Off-roading can be fun and exciting for the whole family. Make it a safe experience for yourself and other park visitors. Please follow the rules that have been made for everyone's safety and security. Sand dunes are subject to rapid topographic changes resulting from winds and erosion. Be alert for steep inclines, changing slopes, natural hazards and/or sudden drop-offs. Always operate your vehicle at a safe speed and in a safe manner.
There are a number of general rules that apply to all operators using the Silver Lake Off-Road Vehicle (ORV) Area. Specific vehicle regulations and requirements follow this section.
Ã‚Â·The Off-Road Vehicle Area is open each year from April 1 through October 31.
oApril 1 - May 15 and the day after Labor Day - October 31 it is open-
oMay 16 - Labor Day it is open
oAccess to the ORV Area and Dunes is stopped Ã‚Â½ hour ahead of closing time, every evening.
Ã‚Â·Current vehicle permits are required on all vehicles using the area.
oAll motor vehicles entering the Park must display a Michigan State Park Motor Vehicle Permit.
oAll motor vehicles entering the Dunes must display a Michigan ORV Registration.
Ã‚Â·Entry Vouchers are required on summer weekends and holidays.
Ã‚Â·No alcoholic beverages are allowed throughout the year in and around the ORV Area.
Ã‚Â·Operate vehicles only within the dune area marked with orange boundary markers.
Ã‚Â·Obey Directional Traffic Zone signage. No north-bound traffic in high dune areas.
Ã‚Â·Rectangular, safety orange flags reaching 10 foot in height required on all ORVs.
Michigan Child Passenger Safety Law in effect in ORV Area.
Emergency strobe, flashing, rotating and/or blinking lights and sirens prohibited.
Helmets are required to operate ATVs and motorcycles in parking lot as well as in dunes.
Special regulations for un-licensed and young (12 - 16 years of age) operators.
Headlight(s), taillight(s) and brake light(s) required on vehicles Ã‚Â½ hour after sunset.
ATVs and motorcycles: operator only, no passengers at any time.
Please report accidents, injuries and/or emergencies to State Park personnel or 911.
Off-road riding and driving can be dangerous - DRIVE SAFELY
VEHICLE REGULATIONS AND REQUIREMENTS
Specific vehicle equipment regulations and requirements are covered by the current the Department of Natural Resources Land Use Order of the Director (LUOD) forSilverLakeState Park. Additionaly, no person shall operate a vehicle in violation of any provision of Part 811, Off-Road Recreational Vehicles, of the Natural Resources and Environmental Protection Act, Act 451 of the Public Acts of 1994, being Section 324.81101 to 324.81150 of the Michigan Compiled Laws. If you have any questions about the requirements or rules, please contactSilverLakeState Parkofficials at the following address. The current LUOD reads in part:
By authority conferred on the Director of the Department of Natural Resources by Section 504 of Act No. 451 of the Public Acts of 1994, as amended, being section 324.504 of the Michigan Compiled Laws and in accordance with R 299.671 and R 299.922 of the Michigan Administrative Code, the Director of the Department of Natural Resources orders that the following order of the Land Use Orders of the Director shall read as follows:
Order 5.9. A person shall not do any of the following on all state lands ofSilverLakeState Parkposted as the ORV Area,OceanaCounty:
(5) Operate any motor vehicle with four or more wheels that does not contain a seat and individual seat belt for each occupant of that vehicle. Those vehicles with automotive-type seating and fewer than four wheels shall be equipped with a seat belt for each occupant. Vehicle operators shall comply with the provisions of theMichiganchild passenger safety law, MCL 257.710d, and all of the following provisions:
(a) Seat belts shall be in use by all occupants while the vehicle is in operation.
(b) An approved automotive manufactured restraining device, such as a lap belt or three- or four-point harness, is an acceptable seat belt.
(c) Seat belts and restraining devices, other than factory installed, shall be secured by bolting to the vehicle floor, frame, or roll bar.
(d) Any vehicle on which the operator straddles the seat, such as a motorcycle or an all-terrain vehicle (ATV), will be limited to the operator only as the sole occupant and no seat belt will be required.
(6) Operate a vehicle requiring seat belts where an occupant in the rear seat is not protected by a roll bar located immediately behind the occupant's seat as described in (8) unless the rear seat occupant(s) is wearing on his or her head a crash helmet approved by the United States Department of Transportation (DOT). The operator of a vehicle that is straddled and not required to meet the seat belt specifications will wear a crash helmet and protective eyewear approved by DOT.
