Historic landmarks, nautical activities, and adaptive recreation make this town shine.
Nestled on the shore of a Lake Michigan harbor, Muskegon is a nautical city known for fishing, sailing, and cruise ship ports. For outdoor enthusiasts, this is a perfect place to enjoy all that the Great Lakes have to offer with close proximity to both wooded areas and beaches.
Here, you’ll find a mix of sandy shoreline, tree-covered dunes, and sports adventure tracks. Climb to the highest point in Muskegon county to enjoy a panoramic scene at the blockhouse, a viewing station built in the 1930s. Designated campsites start at $33 per night, with 247 sites across two campgrounds. There’s also archery, zip lining, rock climbing, and a wheel luge.
Located within Muskegon County, Dune Harbor Park was once a sand mine and the area has been recovering ever since. Now, the former mine site is covered in hilly forests, grass-covered dunes, and a man-made lake—an ecosystem that attracts bald eagles and monarch butterflies. The main activity here is hiking, and leashed pets are welcome, so be sure to bring a camera to capture wildlife as you stroll around the lake.
About an hour’s drive north of Muskegon is Ludington State Park Beach, which is nestled between Hamlin Lake and Lake Michigan. This park has over 20 miles of walking paths, three campgrounds, and many sand dunes for climbing. There’s also a historic beach house with interpretive visits and the Big Sable Point Lighthouse, which is open from 10am to 5pm daily for tours at a fee of $8 for adults and $5 for kids.
The best time to visit the Great Lakes is May, June, September, and October, which avoids both the hot summers and the cold winters. But winter can also be a good time to visit. For example, Muskegon State Park is great for water adventures in the summer. But in the winter, you can enjoy the Luge Adventure Sports park—which has one of only four luge ice tracks in the country and options for adaptive sports year-round.