Dunes covering one home on Silver Lake

Posted at 5:51 PM, Feb 09, 2017
and last updated 2017-02-09 19:33:55-05

MEARS, Mich. -- The Silver Lake Sand Dunes are a beautiful sight, and a fun challenge for those who like to explore them while hiking or riding an ORV. However, these dunes can pose a major problem for some property owners.

A Facebook picture -- one that you may have seen already -- shows a home partially covered in sand at the end of North Shore Drive.

According to the DNR, this happens every year.

"Currently there is one house down on the end of the county road down here that has been battling the sand and moving it back off of his property for several years," says Jody Johnston, the Park Manager at Silver Lake State Park.

Johnston estimates the sand dunes move an average of two to six feet each year, and possibly more during a year like this one.

"Well the wind is the biggest factor that moves the sand," he says. "And it will do it year round depending on the weather conditions. Like this past winter has not had a lot of snow cover, a lot of cold weather has not frozen the dunes a whole lot. So there's probably been a lot more movement this year in the dunes."

The moving sand dunes keep the DNR busy as well. They maintain 1,500 acres of land, part of which lies in an off-road vehicle area that attracts thrill seekers from all over the country.

"We're the only ORV riding area that has a dune environment in the Midwest. That's why we get visitors from all over," says Johnston.

The owner of the cottage partially covered in sand wasn't available when we visited the area. But it looks like he will be busier than ever digging his home out this spring.