(7) Operate a vehicle requiring seat belts without a warning flag mounted and extending over the front-most portion of the vehicle. Vehicles not requiring seat belts shall mount the warning flag on the rear of the vehicle. Vehicle operators shall comply with all of the following requirements:
(a) The warning flag shall be mounted on a staff that is securely bolted or welded to the vehicle. The warning flag shall maintain a minimum 10-foot height at standstill and a minimum 8-foot height under motion.
(b) The warning flag shall be mounted on the top-most end of the staff. The flag shall be rectangular, international orange in color, solid material, with a minimum length on the supporting side of five inches and a minimum length on the base side of 10 inches.
(8) Operate a vehicle requiring seat belts that is not equipped with an integral steel roof, or roll bar located immediately behind the operator, or roll cage, capable of supporting the weight of the vehicle. The operator and occupants of a vehicle without a full front windshield shall wear protective eyewear. The operator of a vehicle equipped with a roll bar shall comply with all the following requirements:
(a) The roll bar shall be welded or bolted to the floor or frame of the vehicle.
(b) The roll bar shall be braced in such a manner as to prevent collapse.
(c) The roll bar shall have clearance above, behind, and outside each seated occupant in the vehicle.
(9) Fail to submit to any of the following tests, or operate any vehicle that does not comply with all of the following:
(a) Vehicles shall be equipped with a muffler and spark arrester containing baffles, shall meet the muffler and spark arrester requirements specified in subsection (g) of section 81133 of Part 811, Off-Road Recreational Vehicles, of the Natural Resources and Environmental Protection Act, Act 451 of the Public Acts of 1994, being Section 324.81133(g) of the Michigan Compiled Laws and shall successfully pass a muffler and spark arrester baffle test. A vehicle shall successfully pass a muffler and spark arrester baffle test by preventing passage of a flexible, plastic rod, no larger than 3/8-inch in diameter, through the muffler and spark arrester when inserted through the exhaust outlet.
(b) A maximum noise level of 94 Db(A), or the current EPA emissions limit, shall be met. The testing provisions of current SAE J 1287, June 93 standard for ATV and motorcycle vehicles and SAE J 1169, March 93 for all other vehicles shall be followed and all vehicles shall pass a stationary sound level test. The stationary sound level test shall be administered from a 0.5 meter (19.69 inches) distance at one-half the engine's maximum rated RPM and as further described by current testing provisions for the particular vehicle.
(10) Operate any vehicle at any time without possessing a valid operator's or chauffeur's license, except as follows:
(a) A person at least 12 years of age, who has in his or her immediate possession a valid ORV safety certificate issued by this state or a comparable ORV safety certificate issued under the authority of another state or a province of Canada, may operate either an ATV or motorcycle while under direct visual supervision, from a distance of not more then 50 feet, of a parent or adult guardian. Adults, with an ORV safety certificate, may operate an ATV or motorcycle unless otherwise prohibited.
(b) A parent or legal guardian of a child 12 years of age to less than 16 years of age shall not permit the child to operate an ORV unless the child is under direct visual supervision, from a distance of not more then 50 feet, of an adult and the child has in his or her immediate possession an ORV safety certificate issued by this state or a comparable ORV safety certificate issued under the authority of another state or a province of Canada.
(11) Operate any type of vehicle and fail to present an operator's or chauffeur's license or ORV Safety Training Certificate upon the demand of any law enforcement officer or State Park personnel.
(12) Enter or use the ORV Area without complying with all posted regulatory, zoning, or directional signs, or operate a vehicle except in the directional pattern established and marked within the ORV Area.
(13) Enter or use the ORV Area without obtaining and displaying a valid ORV Area Parking Lot Voucher or Dune Ready Voucher at any time when such requirement is posted.
(14) Operate any vehicle while towing a contrivance other than a disabled vehicle or trailer, or tow a vehicle or trailer on other than the designated parking lot or paved entrance road without first obtaining proper written permission from the department. Passengers shall not occupy any trailer or disabled vehicle while it is being towed.
(15) Drive or operate any motor driven vehicle at speeds exceeding 15 mph or perform exhibition type driving within the parking area or entrance road to the ORV Area. Exhibition driving means: performing wheelies, spinning tires, cutting circles, jump starts, or other erratic or irresponsible driving.
