Hi there!

 

So if you’re planning a Lake Michigan circle tour or a Lake Michigan road trip on the Michigan side, there are many state parks in Michigan to visit that are right along the lake. 

This includes Muskegon State Park which can make for a great stop! (Well, all state parks along Lake Michigan can make for a great stop!)

 

Best things to do in Muskegon State Park: best lake michigan activities. Lake Michigan circle tour road trip. Michigan travel blog

 

 

What’s there to do in Muskegon State Park?!

Best things to do in Muskegon State Park: driving to the best lake michigan activities. Michigan travel blog

Best things to do in Muskegon State Park: best lake michigan activities. Michigan travel blog

Best things to do in Muskegon State Park: best lake michigan activities. Michigan travel blog

Best things to do in Muskegon State Park: best lake michigan activities. Michigan travel blog

Best things to do in Muskegon State Park: best lake michigan activities. Michigan travel blog

Best things to do in Muskegon State Park: best lake michigan activities. Michigan travel blog

 

 

First, the quick list of some of the best things to do in Muskegon State Park.

Then, a bit about swimming in Lake Michigan.

Then, the camping option to stay IN Muskegon State Park which means a 1-2 minute walk from the lake!

And then, a bit of how I spent 24 hours right along Lake Michigan, with PHOTOS! (Muskegon State Park can make for a GREAT photography spot in Michigan!)

 

 

Things to do in Muskegon State Park

 

1. Lake Michigan sunset on the beach

Best things to do in Muskegon State Park: Lake Michigan sunset. Michigan travel blog

 

 

2. Lake Michigan overlook (and beach)

Best things to do in Muskegon State Park: Lake Michigan overlook. Michigan travel blog

Best things to do in Muskegon State Park: Lake Michigan beach near campground. Michigan travel blog

 

 

3. South Scenic Drive

Best things to do in Muskegon State Park: south scenic drive road. Michigan travel blog

 

 

4. Snug Harbor

Best things to do in Muskegon State Park: snug harbor. Michigan travel blog

 

 

5. Dune Ridge Trail: hiking across sand dunes

Best things to do in Muskegon State Park: hiking sand dunes trail. Michigan travel blog

 

 

6. Channel Beach: Lake Michigan beach

Best things to do in Muskegon State Park: best beach. Michigan travel blog

 

 

7. Muskegon Channel

Best things to do in Muskegon State Park: Muskegon Channel walk. Michigan travel blog

Best things to do in Muskegon State Park: See Muskegon lighthouse south pier. Michigan travel blog

 

 

 

 

 

Now…

Swimming at Muskegon State Park beaches

Things to do in Muskegon State Park: swimming in Lake Michigan. Michigan travel blog

 

Yes, it’s possible to swim in Lake Michigan!

Some people may find the water to be cold, but it’s generally considered possible to swim in Lake Michigan in the summer and tons of people are in the water. 

 

Things to do in Muskegon State Park: swimming in Lake Michigan. Michigan travel blog

 

You might expect water temperature to be high 60s in Lake Michigan at Muskegon State Park.

In many ways, because Lake Michigan is pretty big, it can have ocean-like tendencies. Rip currents exist, which means dangers exist, and it’s important to be aware of this. 

 

Things to do in Muskegon State Park: swimming in Lake Michigan. Michigan travel blog

 

There are no lifeguards at Muskegon State Park beaches.

 

 

Muskegon State Park campgrounds

Things to do in Muskegon State Park: Camping at Lake Michigan campground. Michigan travel blog

 

There’s camping available in Muskegon State Park!

There are 2 campgrounds:

  • Lake Michigan campground
  • Channel campground

 

The Muskegon State Park campgrounds are modern campgrounds, which means there’s electricity and hot water showers available. It’s for both tent camping and RV camping. 

At the Lake Michigan campground, your campsite may be a 15 second walk to the Lake Michigan overlook! The overlook is where you’ll find the stairs to the beach.

