Parks & Trails in the Silver Lake & Surrounding Areas
Oceana County is known for its natural splendor, and we have 16 well-cared-for parks that showcase the area’s 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, a mountain bike trail, wetlands for bird watching, a spot to honor veterans, or one that provides tons of activities for kids of all ages.
Michigan’s first linear state park and also its first paved rail trail!
This trail is 22.5 miles long between its northern trail-head in Hart and its end in Montague. The trail showcases the beauty of Oceana County: Patchwork fields of asparagus, cherries, apples, and other crops; rolling hills; streams; and more.
It provides a peaceful passage through the country without the worry of motorized vehicles. Facilities include scenic overlook platforms with picnic tables and trail-side shelters with restrooms in Shelby & New Era. Current uses include hiking, bicycling, cross-country skiing, and snowmobiling. Access points throughout trail include parking areas by Hansen Foods grocery store off Polk Road, Woodshed Bicycle in Mears, and 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 1870s is a must see. Large parking area and restroom facilities are available. Just keep in mind that the walk out to the beach involves some dune crossing and climbing. The lighthouse is part of Silver Lake State Park and is located on-half mile south of Golden Township Park.
Silver Lake State Park
Located across the lake from the Silver Lake Sand Dunes, off Silver Lake Road, one-half mile west of downtown Silver Lake.
Facilities include 450 campground sites, a large beach area for swimming, a boat launch, picnic tables, fishing and hiking facilities, and restrooms. A day pass is needed to use this beach area and can be purchased at the campground registration booth.
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 throughout the summer season. 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 the Voucher System before heading out. A complete list of current rules and regulations for duners is available at the Michigan DNR web site. The ORV dune entrance is located off 24th Avenue at Silver Lake.
Benona Township Park
Located right across the street from the swimming area on Stony Lake and along the Stony Lake Creek, off B-15 on the west end of Stony Lake.
Most of the time, you’ll have this well-rounded park to yourselves. It is perfectly-suited for a family picnic spot. The facilities include fishing, picnic areas, a baseball diamond, basketball courts, grills, swings, climbing bars, a merry-go-round, a teeter-totter, and restrooms.
Charles Mears State Park
Located in the quaint village of Pentwater along Lake Michigan shoreline off Lowell Street.
This very popular beach attracts visitors across all age groups. Facilities include a swimming area, picnic tables, children’s play area, and restrooms.
John Gurney Park
Located off Tyler Road near downtown Hart.
Hart’s best kept secret. A wonderful beach, perfect for enjoying quiet moments looking across Hart Lake toward Hart dam. John Gurney Park facilities include a picnic area, restrooms, and a children’s play area. A public boat launch is also available.
Located off Johnson Street, a few blocks west of State Street in downtown Hart.
The official playground of the Hart Public Schools, this park is the one your kids will want to go back to time and again. Built by the community, the large play area has all the swings, climbing areas, tunnels, activity centers, and twisty slides that kids crave! Great for children of all ages, the facilities include a picnic area and adjacent basketball court.
Benona Township Park
Take Garfield Road west off B-15 at Stony Lake.
Also known as the Stony Lake Oval, this is where the Stony Lake Channel joins Lake Michigan. Good for swimming and fishing and an excellent spot for families.
Cedar Point County Park
Located along the shore of Lake Michigan between Silver Lake and Pentwater off B-15.
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.
Claybanks Township Park
Just off B-15, two miles south of Stony Lake.
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. A day pass is needed to use this beach area and can be purchased at the site.
Located south of Hart on 72nd Ave.
This beautiful and quiet, spring-fed lake has a large public access area on the east end of lake. Good for swimming, fishing, and boating with small craft.
Gale’s Pond County Park
Located in Elbridge Township at Filmore and 112th Avenue, 5 miles southeast of Hart.
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 — plus the fresh scent of the woods that line the marked nature trails. Facilities include bridges, boardwalks, marked trails, and picnic tables.
Golden Township Park
Located off Silver Lake Road one-quarter mile north of the Lighthouse.
This beach area is 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.
Hart Area Veterans Memorial County Park
A wonderful park located right on Hart Lake.
View a monument to fallen veterans and an historic jet airplane from the Korean War. Three flags fly year-round: The American flag, the Michigan flag, and the POW flag. Facilities include a large, handicap accessible boardwalk.
Pentwater Pathways Trail
To get to the parking area, take Long Bridge Road to left on Wayne Road. Follow Wayne Road two to three miles until the pavement ends. The parking area is on the right.
The Pentwater Pathways Trail can be enjoyed year-round. It is great for hiking and mountain biking in spring, summer, and 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 marked trails cover mostly soft rolling hills, are heavily wooded, and offer abundant wildlife.
Whiskey Creek Public Access
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.
This hidden, intimate Lake Michigan beach derives its name from the small creek adjoining its south side and is perfect for picnicking and swimming.