Located in Mears, Michigan along Lake Michigan’s coast between Muskegon and Ludington is Silver Lake Sand Dunes. The 2,000 acres of sand dunes attract more than a million visitors each year.
You can hike, walk or ride the dunes. We visited the second week of April and the place looked like a ghost town. None of the shops were open including the Dune Rides or Jeep Rental places. We planned on footing it anyways so it really wasn’t an issue.
Silver Lake is smack dab in the middle of nowhere. Neither one of us had any bars on our phones so the road signs were a lifesaver. We just followed them towards the lighthouse and dunes access point.
I will warn you it’s physically exhausting climbing up to the top of the dunes. Every step you take the sand pulls you back down some more. At one point in time I actually crawled. No, I’m not joking. If you’re physically fit you shouldn’t have a problem though. It’s totally worth every crawl once you reach the top!
Make sure you don’t miss Petite Pointe Au Sable Lighthouse while visiting. The lighthouse is a historical site and a great photo opportunity.
Petite Pointe Au Sable Lighthouse History:
The light uses a third-order Fresnel lens positioned 108 feet above the lake. The tower was painted white in 1899 to make it more visible to ships during the day and was restored to its original brick in the 1970’s. In 1902 the first overland route to the lighthouse was cut from Mears. The lighthouse was renamed Little Sable Point Light Station in 1910. In 1915, the original lard-burning wick lamp was replaced by a brighter, incandescent oil vapor, keroscene-burning lamp. Visible for nineteen miles, the light flashed every thirty seconds. The lamp was electrified and automated in 1954. After automation, a keeper was no longer needed and the house and ancillary buildings were razed.
There was something surreal about visiting during the off season. We didn’t encounter anyone else while walking the dunes. It was so beautiful and peaceful.
This is a major tourist town in the summer and it gets extremely busy. You can visit for cheap if you avoid all the thrills like we did. Opt for walking instead of riding
For more information on the Silver Lake Sand Dunes visit their website.