Grown Locally: Mac Wood’s Dune Rides

August 29, 2022

Grown Locally: Mac Wood’s Dune Rides

Grown Locally is presented by House of Flavors Restaurant of Ludington and features locally owned businesses and locally produced products.

By Rob Alway, Editor-in-Chief.

GOLDEN TOWNSHIP (Oceana County) — Last week our family checked off one of its “local tourist” bucket list items by visiting Mac Wood’s Dune Rides near Silver Lake. This is something I hadn’t done since I was a kid in the 70s. Our daughters, ages 9 and 7, had a blast (OK, so did my wife, Becky, and I). Mac Wood’s Dune Rides offers a 40 minute ride on the south third of the Silver Lake State Parks dunes, which the company leases from the State of Michigan. The ride takes up to 20 passengers in customized dune vehicles riding up and down the sand dunes. It even includes a cruise and stop along the Lake Michigan shoreline. 

Our tour guide/driver, Bill, did an excellent job explaining a history of the dunes and giving some science lessons as well, about the continuous shift in the dunes, Lake Michigan and Silver Lake. 

Mac Wood’s Dune Rides was founded by Mac Wood in 1930. It began as entertainment for Wood and his family riding a dune scooter through the dunes. Eventually, according to the business’s website, neighbors talked Wood into starting a dune scooter business. 

The first dune scooter was created from a Ford Model A and carried four passengers, at 25 cents a person. Today, the business features its own “chop shop” that customizes heavy duty pickup trucks into the dune scooters (complete with airplane tires). The cost is $20 for passengers ages 12 and older, $15 for children ages 3 to 11 and free for kids ages 2 and under. 

Mac Wood’s Dune Rides is located at 629 N. 18th Ave., at the intersection of Silver Lake Road and 18th Avenue (Scenic Drive). Current hours through Labor Day (Sept. 5) are seven days a week from 9:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. After Labor Day through Oct. 2, hours are seven days a week from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. 

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