 

Things to do in Muskegon State Park: Where to see Lake Michigan sunset. Michigan travel blog

 

Even if your campsite is a bit further back, it will take just a few minutes of walking to reach the incredible views of Lake Michigan! 

 

Camping reservations

You make your reservations through the Michigan State Parks reservation website. Book sooner rather than later! State park campgrounds on Lake Michigan can fill up in the summer! 

 

 

Lake Michigan erosion is a thing!

Things to do in Muskegon State Park: Lake Michigan erosion. Michigan travel blog

 

Erosion is evident all over the shorelines of the Great Lakes. This is changing the shoreline landscape of Lake Michigan, and you can see this happening in Muskegon State Park too.

 

 

And now…

PHOTOS of Muskegon State Park!

aka ideas for how to spend your time in this Lake Michigan state park with one night of camping!

 

 

Lake Michigan sunset

Things to do in Muskegon State Park: Where to see Lake Michigan sunset. Michigan travel blog

 

With Lake Michigan in Muskegon State Park being on the sunset side, it means you have a chance for a spectacular Lake Michigan sunset! 

Sunsets around here in the summer can be later than 9pm.

 

Things to do in Muskegon State Park: Where to see Lake Michigan sunset. Michigan travel blog

Things to do in Muskegon State Park: Where to see Lake Michigan sunset. Michigan travel blog

Things to do in Muskegon State Park: Where to see Lake Michigan sunset. Michigan travel blog

Things to do in Muskegon State Park: Where to see Lake Michigan sunset. Michigan travel blog

Things to do in Muskegon State Park: Where to see Lake Michigan sunset. Michigan travel blog

Things to do in Muskegon State Park: Where to see Lake Michigan sunset. Michigan travel blog

Things to do in Muskegon State Park: Where to see Lake Michigan sunset. Michigan travel blog

Things to do in Muskegon State Park: Where to see Lake Michigan sunset. Michigan travel blog

Things to do in Muskegon State Park: Where to see Lake Michigan sunset. Michigan travel blog

Things to do in Muskegon State Park: Where to see Lake Michigan sunset. Michigan travel blog

 

 

Overnight camping in Muskegon State park at Lake Michigan campground

Things to do in Muskegon State Park: Camping at Lake Michigan campground. Michigan travel blog

Things to do in Muskegon State Park: Camping at Lake Michigan campground. Michigan travel blog

Things to do in Muskegon State Park: Camping at Lake Michigan campground. Michigan travel blog

Things to do in Muskegon State Park: Camping at Lake Michigan campground. Michigan travel blog

 

 

Lake Michigan beach near the campground

Back to the overlook and down to the beach in the morning!

 

Things to do in Muskegon State Park: Lake Michigan overlook. Michigan travel blog

Things to do in Muskegon State Park: Lake Michigan beach near campground. Michigan travel blog

Things to do in Muskegon State Park: Lake Michigan beach near campground. Michigan travel blog

Things to do in Muskegon State Park: Lake Michigan beach near campground. Michigan travel blog

Things to do in Muskegon State Park: Lake Michigan beach near campground. Michigan travel blog

Things to do in Muskegon State Park: Lake Michigan beach near campground. Michigan travel blog

Things to do in Muskegon State Park: Lake Michigan beach near campground. Michigan travel blog

Things to do in Muskegon State Park: Lake Michigan beach near campground. Michigan travel blog

Things to do in Muskegon State Park: Lake Michigan beach near campground. Michigan travel blog

 

 

Blockhouse

Things to do in Muskegon State Park: blockhouse. Michigan travel blog

 

This can be a quick visit if you see it as you’re driving through the state park.

 

Things to do in Muskegon State Park: blockhouse. Michigan travel blog

Things to do in Muskegon State Park: blockhouse. Michigan travel blog

 

 

South Scenic Drive

Things to do in Muskegon State Park: South Scenic Drive along Lake Michigan. Michigan travel blog

 

Beautiful drive through the park right along Lake Michigan!