(16) Possess or consume an alcoholic beverage at any time in the ORV Area, ORV Voucher Center Area, or any area extending one-quarter of a mile from the boundary of the ORV Area.
MICHIGAN VEHICLE TOWING LAWS OUTSIDE THE STATE PARK
The Michigan Motor Vehicle Code and Michigan Compiled Laws state that:
(1) Vehicles may only be towed using a ridged towing bar with safety chains - MCL 257.721(3)
(2) Tow only one vehicle or trailer at any time - MCL 257.721 (5)
(3) Vehicle operators must have the proper operator's or chauffeur's license - MCL 257.301(1)
(4) In some cases reflectors or stop light on the towed trailer or vehicle - MCL 257.688(1)(f).
For additional details please contact:
MichiganStatePolice - Hart Post
Oceana County Sheriff's Office - Hart, Michigan
DRIVER AND/OR RIDER TIPS
There are a number of other considerations each vehicle operator should be aware of and keep in mind while enjoying the dunes:
Be prepared to stop at any time. There may be a stalled or parked vehicle or a natural hazard such as a tree or stump on the other side of the hill that you are cresting.
Drive defensively, be careful, stay alert and in control of your vehicle.
No passing on the entrance ramp.
Must be 16 years of age or older to operate a 3-wheeled ATV.
ATV and motorcycle riders need to consider wearing protective clothing and gear.
No side awnings on vehicles or trailers in the parking lot / staging area on Voucher days.
Consider doubling up in the parking spaces if you have the extra room. It will maximize parking opportunities for others.
Parking spaces are designed to be 12 feet x 60 feet. Vehicles and equipment extending beyond the 60 feet in length will need to unhook and park the tow vehicle in a nearby space.
Be on time for your Voucher period. Make sure to have a Park Ranger validate your Voucher slip with a distinctive hole-punch upon arriving at the ORV Area Entrance Gate. The hole-punch will be required if re-entry is requested later in the day.
Rule violations may subject operator to court citation, eviction and/or vehicle(s) impoundment. Please follow the posted rules for everyone's benefit and safety.
Driver's license or ORV Safety Training Certificate must be in operator's possession at all times. Persons may not operate any vehicles if license is suspended or revoked.
If you have specific questions or concerns, please contactSilverLakeState Park. Additional ORV information can be found at the Michigan Department of Natural Resources web site.
MICHIGANPARKS& RECREATION DIVISION
9679 - W STATE PARK ROAD MEARS,MICHIGAN49436
PLEASE DRIVE SAFELY
ORV VOUCHER SYSTEM,
EXHAUST SYSTEM RULES AND TESTING,
VEHICLE TOWINGOUTSIDEPARK, AND DUNE SAFETY PROGRAM
ORV VOUCHER SYSTEM
The Michigan Department of Natural Resources (MDNR) developed a voucher system during the 2000 use season as a tool to manage the long lines of Off-Road Vehicle (ORV) users waiting to enter Silver Lake State Park on Saturdays, Sundays, and Holidays.
There are two types of vouchers: Dune Ready Vouchers and Parking Lot Vouchers. Dune Ready Vehicles are those that enter the Silver Lake State Park ORV Area from public highways and go straight into the sand dune off-road area without the need for the parking lot / staging area. Parking Lot Vouchers are for those who require a staging or parking area for their tow vehicle and /or trailer. Both types of vouchers are free to park visitors and are distributed from the Off-Road Vehicle Voucher Center located at the corner of Fox and Ridge Roads, about Ã‚Â¼ mile east of the ORV Area entrance.
The Voucher System season:
Vouchers will be handed out starting mid-May, aton Friday, two weeks prior to the Memorial Day weekend and then continuously through the summer on weekends/holidays until the Sunday following Labor Day weekend.
Voucher distribution times:
The voucher distribution point onFox Roadwill open aton Fridays for Dune Ready Vouchers and atfor Parking Lot Vouchers. TheVoucherCenterbe open as traffic and use require until at leastFridays and re-open aton Saturday and Sunday and Holidays. You may also purchase your State Park and ORV permits at the same location, which will continue to help speed up entry into the ORV Area.
