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.

Registration 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 riding

  • The annual shoreline riding season is Nov. 1-30.
  • predetermined riding route takes riders through the dunes to the Lake Michigan shoreline. The route is signed and it's important to familiarize yourself before heading out.
  •  Advance reservations (required) open Sept. 1 at 8 a.m. annually and can be made at at
  • The cost is $10 per horse / day. Example: 1 horse trailer with 4 horses = 4 reservations.
  • The number of horses is capped at 125 each day.
  • Vehicles may enter the equestrian staging area 8 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.
  • You must bring your own horse.
  • Gates will open every day regardless of conditions and it's the visitor’s discretion to enter the dunes.
  • The license plate number must correspond with the reservation.
  • A valid Recreation Passport is required on all vehicles.
  • Open horseback riding in the ORV and/or pedestrian areas is not allowed.
  • You cannot use tie downs on horses near water.
  • 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. Do not deposit manure in any dumpster.
  • No drinking water is available for visitors or horses. Please plan accordingly.
  • Vault toilets are located in the parking lot and in the dunes.
  • 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.
  • Reservations may be canceled; however, they are nonrefundable and nontransferable.

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.