Silver Lake is nestled between Muskegon and Pentwater, along the beautiful shores of Lake Michigan. Often called “The Paradise of the Midwest,” Silver Lake offers visitors a unique way to experience the sand and sun of the Great Lake state. Silver Lake draws crowds for its one-of-a-kind off-road vehicle area, sprawling beaches, and breathtaking sunsets. Join the fun and come play in what is considered to be one of the largest deposits of living dunes on the shores of Lake Michigan.
Cruise the Dunes
For the thrill-seekers out there, Silver Lake boasts a one-of-a-kind, 450-acre off-road vehicle area which is the only dune area in Michigan that allows vehicle access. The northern section of the dunes is designated for this purpose, allowing visitors to challenge their sand driving skills against the ever-changing dunes. Put your vehicle to the test here, or opt for a more relaxing adventure with a guided tour. The southern end of the dunes at Silver Lake is home to Mac Wood’s Dune Rides. Mac Wood’s has been serving Silver Lake for more than 85 years, offering visitors a 40-minute, 7-mile tour of the dunes. This guided tour is a thrilling and scenic experience that the whole family can enjoy. In addition to the guided tours, off-road vehicle rentals are available from a variety of different vendors.
Soak Up the Sun
Nothing quite compares to the beautiful beaches of Lake Michigan on a sunny summer day. Silver Lake boasts three miles of sandy Lake Michigan shoreline perfect for sunbathing, swimming, sand castle crafting, and seeing some of the most stunning sunsets imaginable. Here, you can scour the beach for fossils, rocks, and fulgurite or have a picnic under a nice shaded pavilion. The Silver Creek Channel is a warm-water inlet ideal for younger swimmers who aren’t quite ready for the big lake. After an active day of beach fun, stick around and catch the sunset over the calm waters of Lake Michigan for a perfect way to end a great day spent in Silver Lake.
Hike, Bike, and More
The central region of the dunes at Silver Lake is reserved for hiking, biking, sandboarding, and exploring. Stroll the tree-lined trails and take in the wonder of the dense forest canopy and active wildlife. Bike rentals are available if you’d prefer to pedal the path or take a leisurely walk and give yourself time to take in the sights. Explore the ever-changing landscape by hiking the rolling hills, or stroll the sand down to Light Sable Point Lighthouse. This 107-ft. lighthouse was constructed in 1874 and is open to the public seven days a week, from 10am to 5pm, with a small admission fee. Silver Lake State Park also offers supreme hiking trails and picnic tables for taking a break and refueling.
Catch Some Fish
With all the lakes, rivers, and streams Michigan has to offer, it would be a shame to visit Silver Lake and not take advantage of the great fishing opportunities offered here. Pick up some bait at the Silver Pointe General Store and catch everything from Salmon and Trout, to Northern Pike, Perch, and Bluegill. Just be sure you have a proper fishing license before casting off.
Crystal Lake: This lovely tree-lined, spring-fed lake is just south of Hart and is a supreme spot for snagging Smallmouth or Largemouth Bass.
Hart Lake: You don’t even need a boat to hook yourself something in Hart Lake, located in Downtown Hart. Simply drop a line off the bridge and you might hook a Yellow Perch, Black Crappie, or a Northern Pike.
Silver Lake: Take in the striking scenery of the sand dunes while you fish in Silver Lake, home to lots of Walleye, Bluegill, and Bass.
Lake Michigan: If the season's right, challenge yourself to some big lake fishing on the vast waters of Lake Michigan. Spring and fall are ideal for catching record-breaking Salmon, and Steelhead.
Up Your Golf Game
Silver Lake has a variety of beautiful golf courses, each boasting impeccably manicured greens and lovely scenery. If this warmer weather has you eager to get out the clubs and hit a few, Silver Lake makes a great destination!
Colonial Golf Course: Opened in 1999, this 18-hole championship course features a 12-acre driving range, bar & grill, and pro shop.
Golden Sands Golf Course: This unique par 4 course accommodates golfers of any skill level, making it a great destination if you're camping with teenagers or young children. Make sure to stop by the Bucket bar in between rounds to try the best herb-crusted pizza in Silver Lake.
Grand View Golf Course: This 18-hole course of gorgeous rolling terrain boasts spectacular views and features a driving range, picnic facilities, and a practice green.
Set Up Camp
Stay overnight in Silver Lake at one of its many spectacular campgrounds. Below are just a few RV-friendly options located conveniently near Silver Lake Sand Dunes, providing you with a great spot to relax and unwind after an active day of fun under the sun. The following campgrounds are all pet-friendly and offer full hookup sites.
Dunes Harbor Family Camp: This family-oriented campground is secluded in a woodland harbor just minutes from the Silver Lake Sand Dunes. With 168 private sites (10 pull-through sties), this self-titled Christian campground offers a pristine setting to camp and beautiful facilities to make your stay all the more comfortable. This campground features a water park, pool, full-service camp store, ice cream parlor, and an array of recreational activity courts.
Hideaway Campground Resort: Offering a peaceful and relaxing atmosphere for campers, this resort boasts large wooded campsites, with pull-through sites available. Located only minutes from the Silver Lake Sand Dunes, this campground features a camp store, a marvelous heated pool, and an on-site restaurant called the Lighthouse Grill.
Jellystone Park: Have a blast while you camp in one of 200 large campsites at the Jellystone Park, located right next door to Craig’s Cruisers. This park is great for families, and features a heated pool, arcade room, playground, hayrides, and nighttime tuck-ins from Yogi Bear himself!
You won’t have any trouble with boredom when you visit Silver Lake. With a variety of nearby attractions, there’s something to get everyone excited. Horseback ride at Rainbow Ranch, challenge the kiddos to some go-karting at Fast Trax, or travel back in time with a tour of the Hart Historic District. After an active day in Silver Lake, be sure to check out the Fox Barn Market and Winery in Shelby, MI, to unwind with a glass of their famous asparagus wine. Relax on their gorgeous outdoor patio, pick up some dried fruits, fresh produce, and sweet honey for the road, and browse their unique gift shop before you leave this beautifully restored antique barn. Lewis Farms and Country Dairy are less than a 20 minute drive from Silver Lake, and both offer an interesting and up-close experience with animals. Duck Lake State Park is just a quick 50 minute drive south of Silver Lake, and offers visitors with more beautiful beaches and sandy dunes. For great shopping, take a trip 26 minutes north to Pentwater and browse their streets lined with boutiques, stores, and restaurants.
With something to satisfy eager thrill-seekers or simple sunbathers and everyone in between, Silver Lake is a great destination for your next big adventure. With summer well on its way, there isn’t a better time than now to plan your trip to this sandy paradise.