Experience the Dunes on Horseback

As the season comes to an end for the ORV users, November brings unique opportunity for a completely different experience riding the Silver Lake Sand Dunes. Michigan Shoreline Horse Friends and Michigan Equine Trails have worked in collaboration with the Michigan Department of Natural Resources and Silver Lake State Park to create a new horseback riding season.

Imagine riding along miles of sandy shoreline or cresting the majestic dunes atop your horse with a spectacular view of Lake Michigan. Silver Lake State Park is offering this new season in hope of exposing the majesty of the dunes to a new audience of riders. With access for the entire month of November, this is a great way to attract horseback riding enthusiasts from all over Michigan and the Midwest to gather and take advantage of this unique opportunity. Those interested in participating can text “TROT” to 80888 to be notified of upcoming opportunities.

BYOH

These rides are for those that are able to bring their own horses. There are currently no horse rentals available, however Michigan Horse Trails Directory online can help you find horse rental opportunities throughout Michigan and horse trails, camping, events, and volunteer horse friends groups: http://michiganhorsetrails.com/

Bringing an Idea to Life

Jenny Cook, and members of the Michigan Equine Trails Subcommittee, had been seeking an opportunity to create a horseback riding opportunity along the Lake Michigan shoreline. Cook identified Silver Lake State Park as a potential site for these rides and she and her committee worked with the MDNR performing several private and public pilot rides to give the idea a try. The trial was successful and the 2021 season was the first official posting of horseback access to the dunes for the first two weeks of November. In 2022, the season was extended to include the entire month of November.

Overnight Stays

If you are traveling overnight with horses, there are nearby camping accommodations available.

Oceana County Fairgrounds 1025 S State St, Hart, MI, 49420 email: paul@pmcollision.com can accommodates horses with box stalls and horse camping.

Double JJ Resort https://doublejj.com/ (231)894-3925 – Featuring 15 miles of trails, 56 modern camping sites with electric and water (if above freezing).  Bathhouses/restrooms available, 23 log homes (sleeps 10), 46 family cabins (sleeps 4-6), boarding stalls and paddocks, outdoor arena with bleachers, indoor pool, restaurant, possible band/music.

Whiskey Creek Campground http://www.whiskeycreekcamp.com/ (231)898-2030, 240 acres of 6 miles of trails linking with 22,000 acres of Manistee National Forest with hundreds of miles of trails. 5 or 6 horse campsites with amenities, water (if above freezing).

Dunes Horseback Season Details:

Jenny, and her fellow committee members, thank the organizations and individuals who have helped make these opportunities possible: Michigan Department of Natural Resources, Back Country Horsemen of Michigan, Grace Adventures, Michigan Equine Trails Subcommittee (ETS), Michigan Horse Council, the Michigan Shoreline Horse Friends, the Oceana County Fairgrounds, and the Silver Lake/Mears communities.

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