There are quite a few sand dunes in the state of Michigan, and those in the southwest area are especially suited for sandboarding. The slopes near Silver Lake are one of the most scenic areas in the US where sand surfing can be practiced, while the Warren Dunes State Park offers great dune sledging thrills around Lake Michigan. Unfortunately, sandboarding is prohibited at Sleeping Bear Sand Dunes, but you can still board there during winter when the dunes are covered in snow.
Silver Lake State Park – Mears
Silver Lake State Park is a public recreation area covering 2,936 acres (1,188 ha) that border Lake Michigan and Silver Lake, four miles (6.4 km) west of the town of Mears in Oceana County, Michigan. The area is popular with sand buggys and off-road vehicles, and there are also plenty of shops and restaurants and camping sites. The area has been nominated as one of the top 5 sandboarding spots in the US so it’s definitely worth to combine a multi-day hiking and camping trip with sandboarding.
You can rent a Venomous sandboard from The Sand Box on your way to the park. Cost is $10 per hour or $30 per day, with a required driver’s licence and credit card deposit of $150. Alternatively, you can buy a sandboard online and bring it along with you.
Warren Dunes State Park – Sawyer
Warren Dunes State Park is a 1,952-acre (7.90 km2) Michigan state park, located along the eastern shore of Lake Michigan in Berrien County. The park’s large sand dunes and lakeshore beaches make it one of the most popular of Michigan’s state parks with an average of about one million visitors annually. The easy access to the dunes make it a very popular spot for sand surfing, with steep slopes found all around the park. The highest dune is around 240 feet (72 metres) and known as “Tower Hill”.
You can rent a sandboard or sand sled from The Third Coast Surf Shop. You’ll pay $25 for half a day (4 hours) or $40 for a whole day (8 hours), and you can also arrange a 1.5 hour sandboarding lesson with an instructor for $95 (+$65 for each additional person), which includes the cost of renting a board.
Can you sandboard at Sleeping Bear Sand Dunes?
Unfortunately, sandboarding and sand sledding are currently not permitted at the Sleeping Bear Dunes. You may only sledge down the dunes in winter when they are covered in snow. Dune sledding is permitted in a designated area of the Dune Climb while other areas can be sledged with skis, snowboards, toboggans or saucers – again, only when it’s snowing.