Get ready for tons of year-round fun along Muskegon Lakeshore.
Muskegon / Trulymichiganaerial.com
From basking in the summer sun to frolicking in winter wonderland, the Muskegon Lakeshore region offers plenty of places for outdoor activities and plenty of ways to enjoy them.
“If you want to be outdoors for all four seasons where you can change and not get tired of doing the same thing all year round, then this is definitely the place to be,” says Dan Bonner of Muskegon Luge Adventure Sports Park. .
Here are eight must-do activities for outdoor enthusiasts in the Muskegon Lakeshore region, and the best places to enjoy them:
1. Cross-country skiing/snowshoeing
The Adventure Sports Park has nearly 10 miles of ski runs that are groomed three times a day. And early winter sunsets are no problem since half of the facility’s trails are lit. For snowshoers, Bonner recommends a scenic trail that loops around Lost Lake at the edge of Muskegon State Parkthen over a ridge of dunes to historic Fort Blockhouse overlooking Lake Michigan.
Yes, hang out. As its name suggests, the Muskegon Luge Adventure Sports Park is home to one of only four toboggan runs in the United States. Ready for an icy adventure worthy of an Olympian? Buy a ticket, get a short practice session with the park’s instructors, then zip down the 850-foot, six-turn toboggan run at blistering speeds of up to 30 mph.
You don’t have to go far to find a good place to launch your boat. In fact, there are access points to downtown Muskegon. “You float around in this nice, cool urban area around all these restaurants and breweries,” says Laura Holmes, local marketing strategist and travel writer. “So you can burn your calories on the water and then go relax.”
4. Paddle board
Mona Lake is such a great place to paddleboard that it is the site of a competitive race organized by the Muskegon Lakeshore Paddle Club. “It’s a relatively calm, uncrowded lake with lots of wildlife like herons and bald eagles,” Paddle Club co-founder Ryan Bryker said.
The 695-acre lake narrows on its western tip before connecting to Lake Michigan at Lake Harbor Park. “It’s a great area to paddle around,” says Bryker. “It’s very relaxing to paddle there and then sit on your board and watch the sunset over the lake.”
5. Beach volleyball
Visitors from Father Marquette Beach rarely have to wait for a public hearing. Located on Lake Michigan, the 27.5-acre park has 40 volleyball courts that are used for local leagues, pickup games, and events such as the Association of Volleyball Professionals (AVP), which will host a tournament on June 11 and 12. Players can also refuel and relax at The Deck beach restaurant.
For those who prefer their outdoor activities to be more sedate, there are plenty of places in the area to spend a peaceful day of fishing. You can fish for trout and salmon on the Muskegon River, or fish for bass and walleye in one of the county’s 57 inland lakes. The wide variety of fishing options helped Muskegon host the prestigious Bassmasters All-Stars tournament in 2013.
Located about 15 miles east of Muskegon, the Mosquito Creek Trails have created quite a buzz since opening in 2019. Spread across 500 acres of woodland, Mosquito Creek offers 12 miles of groomed trails on four distinct loops designed for varying skill levels.
“It’s nice for beginners and families, all the way to very experienced riders,” says Holmes, who frequently uses the trails. “The builders added features like jumps and drops, but designed it so you could work around those features if you’re not as experienced.”
Additionally, Holmes recommends venturing north to the more natural trail of Owasippe Scout Bookingwhich is the oldest scout camp in the country.
Almost every feature Michigan’s landscape has to offer can be found along more than 10 miles of trails in Muskegon State Park.
“There’s a wide variety of terrain there, ranging from swampy bogs to sand dunes with stunning views,” says Bonner.
Less than 10 miles to the south, the Dune Climb Stairway at Hoffmaster State Park offers a 193-step hike to a viewing platform perched 190 feet above Lake Michigan.