Blake Walsh

20 Best Things to Do in Silver Lake, MI

  • Published 2023/03/17

Silver Lake beaches and their dunes are notable for having easy access to Lake Michigan, and it is a relatively low-crowded area.

The dunes at the Silver Lake and Hart, Michigan, are must-see Michigan favorites, with acres of wildlife, spectacular dunes, an off-road park, and miles of hiking trails and beaches.

You will find unique experiences and vistas here that you won’t find anyplace else.

The small-town charisma of Hart, Michigan, pooled with the exclusively attractive landscape, makes it the chosen beach trip destination for many local Michigan residents and tourists from across the state.

Enjoy the crispy, clean summers.

Rainy days can occur even on the dunes, and if they do, planning some indoor activities as backup is usually a good idea.

Here are some of the best things to do in Silver Lake, MI:

Walk the Silver Lake Sand Dunes

People riding quad bikes in Silver Lake Sand Dunes

mountainlion /

The Silver Lake Sand Dunes, which look like something out of the Lawrence of Arabia, entice travelers to explore their vast stretch of sand peaks, access 2,000 acres of pristine golden sand and take a boat across Silver Lake.

These soaring dunes may knock you down, so you’ll have to climb back up!

Golden sand dunes in Silver Lake

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Sandboarding the slopes is a fun challenge; you can borrow boards from various boating retailers in town.

You can also find rare fulgurites or small molten and solidified sand tubes formed by lightning strikes.

Vibrant sunset over Silver Lake Sand Dunes

John McCormick /

This walk is a journey from one side to another in the Silver Lake backwoods; it is a segment of hills connecting Silver Lake with Michigan Lake.

You can go on for another 3/4 of a mile, and then you can let go for rest and take a break for relaxation.

Explore Transportation History and Visit the Mears Museum

Visit Mears to see farm trucks, tractors, horse-drawn carriages, railroads, a station, dune buggies, and more historical modes of transportation.

This museum is a stunning place to use the day for families of all ages, with various excitement levels.

This area is thickly forested, creating an ideal camp atmosphere.

Each site features a picnic table, a fireplace, and police patrols.

Go to Mears to see the history of transportation from agricultural trucks, tractors, horse-drawn transport, trains and depots, mound trains, etc.

This historical area is stunning to visit.

Spend the Day at Michigan’s Adventure Amusement Park

The 2-in-1 theme park at Wild Water Adventure Park is a must-try at Michigan’s Adventure Amusement Park.

This place is beautiful for spending the day with families of all ages, appreciating the diversity of excitement levels.

Although Michigan’s Experience is a smaller amusement park than some of the other Cedar Fair parks, it still offers many rides.

Silver Lake, Hart, and Oceana County communities are rich in culture and history.

Though based on the timber trade, the location of the Little Point Dunes Lighthouse played a vital part in the Lakes International supply chain.

Try Dune Driving

Driving on the dunes of Silver Lake

Anna DeGroote /

The 450-acre off-road driving area is one of Silver Lake’s most popular spots.

Tourists may drive their own 4x4s up and over the dunes as long as they have an ORV license and a ten-foot orange flag.

Visitors can also hire off-road automobiles designed to withstand the unique challenges of racing on sand.

On the land east of the Mississippi, the dunes of the Silver Lake are the only ones that let tourists drive their vehicles through the shifting topography.

However, the ORV zone at Silver Lake is open only from April 1 to October 31.

Enjoy Fun Water Activities at Lake Michigan

There are excellent activity choices available at Silver Lake for swimming, surfing, and fishing (especially salmon and trout).

You can play in the sand and build various sand structures.

When Lake Michigan becomes too icy or windy, you can cross the dunes to reach a relatively warmer and smoother diving alternative in Silver Lake’s 690 acres inland.

Rent a kayak, paddle, speed boat, or powerboat from one of Mears’ water sports outfitters.

Wave Club Water Sports Services, nestled in the gorgeous Silver Lake Sand Dunes, offers a wide range of water sports goods.

You can spend a day skiing on Silver Lake’s surface or visit the Sand Dunes for sandboarding, volleyball, or just a day in the sun.

Ski watercraft, wave racers, boogie boards, yachts, sand surfers, and float boats are rental options.

Climb the Little Stable Lighthouse

Top view of Little Sable Lighthouse

Frederick Millett /

If you are looking for a beach picnic to watch the sunset over Lake Michigan, the Little Stable Lighthouse is a fantastic option.

Lighthouses have played an essential role in guiding ship captains and workers past dangerous shoals.

