Photo by Todd & Brad Reed Photography

Silver Lake Activities & Attractions

A multitude of beautiful beaches await you in the Silver Lake Sand Dunes area. Whether you’re looking for wild excitement, or quiet serenity, there’s a spot reserved just for you!

Silver Lake Sand Dunes Beaches and Parks

Silver Lake State Park is a 3,000-acre park along four miles of Lake Michigan shoreline. Unique to this park is the 450-acre parcel designated for off-road vehicles, and the access to both Silver Lake and Lake Michigan are an added benefit. The 107′ Little Sable Point Lighthouse is located in the Silver Lake State Park, and it is open for tours from late May to late September. Rolling sand dunes, camping, hiking, fishing, and acres of forest make this park a vacation paradise.

What is a Fulgurite?

What is a Fulgurite?

Give up?

A fulgurite is often referred to as “petrified lightning.”

When lightning strikes the sand at a temperature of at least 3,270 degrees, the heat melts the silica and fuses the sand into fascinating structures. This takes place within the time frame of one second. The long, slender, hollow glass tubes are below the surface of the sand and can be found by looking for uneven coloring on the sand’s surface where the lightning has entered. The glass structure is usually an irregular shape and can be transparent white, black or tan. They are very delicate in nature and are sometimes used in making jewelry.

The very brittle fulgurites break easily while removing them from the sand. Each fulgurite is different and can have a main branch and then many smaller branches that resemble the actual flash of lightning. Some fulgurites are round and hollow while others are flattened into rough shapes caused by the pressure of the sand. There are generally two types of fulgurites — sand and rock. Sand are the more common of the two, and the kind found at the Silver Lake Sand Dunes. They have a glassy interior, due to the rapid cooling of the sand after the lightning strikes. Most are one to two inches in diameter. They are also found in Utah’s deserts. The longest fulgurite was found in northern Florida, measuring a little over 4.9 meters in length. Mountain peaks are continually hit by lightning, and that’s where most rock fulgurites are found. Fulgurites are used by some people as a tool for prayer and meditation. It is said to arouse energy and help one focus.

ORV Area Beach

Silver Lake Sand Dunes State Park is one of the few areas in the country that users can still enjoy riding freely on sand dunes. These shifting dunes promise a different terrain every time you visit them.

Hart-Montague Bike Trail/Rail Trail State Park

This paved rail-trail stretches for 22.5 miles over 225 acres between Hart and Montague. Opening in 1991, a local citizen had bought the old railroad corridor for trail use and donated most of it to the State.

Historic Downtown Hart

Remove yourself from today’s hectic world as you tour the Hart Historic District. Visit a 19th century church, where the basement houses the extensive “Seymour Rider Indian Artifacts Collection.”

A blanket of snow over the Silver Lake area provides the perfect conditions for snowmobiling and other winter activities. | Todd & Brad Reed Photography

Snowmobile Trails

When the snow flies in the Silver Lake area, winter enthusiasts have plenty of activities to keep them busy during the cold months. Skaters and bicyclists abandon the Hart-Montague Bike Trail, in favor of snowmobiles and cross country skiers.

Swimming, Fishing, & Boating in Silver Lake

Silver Lake is a favorite of anglers for the selection of bass, northern pike, walleye, and crappie. Launch your own boat, or rent one from a local business. Most carry a variety of watercraft, including ski boats, kayaks, paddleboats, canoes, rowboats, pontoons, wave runners, and more; plus ski equipment and tubes. Nothing is better than spending a day out on Silver Lake fishing or boating. If you prefer to stay onshore, swimming is safe and calm in Silver Lake. Or head to the four miles of Lake Michigan shoreline. You get the best of both worlds at Silver Lake State Park.

Activities & Attractions in West Michigan

Winter in Manistee County

Winter in Manistee County includes great outdoor activities like skiing, snow shoeing, hiking, ice skating, and more.

The Pentwater River

The Pentwater River provides opportunities to experience a paddle sport for the first time or take on a challenge for those more experienced.

Manistee National Forest

Manistee National Forest together with the Huron National Forest occupies almost a million acres of land in Michigan’s lower peninsula.

North Country Trail

Created in 1980, this trail has 1,000 miles running through Michigan, which also runs through the Huron-Manistee National Forest.