Michigan: Coastal Muskegon on a Winter Day.

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.

Muskegon, Michigan, Lake Michgan, Beachwood Park trail

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…

Muskegon, Michigan, Lake Michgan, Beachwood Park trail

… and sand dunes to my right, with the trail turning into more of a boardwalk.

Muskegon, Michigan, Lake Michgan, Beachwood Park trail

Muskegon, Michigan, Lake Michgan, Beachwood Park trail

It was a good fifteen minute walk to the end of the boardwalk and on to the beach.

Muskegon, Michigan, Lake Michgan, Beachwood Park trail

I reached the opposite end of where the road was closed. No thru traffic? Does that include foot traffic? Haha.

Muskegon, Michigan, Lake Michgan

Checkout that sand!

Muskegon, Michigan, Lake Michgan

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.

Muskegon, Michigan, Lake Michgan, beach

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.

Muskegon, Michigan, Lake Michgan, beach

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.

Muskegon, Michigan, Lake Michgan, beach

I was within Pere Marquette park now…

Muskegon, Michigan, Lake Michgan, Pere Marquette Park

… and heading onto the narrower of the two piers.

Muskegon, Michigan, Lake Michgan, Pere Marquette Park

Muskegon, Michigan, Lake Michgan, Pere Marquette Park

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! 🙂

Muskegon, Michigan, Lake Michgan, pier, lighthouse

Just me and the open pier straight ahead.

Muskegon, Michigan, Lake Michgan, pier, lighthouse

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.

Muskegon, Michigan, Lake Michgan, pier, lighthouse

I was on the pier to the South Breakwater Light.

Muskegon, Michigan, Lake Michgan, pier, lighthouse

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.

Muskegon, Michigan, Lake Michgan, pier, lighthouse

The waves were blowing up onto the pier and the cold wind continued to blow hard.

Muskegon, Michigan, Lake Michgan, pier, lighthouse

Both the South Pierhead and Breakwater lighthouses were completed in 1903.

Muskegon, Michigan, Lake Michgan, pier, lighthouse

There is the Pierhead light again.

Muskegon, Michigan, Lake Michgan, pier, lighthouse

With the wet narrow walkway, big rocks on both sides, the lack of people around…

Muskegon, Michigan, Lake Michgan, pier, lighthouse

…and the wind, it was best not to get any closer to the lighthouse or to walk onto the other pier.

Muskegon, Michigan, Lake Michgan, pier, lighthouse

I did see the third light, the North Breakwater light, which was green and white and kinda looking like a cigarette.

Muskegon, Michigan, Lake Michgan, pier, lighthouse

A zoomed in shot of the South Breakwater Lighthouse.

Muskegon, Michigan, Lake Michgan, pier, lighthouse

I turned back and started the long cold trek back to the car. The sun was still trying to peak out.

Muskegon, Michigan, Lake Michgan, pier, lighthouse

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. 🙂

Muskegon, Michigan, Lake Michgan, Beachwood Boardwalk Loop

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?

12 responses to “Michigan: Coastal Muskegon on a Winter Day.

  1. What beautiful deserted landscape! Must be stunning in summer!

    • Yes indeed! The cold and the wind added to the cool deserted winter effect. 🙂 Will definitely get back there in the warmer months.

  2. Lovely pics. Looks like you found the lighthouse at the end of the world!! Something about winter and the ocean always gives me the chills!

    • Thank you! Yeah, no one was around and nothing but the open water ahead, so I can see that. I definitely had the chills along Lake Michigan with that wind!

  3. Wow. It looks more like an ocean beach rather than a big lake!!!

    • Yes! With the sand over the roads and sidewalks and lots of wind I sometimes think I’m at the ocean. No land in sight looking out towards the water too! 🙂 Beautiful spot.

  4. Interesting part of the world that I know nothing about. I’ve heard that it’s been a low snow year but your photos bring that point home – still nice to get out for such a long walk on a winter’s day.

    • It’s a beautiful part of the world Leigh. Lot’s of beaches, sand dunes, lighthouses, piers and more along the Great Lakes. More snow then last year, but definitely not as much as past years. Great to get out for along walk along the coast no matter the weather. 🙂

  5. Wow…what a difference a year makes. We have enough snow this year to make up for last year! 😀

    • Enough snow for the last few winters combined. I don’t remember this amount of snow and cold weather in these parts. On the bright side though it does make for some beautiful winter photography and scenes. 🙂

  6. Thank you for the like on my blog. Love the look of the walk above!

    • No problem. Thanks for coming to checkout mine as well. Was a fun and scenic walk, even in winter! Love hanging along Lake Michigan no matter the season.

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