Reflections on a Great 2021 Dune Season - Think Dunes - Silver Lake Sand Dunes

Reflections on a Great 2021 Dune Season

General News|October 29th, 2021

As the leaves begin to turn and sweaters and boots replace tank tops and sandals, we wanted to take this opportunity to reflect on our past season at the dunes.

Although as a region and a nation we faced many of the same challenges as we faced in 2020 this year, we are immensely proud of the way our community came together with creativity and tenacity. In the end, it was a record-breaking season — with well-over one million visitors at the State Park alone.

As October 31st officially marks the final day of ORV access at the dunes, let’s take a look back at some of our most memorable moments of the season!


Huge Numbers of Visitors Mark Record-Breaking Season

The Silver Lake area welcomed an extraordinary number of visitors this year! We remained a favored destination for families and adventure-seekers from around the nation and the globe. We also shined as a tourism hotspot for Michiganders who wanted to stay closer to home over the summer holidays.


Popular Annual Events Draw Dune Lovers from Around the Nation

Three popular events made their marks on the calendar this year:

2021 Jeep Invasion

The Silver Lake Sand Dunes Jeep Invasion celebrated its 5th year in 2021. The fun-filled weekend featured thousands of Jeeps from all over the state and nation. Trail rides, an off-road course, raffles, live music, and great food were just a few of the perks of this year’s event — a great success for all vehicle owners, Jeep enthusiasts, and friends who participated! First weekend in June 2022.

Thunder Over the Dunes

After being cancelled due to COVID-19 in 2020, the Silver Lake Sand Dunes Area Chamber of Commerce was thrilled to bring back Thunder Over the Dunes to commemorate Independence Day this July! Community members and visitors alike once again gathered to watch the brilliant display of fireworks over the dunes — undoubtedly a night to remember. July 4 2022

Apple BBQ Festival

2021 Apple & BBQ Festival returned after a one year pause in 2020. A record attendance of 15000+ people attended on Saturday to enjoy the largest craft fair ever, with 125 booths, 80+ registered cars in the Classic Car and ORV show, and lots of good food and music. The annual 5K race returned also this year along with the Kansas City BBQ Society BBQ cooking competition. September 9 & 10 2022

Be sure to check back for details on these events coming in 2022!


Mac Wood’s Dune Rides Celebrates Their 91st Year in Business

Since 1930, Mac Wood’s Dune Rides has been a mainstay business of the Silver Lake area. Originally started by Malcom “Mac” Wood on what was then just a small plot of hilly dunes, the business quickly grew into a booming operation.

This year, Mac Wood’s celebrated their 91st year in business. With each passing year, the establishment continues to introduce new families to the dunes and the beauty and adventure they have to offer.


Make a Year End Visit to Silver Lake

Although the dunes are closed to ORV access as of October 31st, there’s always more fun to be had in the late fall and winter — from hiking and biking through beautiful autumn foliage, to snowmobiling and cross-country skiing against the snow-white landscapes of winter.

Be sure to check the websites of area hotels, shops, and restaurants before you book as some establishments have limited fall hours. You can also venture into nearby downtown Hart for everything you need.

Finally, no matter when you make your plans for a Silver Lake vacation, be sure to share your photos and videos with us! Use the hashtag #ThinkDunes when posting your memories, and we may feature you on one of our social media pages!

Thank you for another wonderful season at the dunes, and we hope to see you again soon in Silver Lake!

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