Mac Wood’s Dune Rides Celebrates 90 Years! - Think Dunes - Silver Lake Sand Dunes

Mac Wood’s Dune Rides Celebrates 90 Years!

ThinkDunes|April 23rd, 2020

We are thrilled to wish a happy 90th anniversary to Silver Lake’s very own Mac Wood’s Dune Rides! A family tradition since 1930, you simply can’t visit the dunes without taking a ride on a Mac Wood’s dune scooter at least once.

Ahead, we take a stroll down memory lane, remembering the late and great Mac Wood and the amazing business he built to show off the extraordinary history and beauty of the Silver Lake Area.


Mac Wood: Farmer Turned Entrepreneur

The story of Mac Wood’s Dune Rides began when Mac’s father gave him 20 acres of land to farm. As the story goes, he was disappointed that Mac wasn’t interested in becoming a doctor like himself (or working another “respectable” profession). Unfortunately, the farming failed (the soil was too sandy), but enterprising Mac didn’t give up. Instead, he abandoned the farming idea and turned the property into a resort called Flora-dale.

As operator of the resort, Mac was known for coming up with unique ways to entertain his family as well as guests. One of his go-tos was to take people on rides of the dunes in his “Dune Scooter Ride.” Mac had fashioned his tour vehicle to travel easily over the ever-shifting dunes of sand. Each tire featured a double-wide rim. In the front, the tires had just 12 lbs. of pressure, with just 13 lbs. of pressure in the back.

Originally, the rides were just some fun for himself and his family. Quickly, however, he found that friends, neighbors, and passers-by were interested in taking tours, so Mac began selling tickets. His “hobby” was starting to make money. Eventually, Flora-dale was sold, more dune scooters were added to the fleet, and the rest, as they say is history.

Today, the dune rides still operate as they once did 90 years ago, and the business is still owned by the Wood family.


What’s a Mac Wood’s Dune Ride Like?

Each exciting Mac Wood’s Dune Ride takes about 40 minutes and goes seven miles up and around the dunes. The vehicles can take up to 20 passengers each. Rides leave about every 15 minutes, and no reservations are required (unless your party includes 20 or more people).

Your knowledgeable driver will stop at key points along the tour to explain various things about the landscape and history of the dunes. In the middle, you’ll be able to stop and get out at either Lake Michigan or Silver Lake for pictures and to walk around and enjoy the views.

All are welcome on these fun and safe rides — from babies to senior citizens.


Explore the Beauty and Splendor of the Silver Lake Sand Dunes

Whether your family’s been visiting for years or you’re a first-timer to the area, you’ll find all you need in a vacation, and more, in Silver Lake. Beauty, nature, and an always-friendly small-town atmosphere abound as soon as you roll into town.

Start scheduling your vacation to Silver Lake today by exploring our lodging recommendations, and planning where to eat, play, and relax. We hope to see you soon in Silver Lake!

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