Your Outdoor Adventure Awaits in Muskegon
By Gary Simmons
Muskegon County is known for having many natural attractions. For generations people have visited this area to simply get away from it all in one of Muskegon’s many parks and trails.
One of the most popular of Muskegon’s natural treasures is Muskegon State Park. Established in the 1930’s as a Depression Era Works Progress Administration project, it was established on land near North Muskegon that was donated by L.C. Walker for people from Muskegon and the rest of the state to enjoy. The most iconic landmark in this park is The Blockhouse, a replica of colonial blockhouses that was originally built in 1934, but was burned down and rebuilt in 1962. The Blockhouse offers great views of the surrounding area and Lake Michigan from the top of one of the highest points in the park. The park also offers quiet, secluded beaches on the Lake Michigan lakeshore. Muskegon State Park’s beaches tend to have a more relaxed feel compared to Pere Marquette’s exciting, beach-party vibe. You can also enjoy views of Muskegon’s lighthouses and the Lake Express Ferry from these beaches. In addition to having these features, as well as some campgrounds, Muskegon State Park also features the Muskegon Luge Adventure Sports Park, an all-season facility that has activities such as the new zip-line, hiking trails, and one of only four winter luge tracks in the United States. Muskegon State Park offers many activities suitable for the entire year.
Nestled in the forests of Egelston Township just off of Maple Island Road is a new trail system that offers something for everyone. The Mosquito Creek Trails, located in a forested area surrounding Mosquito Creek, was completed in stages between 2018-2020. Established by the Michigan’s Edge Mountain Biking Association, with design work by Dirt Artisans of Covington, Kentucky, the Mosquito Creek Trails offer five trails catered to different skill levels. The Gerber Kids Trail is the shortest at 0.5 miles, and is tailored towards kids and their families with gentle terrain meant for kids and people who want a peaceful walk. This track, and the Faz Track are great for beginners, while The Matrix, Infinity, and Saint’s Loop trails are advanced trails for adventure seeking bikers that feature intense jumps and steep curves that snake around the creek valley. The Mosquito Creek Trails are an exciting complement to the tranquil Musketawa Trail that connects Muskegon to Ottawa County. The Mosquito Creek Trails entrance is at 2190 Maple Island Road.
Muskegon’s newest park is Dune Harbor Park, located in Norton Shores on the former Nugent Sand plant. Featuring two man-made lakes right next to Lake Michigan, it’s a picturesque park that offers fishing, kayaking, and hiking trails. The park is still a work in progress, with the north side of the park expected to open spring 2023, but the part that is currently accessible is still fun to visit and the park has a great future ahead of it. The park’s current entrance is near the corner of Lincoln and Leif Streets.
Muskegon is a nature lover’s destination; these three parks show that Muskegon is a great place for adventurous outdoors enthusiasts to enjoy the area’s greener side.