Get ready for tons of year-round fun along the Muskegon Lakeshore.
Whether it’s basking in the summer sun or frolicking in a winter wonderland, the Muskegon Lakeshore region offers plenty of places for outdoor activities and numerous ways to enjoy them.
“If you want to be outside during all four seasons where you can switch it up and not get tired of doing the same thing year-round, then this is definitely the spot to be,” says Dan Bonner with the Muskegon Luge Adventure Sports Park.
Here are eight must-try 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 trails that are groomed three times each day. And the early sunsets of winter are no problem, since half of the facility’s trails are lighted. For snowshoers, Bonner recommends a picturesque path that goes around Lost Lake at the edge of Muskegon State Park, then up a dune ridgeline to the historic Blockhouse fort overlooking Lake Michigan.
Yes, luging. As its name implies, the Muskegon Luge Adventure Sports Park is home to one of only four luge tracks in the U.S. Ready for an icy adventure worthy of an Olympian? Buy a ticket, go through a short training session with park instructors, and then barrel down the 850-foot, six-turn luge track at hair-raising speeds of up to 30 mph.
You don’t have to go far to find a good place to put your craft into the water. In fact, there are access points in downtown Muskegon. “You’re floating along in this nice, cool urban area around all these restaurants and breweries,” says local marketing strategist and travel author Laura Holmes. “So, you can burn your calories on the water, and then go relax.”
Mona Lake is such a good location for paddleboarding that it is the site of a competitive race hosted by the Muskegon Lakeshore Paddle Club. “It’s a relatively calm, lower-traffic lake with a lot of wildlife like herons and bald eagles,” Paddle Club co-founder Ryan Bryker says.
The 695-acre lake narrows on its western tip before connecting to Lake Michigan at Lake Harbor Park. “That’s a pretty area to paddle through,” Bryker says. “It’s very relaxing to paddle there and then just sit on your board and watch the sunset over the lake.”
5. Beach Volleyball
Visitors to Pere Marquette Beach rarely have to wait for an open court. 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 AVP (Association of Volleyball Professionals), which will host a tournament on June 11-12. Players can also refuel and relax at The Deck beachside restaurant.
For those who prefer their outdoor activities to be on the calmer side, there are plenty of places throughout the region to spend a peaceful day fishing. You can catch trout and salmon on the Muskegon River, or fish for bass and walleye at one of the county’s 57 inland lakes. The wide variety of fishing options enabled Muskegon to host the prestigious Bassmasters All-Stars tournament in 2013.
Located approximately 15 miles east of Muskegon, the Mosquito Creek Trails have created quite a buzz since opening in 2019. Spread out across 500 acres of woodland, Mosquito Creek provides 12 miles of maintained trails over four distinct loops designed for varying skill levels.
“It’s enjoyable for beginners and families, all the way up to very experienced riders,” says Holmes, who uses the trails frequently. “The builders added features like jumps and drops, but designed it so you can ride around those features if you’re not as experienced.”
In addition, Holmes recommends venturing north to the more natural trail at the Owasippe Scout Reservation, which is the oldest Boy Scout camp in the country.
Nearly all the characteristics that the Michigan landscape has to offer can be found along 10-plus miles of trails within Muskegon State Park.
“There is a huge variety of terrain there, everything from swampy bogs to sand dunes with expansive views,” Bonner says.
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.
Get to Know the Muskegon Lakeshore
Want to learn more about living and working in Muskegon? Check out the latest edition of Livability Muskegon Lakeshore, Michigan.