Voucher time periods:
Parking Lot Voucherswill be for two periods:orParking Lot Stand-by Voucherswill be distributed once parking spaces for those periods are exhausted. There are five Dune Ready Voucher periods:,,,, and Arrivals afterdo not require a voucher. A person can get Dune Ready Vouchers for both Saturday and Sunday and/or theHolidayat the same time.In order to give people the opportunity for the limited parking spaces, Parking Lot Vouchers will be available atthe day before they are to be used.Once the day'sParking Lot Vouchers are all given out, visitors may choose to be placed on the Parking Lot Stand-by Voucher list for the following day. There may be times when Parking Lot Vouchers will be required, but Dune Ready Vouchers are not, such as on some Holiday weekends.
Dune Ready Voucherholders that arrive late for their time period will need to secure a new voucher for a later time period during the day.Parking Lot Voucherholders are guaranteed entry for either theortheperiod, but not both.If you arrive after your voucher time period, you will need to secure a Parking Lot Stand-by Voucher for later in the day. No parking lot spaces will be guaranteed afternor can space be held for someone to arrive later.Persons may not use their validated/punched Parking Lot Voucher to trailer in additional or new off-road vehicles after they originally gain entry at the ORV Area Entrance Gate unless prior arrangements are made with Park Officials and noted on the validated Voucher.
Leaving and re-entering the State Park:
Once you have entered the park, you may stay as long as you like until the normal closing time. The vouchers only specify the arrival time.Dune Ready and Parking Lot Voucher holders that leave the sand dunes and/or the State Park will be required to go to the end of the waiting line to re-enter. Those attempting to "cut" in ahead of other visitors waiting to enter will be turned away. Vehicles leaving the parking lot will not be guaranteed space upon returning.Be sure your voucher slip is validated (HOLE-TYPE PUNCHED) when you arrive at the ORV Area Entrance Gate for the first time, on any particular day.
How many Vouchers are given out each day:
Over two thousand Dune Ready Vouchers are distributed each day or between 300 and 500 per two-hour time period. The number of available spaces in the lot controls the number of Parking Lot Vouchers. Inclement weather, no-shows, early or unplanned departures, space-sharing, and similar actions allow for additional room on occasion.Parking Lot Stand-by Vouchers are used for these unexpected events.
Picking up a Voucher for someone else:
TwoDune Ready Vouchers or oneParking Lot Voucher can be obtained by an individual adult park visitor. These voucher slips will require the addition of the user's name and main vehicle license number, in ink, prior to validation. The person picking up the Vouchers will need to know the names and license plate numbers and the intended time period wanted.The voucher forms must be completed, in ink, prior to embossed or stamped validation at the time of application at theVoucherCenterOffice. Voucher slips will again be validated with a distinctive hole-type punch upon arrival at the ORV Area Entrance Gate.This hole-type punch will be required if re-entry is requested later during the day.
The Voucher Center Parking Lot will be used for Parking Lot Stand-by Voucher stacking or cueing line purposes during regular business hours. There will still be a wait with a Parking Lot Stand-by Voucher of course, since there is no guarantee when parking spaces may occur, but the visitor will be better able to make the best use of their time.Dune Ready Vehicles will need to check back during the day for the possibility of entry prior toOwners of vehicles in theVoucherCenterParking Lot must be in attendance, trailers or extra vehicles may not be stored or parked there, and there is no overnight parking allowed.TheVoucherCenterParking Lot is used for a landing zone for emergency medical helicopters and may need to be cleared within minutes, at any time.
ORV Area Parking Lot:
Parking Lot spaces are approximately 12 feet x 60 feet in size. Park visitors use of side awnings on trailers, motorhomes, or otherwise takes up space that others may be waiting to use.No side awnings are allowed on voucher days. Please make efficient use of the limited space and keep your vehicles and gear within your parking spot.
Use of trailers in the ORV Area and ORV Parking Lot:
Trailers are not allowed into the ORV Area beyond the Safety Check Station. Check with Park Rangers regarding use of trailers to remove disabled vehicles or emergency situations. Within the ORV Parking Lot semi trailers, with tractor/trucks that are over 60 feet in length, will need to unhook trailers and use a small portion of the adjacent space on weekends and busy days. The spaces on the ends of the parking-bays afford this opportunity and semi users are encouraged to use these spaces in which to park their tractor/truck.Afteron voucher days, no vehicles may be trailered passed the ORV Area Entrance Gate unless prior arrangements are made with Park Officials and noted on the validated Voucher.