Little Sable Point Lighthouse is a stunning red brick building with 100 feet tall tower and a far-reaching light.

Majestic Little Stable Lighthouse in Silver Lake

Kenneth Keifer /

Till 1954, numerous lightkeepers maintained the lighthouse keepers’ cottage near the lighthouse.

The lighthouse, painted white, used to house lighthouse keeper’s apartments.

Now, it towers alone, with its 107 feet high, caramel-colored exterior soaring over the Lake Michigan beach.

Little Stable Lighthouse against the starry night sky

Craig Sterken /

Give Yourself an Adrenaline Rush at Craig’s Cruisers

The beach isn’t the only place you can have a thrilling adventure in Silver Lake, Michigan.

You can drive Bumper boats, go-karts, cable cars, mini-golf, and arcades at Craig’s Cruisers at Silver Lake.

Silver Lake Jellystone Park is also next door and offers contemporary camping amenities and carriage rides, basketball and volleyball, chess, ping pong, and other family outings.

Besides these carriage rides and field games facilities, you can enjoy amenities like water, electric, or sewer sites.

The inland coast encompasses thousands of acres of beautiful countryside, farms, and woodland, making it perfect for families looking to get away from the city and taste farm life.

Country Dairy is a genuine dairy farm that provides tours, a family’s play area, fresh-from-the-dairy ice cream, a full-service café, a store, etc.

Join the National Artichoke Festival

This Silver Lake spot holds a multitude of festivities from the first buds of spring until the first frost of October, and the National Artichoke Festival takes place in June.

In early autumn, attend the Oceana Country Fair to enjoy cooking festivals.

July 4th is the RV resort’s busiest summer weekend, so plan accordingly.

The weekend is a great time to enjoy plenty of activities for the whole family.

Luckily, the West Michigan campground is conveniently near all the fun!

Every year sees many 4th of July activities at the dunes campground and the Silver Lake area.

Visitors can climb the tower for a nominal fee to get amazing sights from a certain height.

See the Colors of Autumn at Hart-Montague

Autumn in Silver Lake

mivod /

Consider taking a bike or a stroll along the 22-mile Rail Trail of Hart-Montague.

This ten-foot trail, which runs through beautiful countryside, forests, and picturesque, is broad and well-paved.

Autumn is fresh and fascinating here.

The colors of flowers and trees make it more attractive.

There are a lot of places to relax or eat a delicious meal along the road.

Begin your journey from downtown and trail to experience a magnificent tour of the lovely region.

Explore the Hart Lake and Silver Lake

Bring your kayak or canoe to explore the region’s charm from a unique outlook.

Hart Lake and Silver Lake both have open boat launches and boat facilities.

At Happy Mohawk Canoe Livery, enjoy the gorgeous White River with various on-site activities.

Lake Michigan has the largest deposit from the freshwater hill on earth.

The Silver Lake sandhill is one of the sandhills east of the Mississippi River, where you can drive a private motorized vehicle.

It’s extreme to observe the distinction between two different types of countryside.

There are endless dunes; straight-line and forests begin unexpectedly.

It is said that the dunes appeared after part of the woods were cut down.

Explore Downtown and Historic Places

Take a stroll through Hart’s downtown section to enjoy the small lakefront area’s shopping and cuisine.

The Oceana region’s Genealogical and Historical Society has actively protected the area’s history.

You can find the Glover Railroad Caboose, Hart Railroad depot, and other historic structures in the vicinity.

This area is densely forested, creating an ideal camping environment.

Each site features a picnic table and a fireplace, and police patrols.

This historical area is gorgeous to visit.

Visit Silver Lake State Park

Boardwalk in Silver Lake State Park

Eddie J. Rodriquez /

Besides enjoying the dunes, visit the gorgeous 450-acre Silver Lake State Park on your off-road automobiles.

The 107-foot Little Sable Point Lighthouse is accessible to tourists from May to September.

Beautiful orange butterfly collecting nectar from Silver Lake State Park

William T Smith /

This park is a vacation wonderland with fascinating spins of dunes, tenting, trekking, fishing, and forest strolling.

Whenever you visit the lake, visit this park and enjoy beautiful off-road tracks.

Pay a Visit to William Bike Trails in Hart-Montague

Between Hart and Montague, this paved rail-trail spans 22.5 miles across 225 acres.

It’s famous because of its proximity to Lake Michigan.

The Trail is famous for another reason: secure, peaceful surroundings free of motorized traffic.

