Silver Lake State Park Beaches & Water Play
There’s a lot more to do than ride on the dunes when you’re at Silver Lake, Michigan.
Family day trips to the beach are popular here, as well as multiday camping and hotels stays (more on lodging later.)
If you’re looking for a beach day, start by picking your beach. Here are your options and how they compare:
Lake Michigan Beach at the Lighthouse
Little Sable Point Lighthouse & Beach Area
287 N Lighthouse Dr, Mears, MI 49436
About the Lighthouse: Little Sable Point Lighthouse is located on Lake Michigan south of the Sand Dunes area. The lighthouse opened to the public in 2006 and normally allows you to climb to the top for a small fee (closed in 2020 due to COVID). Standing at 115 feet up, the views are quite spectacular!
You must be at least three feet tall to go up and for safety reasons you are not allowed to carry anyone. If you make it all the way up the steps to the portholes you’ll be rewarded with a great view and photo ops.
About the Beach:
The beach is sandy. Lake Michigan waves can get big here, and they have been eating away at the small dunes. In some areas, the sandy beach area is very small.
Silver Lake State Park Day Use Area: Beach, Boat Launch
Silver Lake State Park Day Use Area
8674 W Silver Lake Rd, Mears, MI 49436
The Silver Lake State Park Day Use area is located on Silver Lake. The State Park campground is adjacent to this location.
Boaters can launch their boats here. There is also a large beach, picnic tables, volleyball courts, and modern bathrooms.
The Sand Dunes are across the lake from this access point.
Silver Lake Beach via Silver Lake State Park Pedestrian Dune Access
Dune Beach in Silver Lake State Park
8890 W Shore Dr, Mears, MI 49436
There’s a beautiful beach on Silver Lake in the State Park that you can only get to via the dune pedestrian area parking lot (near the ORV area entrance.)
A visit to this beach is earned – there is no flat public pathway to this beach from the dune pedestrian area.
Climbing up stairs and over dunes is how you make it to Dune Beach. A hearty climb back up a big dune, followed by more hiking, is part of the exit trip. To leave the beach, you must climb up the dune in the photo below (note the people on the side of the dune are on the Pedestrian Dune Access trail.)
Alternatively, you could launch a boat from the State Park Boat access on the other side of Silver Lake and moor at this beach.
One more word of caution here – the water isn’t shallow at Dune Beach.
The deepwater drop-off is extreme and can be dangerous.
Life jackets are a good idea for kids or anyone who is not a strong swimmer.
Tubing to Benona Township Park at Lake Michigan
Benona Township Park
9202 W Garfield Rd, Shelby, MI 49455
Benona Township Park is located on Lake Michigan and is located about 10 minutes south of the Silver Lake area. Kayaking and tubing down the Stony Creek to Lake Michigan is a popular pastime.
The river is slow, making it nice for kids. There is a lot of seaweed in the river and lots of dragonflies along the way.
The place where the beach meets the river is sandy and a lovely place to park a beach chair. Facilities are limited to an outhouse and the parking lot is quite small.
River tubes for floating down the river can be rented or purchased at the small convenience store, Stony Lake Store & Cafe, near Stony Lake Park. We floated the river in about 2 hours.
Silver Lake Pontoon Boat & Jet Ski Rentals
Wave Club Water Sports
1220 N. Shore Drive, Mears, MI 49436
Ski boats, pontoon boats, wave runners, SUP’s, kayaks, and more are available to rent here. Reserve early for best selection, and then enjoy playing on the water at Silver Lake Michigan.