EXHAUST SYSTEM RULES AND TESTING
Vehicle muffler noise and the use of spark arresters has been a matter of concern regarding the operation of Off-Road Vehicles (ORV) for many years. The State ofMichigan's ORV Law has required them since 1975. AtSilverLakeState Parka static or stationary test for this equipment is used on all types of vehicles. Noise levels will be checked at a twenty-inch distance from the exhaust pipe at half the vehicle's rated revolutions per minute (RPM) or as detailed in the automotive specifications SAE J1169, March 92 or SAE J1287, June 86. The maximum noise level permitted under these testing conditions will be 94 dBa which is the current limit set by the Off-Road Recreation Vehicles Act of Part 811 of 1994 PA 451 (MCL 324.811). All vehicles are required to have a muffler and spark arrester containing baffles meeting established United States Forest Service (USFS) specifications.
Generally speaking, the guidelines for testing at "half the rate RPM" will be based on some vehicle similarities. In most cases, full-sized vehicles with "V" configured engines will be tested at 2,500 RPM and all others at 2,000 RPM, which was a method developed and used while testing these vehicles atSilverLakein 1997. Diesel powered, full-sized vehicles are tested at 1,500 RPM. Most reverse flow mufflers will meet the spark arrester requirements, as will most turbochargers.However, straight-through mufflers, such as glass-pack designs without baffles and mechanically driven superchargers, do not qualify as adequate spark arresters.
Motorcycles and ATVs will be tested like the full-sized vehicles by placing a sound meter at a twenty inch distance from the muffler exhaust pipe. In most cases, 80 cc engines will be tested at 6,000 RPM, 125 cc at 5,000 RPM, 250 cc at 4,000 RPM and 500 + cc at 3,000 - 3,500 RPM. Annually, the Motorcycle Industry Council produces a manual detailing the standards ATVs and motorcycles must meet. A muffler that meets the Environmental Acoustic Reduction (E.A.R.) standards may be considered as a viable solution for motorcycles. Many ATV and motorcycle mufflers are stamped as being USFS approved and will meetSilverLakeState Parkstandards, if they have not been altered. Those vehicles that have been manufactured for "closed track" use only, such as many motocross or "dirt-bike" motorcycles and competition style ATVs, will most likely not meet the requirements. This is also often true where after market installations have altered the original exhaust system in attempts to gain additional horsepower.
Testing for compliance with these regulations will be done in a random fashion either within the ORV Area Parking Lot, at the base of the ORV Area entrance ramp roadway by the Safety Check Station, or within the ORV Area sand dune complex itself. Park Rangers or other Law Enforcement Officials may insert a plastic rod into the vehicle's exhaust pipe to determine whether there is a spark arrester or baffle present. Most often home-made baffling devices, such as steel wool or metal door screen material, do not meet the USFS requirements.
VEHICLE TOWING OUTSIDE THE STATE PARK
The Michigan Motor Vehicle Code and Michigan Compiled Laws state that vehicles may only be towed using a ridged towing bar that includes safety chains - MCL 257.721 (3); a vehicle operator may tow only one vehicle or trailer at any time - MCL 257.721(5); vehicle operators must have the proper operator's or chauffeur's license - MCL 257.301.1(1); and in some cases reflectors or stop light are required on the towed trailer or vehicle - MCL 257.688(1)(f).
These rules apply to allOceanaCountyand State ofMichiganroadways and are in effect inside the State Park until one passes the main entrance / fee collection booth.
For additional details please contact the Michigan State Police - Hart Post or the Oceana County Sheriff's Office. -Hart,Michigan.
ORV AREA DUNE SAFETY CAMPAIGN
The Silver Lake Sand Dunes Area Chamber of Commerce, in conjunction with the Michigan Department of Natural Resources andSilverLakeState Park, is developing a safe dune driving / operating campaign to make information more readily available throughout the Silver Lake Area. The above logo will indicate locations
where up-to-date materials and information can be acquired about ORV Area dune safety._____________________________________________________________________________________
If you have specific questions or concerns or would like to volunteer to help, please contact personnel atSilverLakeState Parkby telephoning 1-231-873-3083. Additional information can also be found at the Michigan Department of Natural Resources web site: