Silver Beach County Park
Silver Beach County Park is located in St. Joseph, Michigan at the mouth of the St. Joseph River. Silver Beach County Park features a clean, wide beach on Lake Michigan and public access to the South Pier. Of the Park’s 2,450 feet of Lake Michigan frontage, approx. 1,600 feet are dedicated for a public swimming area in the summer months. Silver Beach became a Berrien County Park in the early 1990s, and many improvements have been made over the years to make it a premier tourist destination in Southwest Michigan.
The Park is open from Dawn to Dusk, daily. Vehicles must leave the parking lot upon closing. Over-night parking is not allowed. The Park is open year-around. The restroom buildings are open for use from early May through October. There is a portable toilet located in the north parking lot during the cold season.
Fees & Parking
From May through September:
- Daily Parking Fee at Silver Beach: $8 per vehicle for Berrien County residents; $15 per vehicle for non-Berrien County residents.
- Purchase an Annual Entrance Permit for $40, regardless of residency. This pass allows you to get into every Berrien County Park.
- Have payment ready (cash or card) to pay the Park Ranger upon arrival to the Gatehouse at the entrance of the Park. If paying with cash, please consider exact change.
- The entrance to Silver Beach is at the intersection of Broad Street and Lake Street, below the bluff, St. Joseph, MI.
- Parking space at Silver Beach is on a first come first serve basis.
- There is no cost to walk into the park.
- On warm, sunny days, many people enjoy coming to the Park, and the parking lot may fill up. Be prepared to find alternative parking outside of the park if you arrive when the parking lot is full. Visit St. Joseph Today's website for a map of St. Joseph, www.stjoetoday.com/images/2021_Downtown_Map__Directory.pdf
Photo: Silver Beach County Park Gatehouse - payment for parking (cash or card) is made to a Park Ranger at the Gatehouse at the entrance to the park.
* Please note: Silver Beach County Park is a County Park. The Michigan State Park Recreation Passport does NOT pertain to this County Park.
Buses, RVs, and Large Vehicles
Large vehicles, including school busses, must pay for the number of spaces taken up by the vehicle and surrounding set up, if any. $8 per parking space for Berrien County residents; $15 per parking space for non-Berrien County residents. Receipts are available. Overnight parking is prohibited. There is no camping allowed at Silver Beach County Park. Vehicles must be out of the parking lot upon park closing.
life saving water safety tips
RESPECT THE MASSIVE POWER OF LAKE MICHIGAN
Lake Michigan can be very dangerous for swimmers and bathers. The cold temperatures early and late in the season can quickly cause hypothermia for swimmers. Large waves and dangerous currents can cause hazards conditions. Know and understand the forecast, waves, and water conditions BEFORE you head to the beach. Do not go in the water during dangerous conditions. Be aware that wave and water conditions on Lake Michigan can change throughout the day.
READ THE BEACH HAZARD STATEMENT BEFORE YOU GO TO THE BEACH: View Great Lakes Beach Hazard Statement that is updated daily by the National Weather Service to learn about conditions of the lake and along the shore, including expected swim risk, wave height, water and air temperature, etc.
VIEW THE BEACH LIVE: check out Silver Beach County Park, live, by clicking on the Silver Beach Live Beach Camera link.
DROWNING PREVENTION FOR EVERYONE: View Life Saving Water Safety Resources about how to escape drowning and how to maneuver if you are caught in a Rip Current.
NOAA NATIONAL BUOY DATA CENTER: View data being collected from a buoy off shore in Stevensville, MI. Learn current wave height, water temperature, air temperature, etc.
General Safety Rules to Follow:
- Know how to swim before going in the lake.
- "Stay Dry When Waves are High": waves can generate dangerous currents.
- Never swim alone.
- Stay away from the pier or other structures.
- Watch children closely at all times.
PAVILIONS AND RENTAL FACILITIES
The Shadowland Pavilion and Dunes Pavilion are available to rent from mid-May through September. These pavilions are ideal locations for weddings, family celebrations, and group gatherings during the warmer months. Visit the Pavilion Rental page for more information.
Alcohol is not allowed. Portable grills are not allowed. Pets must be on a leash and remain on the sidewalk (no pets in the water or on the sand or beach). Glass containers are not allowed. View the complete list of Silver Beach Rules (PDF) for a safe visit to Silver Beach County Park.