The Silver Lake area is also known for its art, with the magnificent natural environment providing a motivator for artists of many mediums.

This place is stunning to spend the day with families of all ages.

Go to the Silver Lake and Enjoy Delicious Meals

Silver Lake is a spot with various places offering mouth-watering meals.

Food is expertly flavored and perfectly cooked.

You can try many dishes as per your requirements, fun and taste both are at ones is such a chunk of the feast.

Regardless of whom you are traveling with, you can order any quantity of pizzas, burgers, dogs, deli sandwiches, fresh salads, or genuine Mexican cuisine.

Silver Lake is experiencing a culinary renaissance, with more beautiful places to choose from than ever before.

Locals frequent the same haunts that visitors from across town travel an hour to visit.

Join Events at Silver Lake

Fireworks on lakes with enormously stunning shows make lake camping more exciting and thrilling.

The reflections, colors, and ambiance are excellent.

The days between June 2nd-5th are exhilarating for having some fun activities such as jeep invasion, etc.

Enjoy a pleasant holiday where large numbers of jeeps invade dunes.

Another exciting time is July 2nd, when you can start your weekend festivities with Hart Sparks.

The annual fireworks display and amusement event draws around 4,000 people and continues to increase in popularity.

Different artists and bands such as The Blue Rooster Band perform live music alongside paint booths, art competitions, food stalls, and beyond!

Experience a Comfortable Stay at Sandy Shores Campground

Sandy Shores Campground is the best place for a seasonal nature experience with your family or group.

Established in 1981, this campground came to be because of the Klepper families.

With its spacious campsites and grass abundance, you can feel as close to nature as you possibly can.

It also offers well-rounded facilities, including an outdoor heated pool, picnic tables, and a modern bathhouse.

Your little ones may also like the playground and private beach.

There’s so much for you to explore at this one-of-a-kind site, so be sure to check it out.

You can find Sandy Shores Campground on West Silver Lake Road in the community of Mears.

Watch a Car Show at the Annual Apple BBQ Festival

The Apple BBQ Festival is a Silver Lake community tradition you should at least attend once.

This annual event takes place in Golden Township Park every September.

Featuring a wide selection of outdoor attractions, it celebrates harvest season in its entirety.

Some of the events you can anticipate include a Classic Car Show and Apple a Day 5k, which is a morning walk or marathon.

The Apple BBQ Festival also has an arts and crafts show.

For the children, there are yard games, face painting sessions, and pony rides.

And most of all, make sure you get your hands on some freshly-smoked barbecue from some of the best cooks within the community.

Gather the Whole Family for a Round of Fun at Dune Town Camp Resort

Whether you prefer traditional tent camping or a modern RV experience, Dune Town Camp Resort has your back.

If you came by Silver Lake years ago, you might know this campsite as Yogi Bear’s Jellystone Park.

It changed its name, but never its promise of a good time for the whole family.

This camp resort has 200 large campsites and full hookups.

Its onsite facilities include a playground, a recreation room, a heated swimming pool, and more!

Dune Town Camp Resort is on West Hazel Road.

Play a Fun Golf Game at Golden Sands Golf & Bucket Bar

Golden Sands Golf & Bucket Bar is your ticket for an enjoyable leisure time while in Silver Lake.

This site’s golf course features a 9-hole layout that you can play in 4 sets of tees.

It offers junior golf programs and major leagues for anyone willing to step up their golf game.

Created in 1999, it offers tight greens and breathtaking landscapes for a world-class golf adventure.

This attraction also has natural pathways and trails.

And the famous bucket bar brings the charm of backyard restaurants to its site with outdoor seating.

Golden Sands Golf & Bucket Bar is on Wilson Avenue.

Go on a Picnic at Golden Township Park at The Silver Lake Sand Dunes

Golden Township Park at The Silver Lake Sand Dunes is a downtown public park known for being the venue of the Apple BBQ Festival.

This 6-acre park operates under the management of Golden Township.

Acquired in 2012, this park has your usual public-use facilities.

With a large grassy area fit for vendor stations and stunning blooming flowers and foliage, it’s easily an ideal family destination for many.

Golden Township Park at The Silver Lake Sand Dunes is on West Silver Lake Road.

Final Thoughts

Silver Lake is one of the best places to enjoy indoor activities, outdoor activities, and shopping.

Anyone who visits there with the hopes of having a fantastic time and fun will surely fall in love with this incredible place.

So, if you’re setting up a plan for a trip or hangout, put it first on your itinerary.

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