silver lake sand dunes, mi - mira temkin tr lake sand dunes, mi famous for its sand, this charming...

Download Silver Lake Sand Dunes, MI - Mira Temkin Tr  Lake Sand Dunes, MI Famous for its sand, this charming park knows how to “Do the Dunes!” T he large, towering dunes beckon, standing tall as a proud

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  • Silver Lake Sand Dunes, MIFamous for its sand, this charming park knows how to Do the Dunes!

    The large, towering dunes beckon, standing tall as a proud testament to Mother Nature and welcoming those who come to conquer her soaring peaks. Located on the Lake Michigan shoreline between Muskegon and Ludington, Silver Lake is often called Michigans Golden Coast. With sister cities Hart and Mears nearby, the area promises plenty of prime beach town recreation and fun in the sun.

    Climb to the top of these 70-foot dunes and be rewarded with gorgeous views of Lake Michigan that, well, seem to go on forever. Some ride the hills and valleys in a dune buggy, others in their own ATV vehicles, and many adventurers just simply hike to the top. The pure joy and exhilaration of running down the dunes is what brings people back, summer after summer. Whatever your preference, boaters coming to Silver Lake Sand Dunes will discover the ultimate outdoor adventure in the sand.

    Come play in Silver Lake State Park In Michigan, dunes line much of the Great Lakes shore with expanses of continually shifting sand. The Silver Lake Sand Dunes are considered one of the largest living dunes on Lake Michigan, which means theyre still growing and shifting. Along this four-mile shoreline lies Silver Lake State Park open from April 1 to October 31 which features nearly 3,000-acres of protected dunes and mature forests.

    The dunes are divided into three

    separate areas, says Deanna Helmlinger, executive director of the Silver Lakes Chamber of Commerce. The north area features 450 acres for ORV driving, which is very popular, the middle for walking or sandboarding and the south area for dune tours, given by Mac Woods Dune Rides.

    The Mac Woods Dune Rides are a perfect introduction to the Dunes, Helmlinger continues. The company has been providing fun, safe rides since 1930 and offers a 7-mile, 40-minute tour that glides up and down the sand in a 4-wheel drive Dune Scooter. Their knowledgeable guides offer valuable insights into the history of the area, as well as the environmental changes that impact the dunes.

    What makes these dunes so special is that theyre the only sand dunes you can ride on east of the Mississippi, says Helmlinger.

    Lighthouse on the beach There are more lighthouses that line the shores of Lake Michigan than any other state in the U.S. Little Sable Point Lighthouse is rather unique because this 100-foot tall, fully-functioning lighthouse sits right on the beach.

    Built in 1874, the tower still harbors its original third-order Fresnel lens. For a small admission fee, visitors can tour the lighthouse from May until September and climb to the top. The Sable Point Lighthouse Keepers Association also sponsors free concerts on the beach in July and August.

    Get your motor runningReady for the ride of your life? Hop aboard, start the engine and experience an exciting journey through the dunes, bumping high

    and low across natural sand terrain. Rent a dune buggy large enough for your group with single, two, four, five and six-seater options to sail through the sand. Silver Lake Buggy Rentals offer a variety of vehicles that come with a guaranteed thrill.

    Take on the dunes in a rugged Jeep Wrangler from Parrots Landing in Mears.

    You can caravan with a leader through the dunes for an hour-long adventure, says Dutch Terhaar, general manager, or you can rent the Jeep and explore the dunes on your own.

    One of their most popular tours is the Sunset Tour where you can watch the sunset from the top of a dune.

    Its an incredible experience you will long remember, Terhaar adds. LIG

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    by Mira TemkinSHORELEAVE

    2 FEBRUARY 2016 | LAKELANDBOATING.COM

  • Love to water ski or tube? Let Parrots Landing pull you along in one of its ski boats on the water. Looking for even more adventure? Hit the waves with a powerful Jet Ski.

    Surf the dunes on a sandboardYouve heard of snowboarding. Sandboarding is similar, using the height of the dunes to rapidly leverage speed as you glide down the sand. According to Sandboarding Magazine, the Silver Lake dunes are considered the best place on the Great Lakes for sandboarding because the sand is fast, clean and easily accessible.

    Rent everything you need for sandboarding at The Sand Box in Mears, which includes the board, special sandboard wax and a helmet.

    Our sandboards are specifically designed just for sandboarding, says Terri Sharpe, owner of The Sand Box.

    You can choose to sit down and ride like a sled, or stand up. With either type, the boards have to be waxed before each run.

    People love it because its exhilarating and its easy for

    kids to do. Theres nothing quite like a run down the dunes under your own power, adds Sharpe.

    The Sand Box is open from Memorial Day through Labor Day and carries a full line of bathing suits, body and skim boards for water sports, as well as camping equipment.

    Fairs and festivals bring out the bestThroughout the summer, the Silver Lake Sand Dunes area

    hosts several weekly festivals showcasing lots of good food, live music and fireworks galore. Want fresh produce to bring back to the boat? From asparagus and apples, to barbecue cook-offs and fresh baked goods, theres a party for every taste.

    The Apple and BBQ Cook-Off Festival in September features a craft show, classic auto and truck show, dune buggy show, beer tent, 5K Apple A Day Run/Walk, and of course, great food.

    Whether you ride the dunes, climb to the peak or build sandcastles on the beach, at Silver Lake Sand Dunes youre destined to etch your own wonderful memories in the sand. HTO

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    LAKELANDBOATING.COM | FEBRUARY 2016 3

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