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

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.


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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 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.

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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!!

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