If you like to spend time outdoors in the summer, you probably already have a few of your favorite go-to spots. But, what happens when your favorite spots closes suddenly at the start of the season?

Credit: Canva
Credit: Canva

That happened to folks who love to frequent Silver Lake State Park's Off Road Vehicle Park in mid-May when they got notice that their "spot" was closed temporarily.

Why did the park originally close?

Late last month, a nest belonging to Great Lakes piping plovers — a small shorebird protected by the federal Endangered Species Act — had been discovered in the northern portion of the park's popular ORV area, prompting the park to close a portion of the dunes for the birds' protection.

Great Lakes piping plovers are relatively small shorebirds with long legs and black-and-white stripes around their neck. They are among the most threatened bird species in North America due to habitat loss and disturbance from humans.

Where is the park located?

You can specifically find the Off Road Vehicle (ORV) area at 8969 West Fox Road in Mears.

When is the park open for visitors?

Silver Lake State Park ORV area is open from April 1 through the end of October, but their hours vary based on when you visit.

  • April 1 - April 30 (9 a.m. to 8 p.m.)
  • May 1 - Sept. 15 (9 a.m. to 10 p.m.)
  • Sept. 16 - Oct. 31 (9 a.m. to 8 p.m.)

Now that the area has been cleared to be safely enjoyed again for everyone, good luck and be safe when you visit. If you'd like info on safety and rules for your visit, you can visit their landing page on the Michigan DNR website.

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