Countdown to Dune Season - Think Dunes - Silver Lake Sand Dunes

Countdown to Dune Season

General News|March 29th, 2021

Opening day at the dunes is only days away! And lest any necessary COVID-19 restrictions occur in the meantime, it’s full speed ahead for a summer of sun, sand, and surf!

Are you ready?

Below, we’ve outlined everything you need to get yourself and your vehicle prepared for the dunes this summer — plus some information on what’s new with businesses in the area.


Enjoying the Silver Lake Sand Dunes in 2021

Pending any unexpected COVID-19 restrictions, the Silver Lake Sand Dunes will be open as usual for the 2021 season.

Never visited us before? Welcome! The Dunes at Silver Lake span 2,000 acres along the Lake Michigan shoreline. Altogether, the area is divided into three sections. In order from north to south, these sections are designated for:

  • Off-road vehicles
  • Hikers
  • Mac Wood’s Dune Rides (leased)

Hit the ORV area in your own dune-ready vehicle or one you rent in town, or enjoy the dunes on foot in the hiking area. Mac Wood’s Dune Rides also offers family-friendly dune tours all summer long.


Opening Day at the Dunes

The Silver Lake Sand Dunes will be open 7 days a week from April 1st through October 31st, 2021.


Summer Hours

Dune hours vary depending on where we are in the season:

April 1st – April 30th                          9:00am – 8:00pm
May 1st – September 15th                  9:00am – 10:00pm
September 16th – October 31st         9:00am – 8:00pm


What You Need to Ride the Dunes in an ORV

You may bring your own off-road vehicle or rent one in town. In order to operate an ORV on the dunes, you must:

  • Be 16 or older with a valid driver’s license


  • Be 12 or older with an ORV Safety Training Certificate obtained through the Michigan DNR. These individuals may only operate ATVs and motorcycles and must be under parental supervision.

Those who plan to use their own ORVs on the dunes (instead of renting) must:

Your vehicle must:

  • Be 4-wheel drive if it’s an ORV
  • Have tires filled to a maximum of 15 PSI
  • Feature an international orange safety flag:
    • For 4-wheel drive vehicles: Mount the safety flag to the front bumper, 10 feet off the ground
    • For an ATV or motorcycle: Mount the safety flag to the rear of the vehicle, 10 feet off the ground
  • Meet the sound level rules and testing requirements
  • Have seatbelts, and occupants must be belted at all times


  • If your vehicle does not have a metal roof or a roll bar, occupants must wear American National Standards Institute (ANSI) certified helmets or the equivalent at all times.
  • If your vehicle does not have a windshield, occupants must wear eye protection at all times.

Find out more about Michigan DNR dune requirements according to your vehicle type [,4570,7-350-79119_79148_80314_80651-424071–,00.html ].


What’s Open in the Area?

Currently, Silver Lake Area businesses are slowly opening back up as usual for the summer season. Campgrounds near the dunes are not open yet, but some hotels, motels, and resorts are — especially in the Hart area.

Also in the Hart area, nearly all restaurants and shops are open.

Other establishments currently open include:

  • Silverpoint General store
  • Duneland Off-Road Center
  • Country Diary

As the summer season approaches, we expect most area establishments to open normally as well.


Beat Cabin Fever! Start Planning Your Silver Lake Area Getaway Today!

After a year like 2020, we’re all looking forward to a more normal summer season in 2021. Ideally, we’ll be returning to warm summer nights spent with family and friends, fireworks on the 4th of July, and lots of dune and beach time!

As you plan your Silver Lake Area vacation, take some time to explore our site. We’ve got everything you need regarding where to stay, where to dine, and what to do while you’re in town.

Here’s to a year of getting back to normal and a great summer on the dunes!


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