The Muskegon State Park in Michigan is located at 3560 Memorial Drive, North Muskegon, MI 49445. A phone number to reach the park is (231) 744-3480. The state park is open year round and offers many activities for families to do in the great outdoors. Muskegon State Park is located on the shore of Lake Michigan and has several miles of beachfront and shoreline on Lake Michigan as well as about a mile on the Muskegon Lake.
There are several options in the summertime for families to spend quality time together outdoors. Some of those options include camping, hiking, wildlife watching, metal detecting, swimming, picnicking and boating. Fishing is offered in the state park as well with a valid fishing license on certain species. It is important to check with the Department of Natural Resources and Environment to make sure which species can be fished at that location.
For hiking and wildlife watching, Muskegon State Park offers trails including the Muskegon-Devil’s Kitchen, Muskegon-Dune Ridge, Muskegon-Hearty Hiker, Muskegon-Lost Lake, Muskegon-Loop to Loop and Muskegon-Scenic Ridge. Each trail provides a unique challenge and view for the hikers and wildlife watchers. The shortest trail is Lost Lake at three-quarters of a mile and the longest trail is Loop to Loop totaling five miles in length. Each trail is also available in the wintertime for cross country skiing.
The Muskegon State Park offers three separate camping areas within the park. One is known as Group Use Area, for large groups of campers. Lake Michigan campground offers electric service, modern restrooms and mini cabins. South Channel campsite also offers electric service and modern restrooms. Also found in and around the area are other campgrounds without electric service or other modern conveniences, made especially for those looking to “rough it” in the great outdoors.
The history of the park dates back to 1923 when it was established as a state park. The City of Muskegon granted the land to the Department of Natural Resources to begin the park. Since that time, the park has provided the local residents as well as visitors with the improved quality of life that can only come from enjoying nature and viewing wildlife in its natural habitat.
The Muskegon State Park has a unique feature as well. There is a Winter Sports Complex located at the park to provide for winter fun at the park, enabling it to remain open year round. Activities offered at the Winter Sports Complex include luging, cross country skiing, ice skating and snowshoeing. All of which can be done through the beautiful forests and wonderful sand dunes of the park.
Also located near the park are many other attractions. Included in those attractions are things such as Michigan Adventure amusement park, Muskegon County Museum, Muskegon Museum of Art, Gillette Nature Center at Hoffmaster State Park and the USS Silversides, a World War II submarine that is open for public tours.
The Muskegon State Park also offers a State Park Explorer Program. Topics such as forests, insects, night hikes, and pond studies are included in this program. The State Park Explorer Program is designed for both children and adults and participation as a family is encouraged. The guides lead participants on an informal hike pointing out unique historic, cultural and natural resources. People that choose to participant are presented with field guides, bug boxes, animal skins as well as many other hands on materials to help them on their exploration of the park. These programs are intended to help visitors learn about conservation and preservation and as well gain general knowledge about the out of doors.
Metal detecting has been recognized as a real recreational activity and Muskegon State Park has developed areas where metal detecting is allowed. Because of the park’s historical value, items that are discovered should be shown to the park staff. Items that the park staff feel have historical meaning will likely be retained by the staff for more investigation. The activity must be done in a way that does not damage cultural and natural resources and can only be done in designated areas around the park.