Living in Michigan, this is the time of year many neighbors and friends head for warmer parts of the country to escape the cold and snow. As I sit looking at the snow piling up outside and watch the tv scroll of all the school closings, I think about warmer environments. But I’m not a beach baby. Laying in the sun is torture to me, even with a good book. Sunscreen is a necessity for my red-headed, pale skin. So I tough out the snow and cold and dream of places I can visit in the winterless months.
So, while I wait for May and my bicycle trip to the Netherlands, I decided to write about Muskegon, my hometown. I live in one of the most beautiful places in the United States. Muskegon is a small town on the shores of Lake Michigan. Maybe the reason so many Muskegon residents vacation in Florida is winter beach withdrawl. Standing on the beach, Lake Michigan looks as if it is an ocean. It goes on forever. We are lucky to have many choices. My favorite is our city beach, Pere Marquette. No admission fee, free parking, miles of beach and a couple of good restaurants to boot.
But Pere Marquette Park is only one of many choices for a day on the water. Muskegon Lake is connected by channel to the “big lake.” Sun and a breeze make for gorgeous days on this favorite lake of sailors.
Just north of the channel is one of two state parks in Muskegon County. North Muskegon State Park has beautiful beaches, camping, hiking and a winter sports complex. There are only four luge runs in the United States, and we have one of them! This luge is not a training spot for Olympians, but gives future Olympians a place to begin their dreams. Five time Olympian Mark Grimmette started his career here. The Complex also offers an ice skating trail through the woods, groomed cross country ski trails, snowshoe trails and sledding. A winter oasis!
Hoffmaster State Park, south of Muskegon also offers beaches, camping and Gillette Nature Center.
If you are looking for a beautiful vacation area, come visit.