If you’re looking for a quiet spot on the beach compared to the main Muskegon State Park beach, then park near the intersection of South Scenic Drive and Memorial Drive (google maps) and walk to the right (as you’re facing the lake).

 

Things to do in Muskegon State Park: South Scenic Drive along Lake Michigan. Michigan travel blog

Things to do in Muskegon State Park: South Scenic Drive along Lake Michigan. Michigan travel blog

Things to do in Muskegon State Park: South Scenic Drive along Lake Michigan. Michigan travel blog

Things to do in Muskegon State Park: South Scenic Drive along Lake Michigan. Michigan travel blog

Things to do in Muskegon State Park: South Scenic Drive, Lake Michigan beach. Michigan travel blog

Things to do in Muskegon State Park: South Scenic Drive, Lake Michigan beach. Michigan travel blog

Things to do in Muskegon State Park: South Scenic Drive along Lake Michigan. Michigan travel blog

Things to do in Muskegon State Park: South Scenic Drive along Lake Michigan. Michigan travel blog

 

 

Snug Harbor

Things to do in Muskegon State Park: Snug harbor kayaking and boat launch. picnic site. Michigan travel blog

 

Another scenic spot. Boat launch and kayaking is possible from Snug Harbor. There are picnic tables here so you can find a spot to eat a picnic lunch away from crowds. There’s also a trailhead here for hiking through the dunes.

 

 

Dune Ridge Trail to hike across sand dunes

Things to do in Muskegon State Park: sand dunes hiking trail - starting on dune ridge trail. Michigan travel blog

 

The Dune Ridge Trail starts from Snug Harbor. I had a paper trail map with me (you can get one at the campground or there were also some at the trailhead) but I went the wrong way anyway.

So I’d say be prepared for an adventure. 😉

And be sure to take lots of WATER and SNACKS in case you do end up on the trail longer than expected! 

Taking the wrong trail took me directly to the beach.

 

Things to do in Muskegon State Park: sand dunes hiking trail - starting on dune ridge trail. Michigan travel blog

Things to do in Muskegon State Park: sand dunes hiking trail - starting on dune ridge trail. Michigan travel blog

Things to do in Muskegon State Park: sand dunes hiking trail - starting on dune ridge trail. Michigan travel blog

Things to do in Muskegon State Park: sand dunes hiking trail - starting on dune ridge trail. Michigan travel blog

Things to do in Muskegon State Park: sand dunes hiking trail - starting on dune ridge trail. Michigan travel blog

Things to do in Muskegon State Park: sand dunes hiking trail - starting on dune ridge trail. Michigan travel blog

Things to do in Muskegon State Park: sand dunes hiking trail - starting on dune ridge trail. Michigan travel blog

 

See more about this Muskegon State Park activity: Dune Ridge Trail

 

Side note: For a trip to another state park that includes sand dunes and Lake Michigan, also see about hiking in Hoffmaster State Park, just down the road from Muskegon State Park. (30 minute drive.) And then further up north there’s sand dunes hiking in Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore!

 

 

Channel Beach

Things to do in Muskegon State Park: best beach. Michigan travel blog

 

A Lake Michigan beach!

I got to Channel Beach unexpectedly by way of the sand dunes, but there’s a parking lot here so you can directly drive to it. 

 

Things to do in Muskegon State Park: beach road parking lot. Michigan travel blog

Things to do in Muskegon State Park: beach road parking lot. Michigan travel blog

 

This seems to be the main beach of Muskegon State Park, so it can be crowded. There are beach facilities here. (Bathroom.)

 

Things to do in Muskegon State Park: beach facilities. Michigan travel blog

Things to do in Muskegon State Park: best beach. Michigan travel blog

Things to do in Muskegon State Park: best beach. Michigan travel blog

Things to do in Muskegon State Park: best beach. Michigan travel blog

 

See more about this Muskegon State Park activity: Channel Beach

 

Side note: Once again further up north you can visit Lake Michigan beaches in Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore!

