6 Swim, Paddle, Trail and Camp Spots You Need to Know in West Michigan

Michigan Photo + Video + Film Insider Guides
by Joy Wildfong Aug 2, 2016

1. Hoffmaster State Park

Hoffmaster State Park

Hoffmaster State Park in Muskegon has beach trails, boardwalks, a 193 stair climb, a picnic area and a campground. Once completing the stair climb, which seems like an awfully long way up, you’ll be 190 feet above the lake and the view is unlike any other. This park is my favorite hiking spot in the summer and fall, but every season of Michigan is worth hiking here, even the cold icy winter brings peace and beauty.

2. Grand Haven

Grand Haven Michigan

From the State Park, to the city beach, to Rosy Mound Nature Reserve, you’ll have your pick of which beach to spend the day at. Not only that but the downtown area has great local breweries and there are good food choices on the boardwalk. My personal favorites is Pronto Pups, which may be the best corn-dog you’ll ever eat, and some ice cream from Dairy Treat.

3. Ravenna — Thatcher Park

Ravenna – Thatcher Park

The trails in Thatcher Park will bring you to a small creek and a picnic area. This is a great spot for lunch by the water. On the other side of the park, they’ve turned the hill into a giant slide by the playground equipment. This giant slide is a bit old, and bumpy, but guarantees a good laugh for whoever is brave enough to attempt it.

4. Frankfort


You can rent surfboards, kayaks, canoes and SUP boards and head out into the clear blue water. Beach chairs and umbrellas are also available to rent for those who want to relax. Head to Betsie River Campsite for the night.

5. Montague

Rent a canoe from Happy Mohawk Canoe Livery in Montague, and spend a fun day floating down White River. The trip down is fairly easy and can be completed within a few hours, depending on how much paddling you plan to do.

6. Manistee


Manistee has an uninterrupted view of the lake and has some of the best sunsets I have ever seen. With some great camping options like Orchard Beach State Park, or Twin Oaks Cabins & Campground, you’ll be able to watch this natural spectacle every single night.

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