The Muskegon Lakeshore is one of those rare places where you can fully enjoy both soft white-sand beaches and frozen lakes. Sensational summer sports give way to a winter wonderland of activities. There’s even a luge track.
Here are just a few ways and places to enjoy what’s in our nature.
A leisurely kayak trip down the Muskegon River is a wonderful way to enjoy the local scenery. Kayak rentals also are available at Muskegon State Park, Hoffmaster State Park and at many other lake and river locations.
The water just off Pere Marquette Park is ideal for paddle boarding. One favorite trip: navigate the channel connecting Muskegon Lake to Lake Michigan, then circle the Muskegon South Breakwater Light.
Muskegon’s long, wide sandy beaches combined with the steady winds off Lake Michigan make this area a playground for kiteboarders. And the fun continues during the winter with kiteboarding on ice along Muskegon Lake.
The mountain biking buzz is about Mosquito Creek, a new 500-acre project with trails for all skill levels. Some of the most popular are the Hart-Montague Trail, the Lakeshore Trail to the beach and the Musketawa Trail.
The Dune Climb Stairway at Hoffmaster State Park is a taxing-but-rewarding 193-step hike to a viewing platform perched 190 feet above Lake Michigan. The less strenuous trails at Muskegon State Park wind through intercoastal sand dunes.
One of the best ways to experience the beauty of Lake Michigan is with a sailing cruise. Rentals available throughout the region offer a variety of excursions from mid- spring into early fall.
In addition to the Lake Michigan beaches, swimming opportunities can be found at Harbour Towne Beach on Muskegon Lake and at Duck Lake State Park, where the shallow water is suited for small children.
Shooting enthusiasts can take aim at the skeet, trap and sporting clay activities available at Seaway Gun Club, which was founded in 1954. Several of the shooting fields have wireless remotes and voice-activated releases.
There are more than two dozen places to tee it up in Muskegon County, including the historic Oak Ridge Golf Club, which dates to the 1920s. The area also has seven disc golf courses.
Children can enjoy the waterfront fun as well, with many play spaces and playgrounds along the lakeshore.
The Muskegon Winter Sports Complex claims the longest, lighted cross-country ski trail in the Midwest. Half the facility’s nearly 10 miles of trails are lit, allowing for nighttime treks through the woods and dunes.
Anglers are hooked on all the great freshwater fishing found year- round in the lakes and streams of Muskegon. Particularly popular is fishing for Chinook salmon during their annual fall migration up the Muskegon River.
Among Muskegon’s most popular outdoor attractions are the 26 miles of sugar-sand beaches on the shores of Lake Michigan. The Flower Creek Dunes Nature Preserve near Montague recently expanded to more than 30 acres.
The ice is also nice at the Winter Sports Complex, with a skating rink, hockey rink, and quarter-mile skate trail through the woods. Ice skating is offered at the L.C. Walker Arena and the Lakeshore Sports Centre as well.
The winter equivalent of hiking can be found throughout Muskegon. Take an easy loop around Muskegon State Park or tackle some more challenging terrain nearby and be rewarded with spectacular views of the lakeshore.
The Winter Sports Complex is home to one of the four public- accessible luge tracks in the United States. After just 15 minutes of instructions, visitors can slide their way through the 850-foot, six-turn track.
When the cold of winter sets in and Muskegon Lake freezes over, the truly adventurous launch themselves into ice boating. Under the right weather conditions, these sail-powered sleds can reach speeds of 70 mph.