 

 

Muskegon Channel

Things to do in Muskegon State Park: Muskegon Channel walk to Muskegon lighthouse south pier. Michigan travel blog

 

If you walk towards the left of the beach as you’re facing the lake, you’ll be walking towards the Muskegon Channel that connects Lake Michigan and Muskegon Lake. On this side are light stations that you can see.

 

Things to do in Muskegon State Park: getting to Muskegon lighth north pier. Michigan travel blog

 

From Channel Beach, you can make your way over to walk on a “pier” to a small light station.

The Muskegon State Park North Channel Pier is across big rocks.

 

Things to do in Muskegon State Park: Muskegon lighth north pier. Michigan travel blog

 

It’s probably best if you are wearing proper shoes and have good balance if you want to walk to the end. Also for safety reasons, it’s not good to do this walk if the Lake Michigan waves are rough.

If you keep going past this north pier, you’ll come to the pathway that goes alongside the channel. You’ll be able to see the Muskegon South Pier Lighthouse more closely.

 

Things to do in Muskegon State Park: Muskegon Channel walk. Michigan travel blog

Things to do in Muskegon State Park: Muskegon Channel walk. Michigan travel blog

Things to do in Muskegon State Park: Muskegon Channel walk. Michigan travel blog

Things to do in Muskegon State Park: Muskegon Channel walk. Michigan travel blog

Things to do in Muskegon State Park: Muskegon Channel walk. Michigan travel blog

Things to do in Muskegon State Park: Muskegon Channel walk to Muskegon lighthouse south pier. Michigan travel blog

Things to do in Muskegon State Park: Muskegon Channel walk to Muskegon lighthouse south pier. Michigan travel blog

 

From the state park side, you can only SEE the south pier lighthouse.

There is no connecting bridge to the other side of the channel directly at the state park, so you’ll need to drive all the way around the channel to get to the other side. It’s possible to walk out on the pier to get up close and personal to the Muskegon South Pierhead Lighthouse. In normal times, you can climb to the top too. The lighthouse was closed when I went in July 2020, but you can still walk out onto the pier. 

And the Muskegon Channel is part of the path of the Michigan – Wisconsin ferry that goes from Muskegon to Milwaukee and Milwaukee to Muskegon! 

 

Things to do in Muskegon State Park: Muskegon Channel to see Wisconsin to Michigan ferry. Michigan travel blog

 

 

And that’s a bit about what you can see with a visit to Muskegon State Park!

 

Continue your Lake Michigan road trip from Muskegon State Park where there are also campgrounds:

 

Explore more Michigan state parks in the Upper Peninsula:

 

Muskegon is a designated “Michigan beach town.” South Haven MI is a Michigan beach town too! If you want to break up the drive from the south, you can make a stop by a South Haven beach, located an hour south of Muskegon State Park.

 

HAPPY LAKE MICHIGAN VISIT TO MUSKEGON STATE PARK!

 

Best things to do in Muskegon State Park: best lake michigan activities. Lake Michigan circle tour road trip. Michigan travel blog

 

 

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Things to pack for your Michigan vacation!

The ultimate beach towel for travel?!
Turkish towels are considered to be more lightweight than your average beach towel while still being absorbent. Be sure to check out turkish towels like these!
How to be a little bit more eco-friendly during your road trip!
Instead of using plastic silverware, try out bamboo silverware like this set!
The cheapo way to waterproof your phone
You can beach-proof your phone with a simple waterproof phone case like this.
Wear less sunscreen by wearing a UPF swim shirt!
Wearing a swim shirt means less skin that's exposed to the sun which means less sunscreen you need to apply! See about wearing swim shirts with UV protection like these when you're swimming in Lake Michigan or Lake Superior! Less sunscreen also means less chemicals from that sunscreen will enter our precious Great Lakes!
Get your travel bags more organized!
Packing cubes can make it so you're spending less time on your vacation looking for things! They are basically a form of drawers in your suitcase. Take a look at these packing cubes.