The only dune area in Michigan that allows vehicles, the Silver Lake State Park on the shores of Lake Michigan at Mears offers spectacular views and a lot of fun.
The park encompasses almost 3,000 acres, of which 450 acres are designated for off-highway riding. The park is open from April 1 through Oct. 31. The entrance fee for residents is $6 for a daily pass or $24 for an annual pass, which is good at all Michigan state parks. The non-resident fee is $8 a day or $29 for an annual pass. An ORV pass for vehicles is $16.25 and good all year.
Since the dunes are so popular, the state Department of Natural Resources, which operates the park, has a set of special rules.
All motor vehicles entering the park must have a Michigan State Park Motor Vehicle Permit, and all off-highway vehicles must have a Michigan ORV registration. Helmets are required.
Also, vehicles using the dunes must have a fluorescent orange warning flag that extends at least 10 feet from the ground. A spark arrester is required, and the muffler must meet a sound limit of 94 decibels.
Alcohol isn't allowed.
Also, the Department of Natural Resources has a voucher system to manage long lines on Saturdays, Sundays and holidays.
For more information, go to Michigan.gov/dnr or contact Silver Lake State Park, 9679-W State Park Rd., Mears, MI 49436 or call (231) 873-3083.