300+ acres of land now open to the public in Ottawa County

Posted at 3:11 AM, Oct 15, 2018
and last updated 2018-10-15 05:35:13-04

FERRYSBURG, Mich. (AP) — A large swath of dunes and forest known as Ottawa Sands is opening to the public Monday in Ottawa County.

The 345-acre property is located on North Shore Drive along the Grand River, will have access to four miles of marked trails and catch-and release fishing.

Ottawa County Parks and the Land Conservancy of West Michigan, working in partnership, have a limited-time opportunity to save it from future development and preserve it for public enjoyment.

The property, which is valued at $11 million,  includes 219 acres of state-designated critical dunes, 5,585 feet of Grand River frontage and an 80-acre man-made inland lake.

It sits not far from the musical fountain in Grand Haven, has been privately held for many decades. It was long used for sand mining, but has been inactive for years.

County Parks Director John Scholtz says it's "one of our more exciting land acquisitions" and has "a lot of elements." 

The project includes preserving a section of Lake Michigan dunes and linking nearby parks and preservation areas . As of now, no swimming or water crafts are allowed, and all dogs must be on a leash.