The town of Muskegon in The Mitten sits along Lake Michigan. I’ve spent time there before, but never right along the coast. On a recent Saturday morning I decided to change that. The day turned out to be one of lighthouse, beach and park hopping along the lake. The early morning first brought me to Muskegon and Beachwood Park.
I stopped at the park because the road wouldn’t allow me to get any closer to the coast due to wind-blown sand over the road.
That certainly wasn’t going to stop me. It was time to get out on the open trail, the Beachwood Park trail. I had sand, brush, the beach and Lake Michigan to my left…
… and sand dunes to my right, with the trail turning into more of a boardwalk.
It was a good fifteen minute walk to the end of the boardwalk and on to the beach.
I reached the opposite end of where the road was closed. No thru traffic? Does that include foot traffic? Haha.
Checkout that sand!
I could now see my end destination, the piers and lighthouses way off in the distance. It was an unusually warm January day in Michigan, but not along the coast. It was cold and the wind was really whipping up. There were only a few other people around.
I walked the beach, turning around from time-to-time to capture the scene behind. The early morning sun was rising and trying to peek through the clouds.
It was thirty minutes in and the hot coffee I had on-hand was consumed. 😦 The good news though was that the piers and lighthouses were getting bigger and bigger in front of me. A few fishermen were out.
I was within Pere Marquette park now…
… and heading onto the narrower of the two piers.
The whole experience here felt unusual because the area is usually buried in snow this time of year due to the Lake Michigan lake effect snow machine. Darn global warming! 🙂
Just me and the open pier straight ahead.
Starting to walk on the pier, looking to the right you can see the South Pierhead Lighthouse and the wider and more popular pier for tourists.
I was on the pier to the South Breakwater Light.
There it is off in the distance. It’s the tallest of three at 70-feet and they all mark the channel connecting Lake Michigan to Lake Muskegon.
The waves were blowing up onto the pier and the cold wind continued to blow hard.
Both the South Pierhead and Breakwater lighthouses were completed in 1903.
There is the Pierhead light again.
With the wet narrow walkway, big rocks on both sides, the lack of people around…
…and the wind, it was best not to get any closer to the lighthouse or to walk onto the other pier.
I did see the third light, the North Breakwater light, which was green and white and kinda looking like a cigarette.
A zoomed in shot of the South Breakwater Lighthouse.
I turned back and started the long cold trek back to the car. The sun was still trying to peak out.
The walk took me on the other half of the Beachwood Boardwalk Loop back to Beachwood Park. It was inland so there was less wind and it had the Autumn and woods look going. When there is snow on the ground make sure to hit up the sledding hills within the park. 🙂
It was a great first time here along coastal Muskegon. A warmer day will bring more pier, lighthouse and beach exploration. 🙂 It was now on to two of my favorite spots along the coast, Grand Haven and Holland, on which I’ll write about soon.
What lighthouses have you come across in your travels that you would recommend visiting? Any along the Great Lakes?