Oceana County is known for its natural splendor, and our parks are great places to enjoy it.
Oceana County is known for its natural splendor, and we have 16 well-cared-for parks that showcase its glorious beauty. Our parks will put you on Lake Michigan beaches, a giant sand mountain, inland lakes and rivers, a 22-mile paved rail trail, mountain bike trail, wetlands for bird watching, a spot to honor Veterans or one that provides tons of activities for kids of all ages. If you’re here for rest and relaxation, excitement and adventure or both, our parks have just what you need.
Benona Township Park – Most times you’ll have this well-rounded park to yourselves. Located right across the street from the swimming area on Stony Lake and along the Stony Lake Creek, its well suited for a family picnic spot. The facilities include fishing, picnic areas, swings, climbing bars, baseball diamond, basketball court, grills, merry-go-round, teeter-totter, and restrooms. Located off B-15 on the west end of Stony Lake.
Charles Mears State Park – Located in the quaint village of Pentwater along Lake Michigan shoreline. Very popular beach across all age groups. Facilities include swimming area, picnic tables, children’s play area, and restrooms. Located off Lowell Street.
John Gurney Park – Hart’s best kept secret. A wonderful beach, perfect for enjoying quiet moments looking across Hart Lake towards Hart dam. John Gurney Park facilities also include a picnic area, restrooms, and a children’s play area. Located off Tyler Rd. near downtown Hart. (Public boat launch also available)
Pirate’s Paradise – The official playground of the Hart Public Schools, this park is the one your kids will want to go back to time and time again. Built by the community, this large play area has all the swings, climbing areas, tunnels, activity centers and twisty slides that kids crave! Great for children of all ages and facilities include a picnic area and adjacent basketball court. Located off Johnson Street, a few blocks west of State Street in downtown Hart.
Benona Township Park – Also known as the Stony Lake Oval, it is where the Stony Lake channel joins Lake Michigan. Good for swimming and fishing. An excellent spot for families. Take Garfield Rd. west off B-15 at Stony Lake.
Cedar Point County Park – Cedar Point is a great place for spending the afternoon at the beach. The 3-acre park provides swimming, a picnic area and restrooms. Spectacular multi-tiered wooden steps lead visitors from the high bank bluff above, through the forest canopy, to the beach below. Located along the shore of Lake Michigan between Silver Lake and Pentwater off B-15.
Claybanks Township Park – If you enjoy a natural setting with unspoiled views of the Lake Michigan shoreline, this is the beach for you. A wooden walkway leads you to one of the most spectacular Lake Michigan beaches in the area. The park extends one-half mile along the shoreline, but the undeveloped views extend to the north and south as far as the eye can see. Just off B-15, two miles south of Stony Lake. A day pass is needed to use this beach area and can be purchased at the site.
Crystal Lake – Beautiful and quiet spring-fed lake with a large public access area on east end of lake. Good swimming, fishing and small boat launch area. Located south of Hart on 72nd Ave.
Gale’s Pond County Park – Gales Pond is a favorite haunt for those wishing to get away for an hour or two to enjoy the sight of sandhill cranes, ducks and other wildlife and the fresh scent of the woods that line the marked nature trails. Facilities include bridges, boardwalks, marked trails, and picnic tables. Located in Elbridge Township at Filmore and 112th Avenue, 5 miles southeast of Hart.
Golden Township Park – Beach area located where the Silver Creek channel meets Lake Michigan. Facilities include portable restrooms. Parking is very limited so arrive early or plan on walking from the Lighthouse beach parking lot. Do not park along the road, or you will be towed away. Located off Silver Lake Road 1/4 mile north of the Lighthouse.
Hart Area Veterans Memorial County Park – A wonderful park located right on Hart Lake. View a monument to fallen veterans and an old-time jet airplane from the Korean War. Three flags fly year round – American flag, Michigan flag and the POW flag. Facilities include a large, handicap accessible boardwalk.
Hart-Montague Rail Trail – William Field Hart-Montague Rail Trail State Park – Michigan’s first linear state park and also its first paved rail trail, is 22.5 miles long between its northern trailhead in Hart and its end in Montague. The trail showcases the beauty of Oceana County ~ from patchwork fields of asparagus, cherries, apples, and other crops ~ providing a peaceful passage through the country without the worry of motorized vehicles. Facilities include scenic overlook platforms with picnic tables and trailside shelters in Shelby & New Era with restrooms. Current uses include hiking, bicycling, cross-country skiing and snowmobiling. Access points throughout trail include parking areas by Hansens Grocery off Polk Rd, Woodshed Bicycle Rentals in Mears, and at the Shelby Pavilion.
Little Sable Point Lighthouse – Whether you come during the day for sunning and swimming or at night for the best sunset location in the county – you won’t be disappointed with this beach. The beautiful red brick lighthouse built in the late 1870’s is a must see. Large parking area and restroom facilities are available. The walk out to the beach involves some dune crossing and climbing. The Lighthouse is part of Silver Lake State Park. Located 1/2 mile south of Golden Township Park.
Pentwater Pathways Trail – The Pentwater Pathways Trail can be enjoyed year-round, great for hiking and mountain biking in spring, summer, fall and cross-country skiing in the winter. The trail is located in the Pere Marquette State Forest just south of Pentwater Lake. The Pathways trail system includes four loops totaling 15 miles, with beginner to advanced trails. The trails cover mostly soft rolling hills, are heavily wooded and offer abundant wildlife (trails are marked). To get to the parking area, take Long Bridge Rd to left on Wayne Rd. Follow Wayne Rd. 2-3 miles until pavement ends. Parking area is on right.
Silver Lake State Park – Located across the lake from the Silver Lake Sand Dunes, this park is all about location. Facilities include 450 campground sites a large beach area for swimming, a boat launch, picnic tables, fishing, hiking, and restroom facilities. A day pass is needed to use this beach area and can be purchased at the campground registration booth. Located off Silver Lake Road 1/2 mile west of downtown Silver Lake.
Silver Lake State Park ORV Area – Where else can you find dunes that you can drive on? The Silver Lake Sand Dunes are open every day from April 1-November 1. The Sand Dunes encompass nearly 2,000 acres of rolling sand hills and are the only dunes in Michigan that allow vehicle access. The Michigan DNR operates the ORV area, and we recommend that you review the State Park rules, operational changes, and voucher system found on our ORV page. ORV dune entrance is located off 24th Ave at Silver Lake.
Whiskey Creek Public Access – This hidden, intimate Lake Michigan beach derives its name from the small creek adjoining its south side. Located just off B-15 south of Stony Lake on Park Road. To reach the beach from the parking area, follow the trail over the small dune.