities are available at the trailhead. Bring your own hand sanitizer.
Stroller Friendly? No
Time of Year Accessible: Open year-round.

WEBSITE

The Parks, Playgrounds & Trails Directory is proudly presented by John Ball Zoo. We are grateful for their support!

JBZoo parks series banner John Ball
There are many exciting adventures at John Ball Zoo this year.  Come see the Koalas and join us for all the favorite, fun events like Superhero Day, Princess Day, Kids Day and more.  For more details, visit JBZoo.org.  

The Ottawa Sands Trail is a newer Ottawa County park in Ferrysburg, MI, and is part of a strategic cluster of fabulous Ottawa County Parks.

If you’re looking for lots of hiking opportunities, you’ll want to explore this park as well as its neighbor to the north, North Ottawa Dunes park. Ottawa Sands gives a little taste of Michigan sand dunes. There’s sandy vibes, but without the large dunes to climb.

As an added bonus – there’s a great playground just across the street in Ferrysburg’s Coast Guard Park and a Lake Michigan Beach just down the road at North Beach Park.

Ottawa Sands Trail is one of over 50 walking trails in West Michigan.

ottawa sands trail

Ottawa Sands Park Details

We took our time and enjoyed the lake views as we walked, something that was easy to do on a beautiful, sunny 65-degree day.

I do not recommend this trek at midday on a hot, sunny day because there is no shade for most of the walk.

A few of the trail options lead to the Grand River. Our springtime visit found a few paths flooded, limiting the routes we could take. The Grand River section is pretty industrial and not nearly as picturesque as the lake views.

ottawa sands trail map

The far end of the lake is home to a number of birdhouses and that’s probably why we saw so many birds.

Fellow hikers were equipped with binoculars for birdwatching – something I would bring for a return hike (that, or a camera with a great zoom lens, although, sand.)

At one point along the trail was spotted a Bald eagle’s nest.

Ottawa Sands Park Bald Eagles
Ottawa Sands Park Bald Eagle Nesting Area

I had no idea they were so big! We didn’t see any movement in the area on our visit, but that would be another reason to bring those binoculars along.

When you’re done putting in your miles, there’s a fun ice cream shop – A La Mode ice cream – just down the street.

Ottawa Sands Park trail grasses Malski
Find More Hiking Trails GIF
Things to Do in Grand Rapids

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.

More to Explore

1 thought on “Ottawa Sands Park: Fill Up on Gorgeous Lake Views, Dune Walking, & Bird Watching”

  1. Just double checking so wrong info isn’t published… did you check that the portapotty wasn’t locked up? I was at 3 other parks nearby and they had theirs chained up. Thanks!!

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published.