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“Lake Hair Don’t Care, Sand everywhere don’t care.” Now, this is the mentality you have to take with you when you go to visit Mears, Michigan. The beautiful Silver Lake Sand Dunes for the first time can well… for some be a bit overwhelming, but fear not I am going to do my very best to help you with all you need to know if you want to plan a trip there yourself.
Where do I stay in Mears, MI? Well, this all depends, most people that I know and what I have done is gone camping. Some of the places that are nearby that you can stay at include; (I am not affiliated with any of these places, I have only stayed at the one, but I researched a few to see what ones were the closest and had the best reviews to try to make you have the best stay possible)
- Val Du- Lakes Campground: Now when you look up the reviews you will see that they are not the greatest, but I have to say this was a very nice place to stay. The bathrooms stayed clean, the showers were not horrible, and there was security. I think what people may not like is the security of this place, you need to have a parking pass and wristbands on at all time to get in and out of the camping area. There is plenty of parking, but the sites are on the smaller side, so if you do have a bigger camper or trailers see if you can get more than one site. (231) 873-2267
- Dunes Harbor Family Camp is a Christian family campground that is located close to the dunes as well. (231) 873-3662
- The Hideaway campground is another way that is said to be relaxing, and if you want a quiet and peaceful atmosphere this one is for you. (231) 873-4428
- Jelly Stone Park, also located close to the dunes and has all the necessary hookups needed for a camper. (231) 873-4502
- Dunes Waterfront Resort is a hotel you can stay in if you are not looking to camp on your stay. The resort overlooks the silver lake and the dunes. Although on their site it does not say anything about where you can park trailers if you have one, so you might want to call this number and ask before booking your stay. (231) 873-5500).
- Another hotel that offers special packages for the silver lake sand dunes is the Sierra Sands Family Lodge. They are just minutes away from dunes. Contact this number to book your stay with them (231) 873-1008
- Footprints at Silver Lake is another place to stay; these are park style trailer homes that can be rented out by the day or the week. Contact this number for more information (616) 293-4798
I will start off by saying, this was only my second time there this past weekend, but I absolutely love being there. This is place is so beautiful but knowing a few things before you get there will help make your trip a lot more bearable and more enjoyable. So you want to ride the Sand Dunes? The Park is open from April 1st to October 31st and has 450 acres that are an ORV area. The area is operated by the Department of Natural Resources (DNR) and with that being said you will want to know the system and the regulated rules before you can begin to start your adventure at Silver Lake State Park
So.. first things first, whether you are driving in your daily driver, a truck, a van, an ATV, Dune Buggy, A Redneck Rig you just built in your garage you will want to buy a flag to put on the front. You will need this to get into the park, the flag is one of the most important parts, you can get your flag online or purchase one in store. All vehicles that enter the park must have a 10- foot mast that has to hold a large Orange flag and yes the flag has to be orange. Also, this has to be 10 feet in height, this will help you as well in the long run while you are on the dunes, so people are able to see you, when you are going up and over the hills.
Are you Dune Reay??… not yet… In order to be dune ready, you have to go to the voucher center and basically have three important things. 1) A state park pass (This can also be called a recreation passport). A recreation passport is $11 with the purchase of your annual license plate renewal and if you do not already do this, I would highly recommend it. Having a recreation passport gets you into several of Michigans State Parks for FREE!! Yes, I said free. If you do not have the recreation passport/state park pass this can be purchased again att he voucher center at Silver Lake. 2) You will need to purchase and have a trail permit before you are able to enter the dunes. Finally, you will need an ORV sticker, this is everything that is checked for at the very front of the park before you can enter the dunes. These truly, are some of the most important things you will need if you want to make sure you do not have to leave and come back to wait in line all over again. The lines can get very long and believe me, it is just not something you will want to do, it will make for a pretty crappy day. COME PREPARED!!!
Another way to come prepared if you are riding in an ATV is having some proper gear with you. Now you don’t need everything but sometimes so of this stuff is nice to have. Here is a picture of what we took with us to the dunes;
(I am not an affiliate of Yamaha, but I will say this is one of the best ATV’s and did very well on the sand dunes)
The items that I got and that my husband bought for our ATV were;