Skip to main content

Silver Lake shoreline riding season

horseback riders along sandy lakeshore

Silver Lake shoreline riding season

Experience Silver Lake State Park – one of Michigan's most unique state parks – on horseback! Horseback riders can ride the Lake Michigan shore during a fall shoreline horseback riding season Nov. 1-30. A predetermined riding route has been established. Horses are not allowed in the dunes.

Silver Lake State Park
Riding season: Nov. 1-30
Registration opens: Sept. 1 at 8 a.m.
8960 W. Fox Road, Mears, MI

There is a $10 registration fee per / horse per day. There are 100 slots available each day.

Register opens Sept. 1 at »

Click on the "Equestrian" tab at the top, then select the "Equestrian Staging Area" radio button and then select "Silver Lake" as your location in the drop-down menu.

The DNR worked hand in hand with the Michigan Horse Council and Equine Trails Subcommittee to explore shoreline riding opportunities along Michigan's Great Lakes. Three pilot programs helped determine that a annual season would be possible with the continued support of volunteers.

The DNR also offers a fat-tire bike season at Silver Lake ORV Area Dec. 15-March 15 (each year).

Rules and tips for shoreline rides

  • Silver Lake State Park's shoreline horseback riding season will take place Nov. 1–30 annually.
  • Reservations open Sept. 1 annually.
  • A $10 reservation per horse / per day is required in advance and can be made at MiDNRReservations.comExample: 1 horse trailer with 4 horses = 4 reservations.
  • Only vehicles with a reservation for the current day are permitted to enter the equestrian staging area 8 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. The vehicle plate no. submitted when making this reservation must correspond with the tow vehicle.
  • A valid Recreation Passport required on all vehicles.
  • Familiarize yourself with the map and what areas you can ride your horse. Follow the signed route through the dunes to the shoreline. Open riding within the ORV area or pedestrian area is not allowed.
  • Alcohol is prohibited.
  • You must clean up manure in the parking lot; however, a designated manure collection trailer is provided. Bring your own fork and muck bucket. No manure to be deposited in any dumpster.
  • No drinking water is available for people or horses. Please plan accordingly.
  • Vault toilets (or outhouses) are located in the parking lot and in the dunes.
  • You cannot use tie downs on horses near water.
  • Be aware that DNR staff may be working in the area and operating 4-wheel drive trucks and tractors during the first two weeks of November.
  • The dunes are open to hunting, but it is not a frequent occurrence.
  • There is limited refuse service provided for trash.
  • Gates will open every day regardless of conditions and it is the visitor’s discretion to enter the dunes.
  • Reservations are nonrefundable and nontransferable. You must bring your own horse.

The dunes are an everchanging environment. Drifts and freezing conditions can drastically change the landscape overnight.

text alert icon

Want to receive updates on the shoreline riding program and other horseback riding opportunities? Sign up and you'll receive periodic text notifications.

Sign up for text notifications »

More info

If you have questions about shoreline riding, please contact the park at 231-873-3083.