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Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Muskegon, Michigan / Lake Michigan State Park - Campground and Oktoberfest

October 2015, Weekend, 2-nights, Lot A48


Beach behind lot 48 in Lake Michigan campground

Photos, advance reservations, arrival

More photos for this campground and park can be found in the Muskegon State Park Facebook album.

We have stayed in Muskegon State Park Channel campground before; however, this was our first experience staying in Lake Michigan campground. We chose this area because we were going to be attending Oktoberfest across the street. After our arrival, we learned that shuttle buses were running between the two campgrounds every 15 minutes, so we could have easily stayed in either area.

We made an advance reservation online for lot 48. The check-in station was staffed when we arrived, and it did not take us long to check-in. We received wrist bands for the free camper party that evening, and a flyer with information about the weekend festival activities.

Lot 48

Blocks under the table on the level lot (ha!),
2 boards under the yellow blocks under the tires
The description for this lot says, "sunny, level, sand, 50 x 100." This lot is extremely sandy; more so than it looks in the photos on the reservation page, and it is not level. We asked about changing lots when we learned this before our arrival. We were not allowed to make a change before our arrival without a fee (I disagree with this ruling, as the lot information on the state website is incorrect). 

When we arrived, there were no 30' lots left in this area of the campground for two nights, so we hoped for the best on lot 48. We were able to get our RV on the lot, and we hoped we would not be stuck there after two nights! I have posted a few pictures here and in the Facebook album, which show that this lot is not level; not side to side, nor front to back.

Other than the deep sand, and the fact that this lot is not level, this is a fabulous lot. If we had a different type of camping unit, we would choose this lot again. It was large, sunny, and it butts up to a small hill over to Lake Michigan. The electrical plug is in kind of an odd location; we had to run our power cord behind the fire pit. Fortunately, we had a long enough cord.

Lake Michigan was just over the hill behind this campsite, which made for a beautiful sunset. The restrooms are a bit of a walk from this lot. 

Facilities, Lake Michigan

Steps to Lake Michigan from campground
There are two restroom buildings in Lake Michigan campground. One is located at the other end of the section where we camped, and the other one is located across the entrance road in the section for lots 53 - 106. Each building is about equal distance from lot 48. Individual showers are accessible from outside the restrooms. Both of the restrooms in Lake Michigan campground were much nicer than the ones in Channel campground. I think the restroom buildings in Channel campground are pretty nasty and old.
Sunset from behind lot 48

There were a couple of foot paths behind lot 48, which went over the hill to Lake Michigan. Steps to the beach are located near lot 48, at the end of the entrance drive.

A beach area with facilities and a large parking lot is located a couple of miles south of this campground toward the channel campground.

Hiking trails

Trail behind Blockhouse
There are a lot of hiking trails in Muskegon State Park. Again, more photos of the trails can be found in the Facebook album, and you can find more trail information in my blog post from October 2014 about this park.

We did not see a way to hike to the Blockhouse from the campground, so we drove there and hiked from that parking lot. There is probably a trail from the Winter Sports Complex across the street that went to the trails by the Blockhouse; however, the area was being set up for the evening festival.

Lost Lake
We hiked about 3½ miles from the Blockhouse around Lost Lake. The trails were not well-marked, and we climbed several steep hills! It took us about 1½ hours to cover 3½ miles. 

The hike was well worth it. The lake was beautiful. Now that the leaves have changed color more, I would like to go back and hike the area again. We saw a large red fox during our hike.

Muskegon Oktoberfest

The festival was setup in the Muskegon Winter Sports Complex across the street from Lake Michigan campground in the state park. Friday evening featured a "tapping of the kegs" party for campers only. This consisted of samples or glasses of beer and wine for purchase, and a band played in a covered tent. Fire pits were located outside the tent, and close enough to hear the music.

The cost for Saturday entrance to the festival was $20, which included four tastes and a beer mug. We were also supposed to receive a pretzel necklace; however, we did not receive one, and I did not see anyone wearing one. We purchased our tickets early during the "double your taste" promotion, so we each received eight tastes. 

Food was available for purchase both days, although more options were available on Saturday.

Please feel free to share this post, and any of your experiences!