The acquisition of this 80-acre parcel by Ottawa County Parks is part of a property exchange spearheaded by Spring Lake Township.
On Thursday, January 12 Ottawa County Parks closed on an 80-acre parcel expanding North Ottawa Dunes in Spring Lake, increasing the total acreage of the park to 593 acres.
The additional land is located on the eastern edge of the park and surrounded on three sides by park property. Because of its geography and natural features, it has been considered an integral piece to add to the park by both Ottawa County Parks and Spring Lake Township for a decade.
“This expansion has been part of our planning for some time now and we couldn’t be more pleased to complete this park. We also want to recognize the all of the effort John Nash, Spring Lake Township Supervisor, and his board have made over the years to help secure this land for the public,” said Parks Director, John Scholtz.
Land to establish North Ottawa Dunes was acquired in late 2005 and trails and parking were completed in 2009. Ottawa County Parks will survey the new property in early 2017 and plans to develop and mark the trails during the spring and summer. The new addition is approximately one-mile in length.
The land was acquired by way of a property exchange between Spring Lake Township and David C. Bos Homes, a negotiation spearheaded by Spring Lake Township. Ottawa County Parks contributed $400,000 from their millage for the property.
The property is primarily backdune forest dominated by sugar maple, American beech, Eastern hemlock and red oak. Over thousands of years, these dunes have changed from bare sand to lush forest through a process called succession. North Ottawa Dunes features tremendous topography with a number of dunes exceeding 175 feet in height.
More information about North Ottawa Dunes:
North Ottawa Dunes is part of a unique freshwater dune system that extends along the Lake Michigan shoreline from Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore in the southern end of Lake Michigan to Wilderness State Park just south of the Mackinaw Bridge. Immediately south of P.J. Hoffmaster State Park, the two parks are some of the largest wooded dune assemblages remaining in central West Michigan. These dunes are the biggest and most extensive freshwater dunes anywhere in the world. They formed over the last 5,000 years as westerly winds moved the large amounts of sand on shore where beach grasses stabilized the sand and began the dune building process.