People are not the only ones who enjoy walking on the beach and playing in Lake Michigan.

Laura Hardy / TSM
Laura Hardy / TSM
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Our fluffy four-legged friends also have a great time splashing in the water and running up and down the shore.

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A popular Lake Michigan dog beach which has had reduced hours since the COVID-19 pandemic began in 2020 is set to fully reopen later this spring.

After Four Years This Popular West Michigan Dog Beach Is Returning To Normal Hours

Kirk Park in Ottawa County, Michigan, is set to welcome back dogs and their owners to the beach with regular hours starting May 1st.

Credit: Canva
Credit: Canva
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The park, known for its scenic Lake Michigan views and nature trails, imposed limited dog beach hours during the pandemic, a measure that was further complicated by natural erosion issues.

The pandemic brought various restrictions in the interest of public safety.

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jarun011
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To reduce the spread of COVID-19, many recreational areas, including Kirk Park, adjusted their operation hours, which included reducing the hours when dogs were allowed on the beach.

Kirk Park Faced Other Challenges

However, the park faced additional challenges beyond the pandemic.

Credit: WZZM 13 via YouTube
Credit: WZZM 13 via YouTube
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High water levels on Lake Michigan led to significant shoreline erosion, which damaged the wooden stairways that provided access to the beach.

The erosion was so severe that it took out the stairs leading to the dog beach, requiring repairs and further limiting access to the area.

The Ottawa County Parks and Recreation Commission had to balance public safety with the desire to provide a space for dogs to play.

Matt Cardy/Getty Images
Matt Cardy/Getty Images
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As a result, they implemented restricted hours for the dog beach, allowing dogs on the beach outside of peak usage times.

When Will Kirk Park Return To Normal Dog Beach Hours

With the stairs being rebuilt and the dune stabilized, Kirk Park is set to return to normal dog beach hours.

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Getty Images Sport
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The park's hours of operation will be from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. from March 1 through October 15, and from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. from October 16 through February 28, with dogs allowed off-leash on the beach.

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Gallery Credit: Big Joe Pesh

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