Michigan Trail Tuesday: Muskegon State Park
Michigan Trail Tuesdays is a new feature that will showcase a different trail or trail segment each week. The Mitten State is home to thousands of miles of trails, including the new Iron Belle Trail that runs from Detroit in the southeast to Ironwood in the western Upper Peninsula.
Muskegon State Park is a beloved spot for summer vacations and day trips along the Lake Michigan shoreline, thanks to its beach, two large campgrounds and a network of hiking trails that cover more than 10 miles. These trails take hikers (and cross-country skiers in the winter) through lowlands, forests, and to the top of sand dunes. You can check out our Photo Gallery of the park to see more of what it has to offer. Today we take a look at six Muskegon State Park trails of various lengths and difficulty, you can find a map and more at http://www.michigandnr.com/muskegon_hiking.pdf.
The Devil’s Kitchen trail is one mile long and runs between Snug Harbor and the Channel Campground boat launch. This short trail mostly follows the shoreline of Muskegon Lake and provides great chances for viewing wildlife and plants.
The Lost Lake trail is 3/4 mile long and is great for seeing wildflowers and other plant life on a mostly flat path. This trail connects to the Scenic Ridge trail as well as the Loop to Loop trail. The trailhead can be found at Snug Harbor’s north parking lot.
The Loop to Loop trail is the longest trail in the park at five miles, and is the primary winter route for cross-country skiers. Beginning at the blockhouse north parking lot, this trail passes the luge run (one of only three luge runs in the continental U.S.) and has portions that are lighted. It is a mostly flat and smooth trail.
The Scenic Ridge trail offers great views of Muskegon from the top of sand dunes. This 1.25 mile trail starts at the blockhouse and features many ups and downs as it travels through the dunes.
The Hearty Hiker trail is 1.75 miles long and has many hills. It starts at Snug Harbor and connects to the Scenic Ridge trail and the blockhouse.
Our favorite trail is the Dune Ridge trail, a 1.75 mile trail that starts near the Channel Walkway. One of the best workouts in the park, “this trail is for the heartiest of hikers and not recommended for those with heart or respiratory problems. The trail leads you through open and wooded dunes with views of Muskegon Lake, Lake Michigan, interdunal ponds, and the Channel with its lighthouses. This trail connects the Channel Campground to the Hearty Hiker Trail.”
Other Muskegon Attractions: