Sunday, December 29, 2013

Michigan: Pentwater & Silver Lake

When I was in high school I would go camping in the fall with one of my friends and her family.  I always loved the place because it was right on a beautiful Lake Michigan beach!  It was the Charles Mears State Park in Pentwater, Michigan.  My memories of those camping trips were so wonderful that I had to add them to my families bucket list!

They offer free crafts for campers.  Check out the schedule near the restrooms.  They have a lot of activities to participate in like star gazing and yoga on the beach.

The kids craft that was offered one of the days we were there.
My friend and I loved climbing up a big hill in the campground.  That hill has changed a lot since then.  There is a much nicer "path".  Actually - its a pretty awesome experience and now its a lot safer!  It's called "Old Baldy" and at the entrance to the path you can find a nature "scavenger hunt" list for some education of what you will see along your journey.

Entrance to path and the "scavenger hunt" list.

There are a lot of steps...

But there are many places to rest and enjoy nature.

Some of the old path from when I was in high school.

One of the educational markers.

It's hard to tell by this picture but there is a beautiful view of Lake Michigan!

More path.

The big sandy hill!  Beautiful view and a fun way to get back to the campground.

Hmmm - good thing I decided not to bring our dog....

Beautiful swimming area!

A fun option at the beach for those that have a hard time getting around.
Some of the food and beverage options at the campground.

The town of Pentwater does offer a few places to eat, at least one place to find last minute supplies (groceries, beverages, even some nice grab and go food options), lots of cute stores, and an ice cream shop.  You will not find a Mc Donald's or any other big name place.  

Other campground information:

- There are public restrooms and showers.
- It is very hard to get a reservation over the summer so make sure you commit as soon as they start taking reservations for the year.
- The campground has a couple of play areas.
- The amenities at each campsite varies but most have electric.  There is no water connections at any of the sites so make sure you have your tank filled prior to parking.
- There is a water spout in at least one spot in the campground so you can have access to water other than the restroom/shower area.
-The camp sites are not big and they do not have a lot of driving space to work with.  I thought it was going to take us forever to back our camper in.  Thankfully, it did not but I saw others having a hard time!
-We had a 5th wheel camper to stay in and we decided on a campsite with the sand dune and beach in our "backyard".  We also had a fire pit and picnic table which seems to be common with all the campsites.
-Note to self:  If I were camping in a tent I would prefer 111 due to the shade, size, and close to the restroom/play area.  I also liked 107 but it might be a little noisy due to it being very close to the restrooms.  Both have easy enough access to the beach.

Silver Lake

Silver Lake is very close to Pentwater.  We are not really into hanging out at the beach a lot but I did want to spend some time in the sand dunes.  A friend of mine went with her family and they rented a jeep to ride the dunes.  She said it was a blast!  But, my kiddos and I were camping with my mom so we decided on the safer experience by participating in a dune ride.

We chose Mac Woods Dune Rides and had a lot of fun!

Our tour guide shared stories (both fiction and non-fiction) of the area along the way.

One picture stop during the ride.

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