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North Ottawa Dunes Lower Loop

Intermediate

Trail

2.1 mile 3.3 kilometer loop
Intermediate

Elevation

Ascent: 224' 68 m
Descent: -224' -68 m
High: 730' 222 m
Low: 611' 186 m

Grade

Avg Grade: 4% (2°)
Max Grade: 18% (10°)

Dogs

Leashed
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Map Key

Trail shared by Jessica VanGinhoven

A lollipop loop down to North Beach Park linking a handful of trails, staircases, and boardwalks with a few views.

Jessica VanGinhoven

Features Lake · Views

Family Friendly Short distance with access to the beach and restrooms. Stairs can be tricky for some visitors.

No bikes or horses. Trails open to cross country skiing in winter according to posted trail direction arrows. The stairs and boardwalk sections of this hike are closed to cross country skiing.

Overview

Don't let the shorter distance of this hike fool you as the nicely-constructed staircases still pose a good workout. That said, ask anyone who has tried to trudge up loose sand and you'll quickly understand the advantage to staircases in addition to their help with dune erosion.

Description

From the Coast Guard Park parking area, head west on the wide pathway above N Shore Rd and the parallel paved bike path. Pass Intersection 1 through the woods and take a left at Intersection 2 to head south, continuing up to Intersection 19. Turn left (southwest) for the final climb. Around 0.75 miles from the start, the hike reaches the high point for some views out toward the lake.

At this point, you'll arrive at the boardwalk and staircase section to descend toward North Beach Park. After enjoying some time at the shore, head back up the staircase to the right (further south) looping around the other side of the sandy slope you came down. Look for the Viewpoint platform around 1.1 miles from the start for a scenic resting point.

Finally, loop back to Intersection 20 to retrace your steps back to the start.

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  3.0 from 1 vote

#4429

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  3.0 from 1 vote
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Hike Rankings

#61

in Michigan

#4,429

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67 Since Dec 12, 2019
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Photos

Steep staircase in the fall" by Mike Lozon. Photo courtesy of Ottawa County Parks & Recreation.
Dec 9, 2019 near Ferrysburg, MI
Boardwalk and stairs at North Ottawa Dunes" by Mike Lozon. Photo courtesy of Ottawa County Parks & Recreation.
Dec 9, 2019 near Ferrysburg, MI
Stretching staircase at North Ottawa Dunes" by Mike Lozon. Photo courtesy of Ottawa County Parks & Recreation.
Dec 9, 2019 near Ferrysburg, MI

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