Make These Muskegon State Parks Your Vacation Destination This Year

Muskegon State Parks entice visitors with the prospect of both adventure and peaceful moments in any season.

Tell a friend that you’re visiting Muskegon and they’ll ask you which state park you plan to visit. Thanks to the beauty of Lake Michigan, there are several state recreation areas along Michigan’s west coast. 

Here, we share two of Muskegon’s great state park options to add to your summer vacation list this year. 

Muskegon State Park Track Chair
Muskegon State Park is a favorite for all visitors with its accessible beaches and trails.
Photo Credit: Visit Muskegon.

Looking for more things to do while you’re in Muskegon? Check out our guides for Michigan’s Adventure and other nearby family attractions

Muskegon State Park

Located in North Muskegon, this 1,233-acre park is home to various terrains, including a beautiful shoreline, forested dunes, campgrounds, picnic areas, trails and more. This state park is the perfect addition to your “must visit” list year-round, so if you can’t make it this summer, don’t worry. 

There are several attractions that make this park unique, accessibility being a major one. The park now offers a track chair for visitors to borrow. These chairs effortlessly navigate trails, snow, sand, and even up to four inches of water, enabling users to explore areas of the parks that traditional wheelchairs cannot access.

Muskegon State Park also boasts an Olympian-designed luge track at Muskegon Luge Adventure Sports Park. The Sports Park is home to an impressive ice-skating trail, a sledding hill, cross-country ski trails, a 1,300-foot dual zip line, a unique summer luge track, an archery range and much more. There’s something here for everyone! 

  • Accommodations: There are several campgrounds throughout Muskegon State Park that offer tent camping, as well as RV connections for a more comfortable camping experience. If you need more room, they offer cabin rentals, as well as yurt for a more unique camping experience. 
  • Trails to try: The Muskegon River Trail, which follows the Muskegon River and offers a peaceful and scenic hike along the water’s edge, and the Dune Ridge Trail, a slightly more challenging trail that leads you through the dunes, offering panoramic views of Lake Michigan and the surrounding landscape.
  • What families are saying: Jecake, from Chicago, said, “We took our three kids (ages 7, 5, and 3) to Muskegon State Park and tent camped for two nights…The kids loved the giant sand dunes and basins that were just a short trek down the ship channel towards Lake Michigan. My husband enjoyed the fishing, and the kids played at the small but very clean beach both days…You won’t regret taking your family.”

muskegon-state-park-in-fall-beauty
Wooded trails at Muskegon State Park show their fall beauty. Photo credit: Claire Charlton

J. Hoffmaster State Park

This gorgeous 1,200-acre park is situated on three miles of the Lake Michigan shoreline and is home to majestic sand hills, scenic trails and the Gillette Sand Dune Visitor Center, where guests can see exhibits and programming regarding the state park. This accessible park is open year-round and offers lots of enriching experiences for families. 

A highlight of Hoffmaster State Park is the ascent up the Dune Overlook Trail, offering visitors a chance to conquer its sandy slopes. This approximately half-mile round trip trek involves ascending about 220 steps, so be sure to bring good walking shoes. There are, however, benches along the trail for resting. The most unique feature of the park is the Dune Climb Stairway. This stairway leads to the summit of a towering dune, and as you ascend, you’ll be rewarded with breathtaking views of the park’s natural beauty. 

  • Accommodations: Hoffmaster State Park offers a group campground and a shaded modern campground with rustic and electric sites.
  • Trails to try: For a less challenging hike, explore the Homestead Trail, which spans two miles round trip. This particular route includes a stop at Lake Michigan. Honeymoon Trail is an easy 1.1-mile round trip trail that is quiet and scenic. The best time to hike this trail is April through October.
  • What families are saying:  Travelingw6, of Wauseon, Ohio, says, “We visited on a Saturday as a family with friends. The park was beautiful. The trails are maintained and not very busy. The walk to the shoreline that we chose was shaded with lots of elevation changes. The nature center had an informative section about wildlife the kids enjoyed.”

Plan your whole Muskegon experience with the help of our City Guide. Check out Michigan’s Adventure and other nearby family attractions — and watch your kids’ smiles grow!

Content sponsored by Southeast Michigan Ford Dealers. Learn more at buyfordnow.com. Find more road trip guides and full city guides at Metro Parent’s Ultimate Family Road Trip Guide

Tara Jones
Tara Jones
Tara Jones is a nationally award-winning digital journalist with experience working in audience development and growth. She specializes in branded content creation and strategy, SEO and newsletter strategies. Throughout her career, Tara has helped launch a digital news website from scratch and has led several newsrooms in various capacities.

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