Approximately halfway up the Western coast of the Michigan mainland is the main attraction in Oceana County, the Silver Lake Sand Dunes. These dunes, a result of past glacial action that deposited a large amount of sand all over the western coast of Michigan, attract more than a million visitors each year, if not for their beauty, then for the chance to take their array of vehicles for a spin up and down the naturally formed dunes. While other Michigan beachtowns like Muskegon, Saugatuck, and South Haven offer up superb Michigan beaches, driving enthusiasts often flock here. Nowhere else in the state are you allowed off-road access to dune-driving, and when the park opens on April 1rst, you better believe there is a line of people waiting to do just that.
Silver Lake Sand Dunes is a state park comprised of
over 2,000 acres, 1.5 miles wide and 3 miles long, between
Silver Lake and the Lake Michigan shoreline. Divided into three parts, the northern section
is reserved for open all terrain driving, with the middle
section off limits to vehicles and intended for walking
and foot exploration, and those looking for some Michigan
hiking should find this a novel experience. The southern
edge is leased to Mac Wood's Dune Rides. Mac Wood's
company takes groups dune cruising on a 40-minute jaunt
throughout the dunes offering great views of the area.
Campers looking for a good spot to do some great Michigan
camping will find five different camp grounds to choose
Dune cruising is only allowed in a few areas of the country, the most notable being found here at Silver Lake Sand Dunes Michigan. If you have a 4x4, ATV, or passable motorcycle and want to test your skills, then go ahead, but be sure to follow the regulations and be aware that the dunes are ever changing due to wind and erosion and surprise drop-offs might lie in your intended direction. Regulations include a sound check on your vehicle with a limit on the noise it can put out, and a voucher system to reduce the build-up of riders waiting in long lines, especially on the weekends and holidays. The two types of vouchers include a Dune Ready Voucher which allows vehicles to access the Silver Lake Sand Dunes without having to wait at the parking lot/staging area, and the Parking Lot Voucher for those who are pulling their vehicle in tow. Both passes are free to park users, and can be attained at the ORV Voucher Center east of the Dunes access gate on the corner of Fox and Ridge roads. It is advised that you reduce the air pressure in your tires, and required that you mount a 10 foot orange flag to the front of your vehicle, which you can pick up at different area businesses. Other than that, mind your driving as park rangers are always on patrol and will ticket you for unsafe driving practices.
There is much more to do at these Michigan sand dunes than drive them. Kids love running up and down them, and there is a playground area and swimming area at Silver Lake. The whole family can cool off at the Lake Michigan shore, and the Little Point Sable historic lighthouse offers tours in the summer. If you are heading to these Michigan sand dunes in your RV, make your stop at the new Silver Creek RV Resort. Exclusively for RV's, it has 181 full hookup sites with cable, telephone, sewer, and water. Ultimately, however you get there, the water fun will be calling, and there are many water craft rentals at Silver Lake to quench your adventure needs. At Parrots Landing, take back to these top Michigan sand dunes with a rugged rental jeep, or hit the Silver Lake perimeters on a sporty moped. Wild Bill's Quad Rentals is your place to rent an ATV, and Woodshed Bike Rentals has you covered for some great Michigan biking. If you are hiking the walking section of the Silver Lake Sand Dunes Michigan, keep your eyes peeled for fulgurites, which are cylindrical pieces of sand-turned-glass by lightening strikes.
After your full day out taking advantage of all the things to do, head into Silver Lake Village for the dining and shopping options. Grab some candy and enjoy the gokarting, bumper cars, miniature golf, and paddle boats. For lodging, bring the family to the new Silver Sands Motel, within walking distance from Silver Lake and its prized Michigan sand dunes. It even has its own picnic area complete with grills, among its many family amenities. There is great camping at Silver Lake Sand Dunes Michigan with a couple of options to choose from, as well as cottage rentals and other hotel and motel establishments.