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Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Muskegon, Michigan / Fisherman's Landing Campground, Lakeshore Trail, downtown, Pere Marquette Beach

June 2016, Weekday-weekend, 3-nights, Site 42 at Fisherman's Landing


Sunset from site 42

We have frequently visited the Muskegon area and we have been to Fisherman's Landing before this stay, although this was our first time camping at Fisherman's Landing.

Reservations and check-in

I had a difficult time finding campground information for this park before our stay. The City of Muskegon owns the land and operates the boat launch ramps in the park. Fisherman's Landing operates the campground area, and I could not find a campground webpage other than their Facebook page. Since the city of Muskegon is not involved in the campground operation, we were not able to make a campsite reservation until the campground opened in the spring. This was not a problem since the campground was not full during our stay, and site numbers were not assigned when reservations were made.

On the day of our arrival, the office was open until 5:00 p.m. We arrived before closing time and checked in, which took several minutes. There was a locked gate at the campground entrance, so we let our friends in, when they arrived after closing. They completed check-in the next day. A few campers arrived after hours on Saturday evening, so they must have also made arrangements with someone beforehand. Some of the people who work at the campground also stay there, so I imagine it is not difficult to make arrangements, if you will be arriving after hours.

View from site 42 when we first arrived
Bathhouse and playground in the distance

Sites 41 and 42

We stayed on site 42, and our friends camped on site 41. Both sites were spacious and grassy, although there were no trees on either site. Water and electricity hookup was available on all of the sites except in the tenting area.

We had a partial view of Muskegon Lake from the back of our site the first evening, as there were two open waterfront sites (view below and in the sunset photo at the top of this post). Two campers pulled into those lots the next day. I was surprised there were more mosquitos at this campground than any we have stayed in this year. I expected mosquitos when we stayed at Black Creek State Forest Campground; however, I learned after we arrived at that park, that Midland County sprays for mosquitos. I had not expected so many on this sunny lot, and I was glad we had a good supply of bug spray and citronella in the camper.

View from back of site 42

Facilities, playground, sanitation station

Restrooms and showers were located in the blue building visible in the second photo above. The bathhouse floor was tile, and the facility was clean and well maintained. The entrance door was coded. A portable outhouse was located by the boat ramp for boaters who were not camping. A playground was located just beyond the bathhouse. There is a dump station in the park for camper use; the cost for non-campers was $10.

Muskegon Lake, swimming, boat launch ramp, Lakeshore Trail, downtown

Although Fisherman's Landing is located on Muskegon Lake, there was no beach or swimming area in the park. There was a path down to the water between two sites across the street from us (shown in photo above); however, the waterfront was not sandy with a beach.

Since the boat launch ramp is operated by the city, there is an extra charge to use the ramp. The cost for non-residents was $10 a day, or $55 for the season. Many people use the ramp to launch boats for fishing. There was a long dock in the channel between the boat launch ramp and Muskegon Lake for campers to use. There was no charge to use the dock, and it was first come, first serve. The dock was in pretty rough shape at the time of our stay, especially at the east end.
Sunset from Hartshorn Marina
There are several marinas on Muskegon Lake, and Lake Michigan is accessible from Muskegon Lake.

It is about 6½ miles to Pere Marquette Beach on Lake Michigan from the campground by car or bicycle. There is no cost to enter the park or beach area, which offers swimming, a playground, picnic area, and more.

View of Muskegon Lake from Lakeshore Trail
Lakeshore Trail is accessible directly in front of Fisherman's Landing. It is a beautiful ride along Muskegon Lake most of the distance from Fisherman's Landing to the beach. The trail runs along the road near the end, and there is a big hill to ride up just before you get to the beach. Another way to get to the beach is to take the Beachtowne Trolley from downtown Muskegon.

It is about one mile to downtown Muskegon from Fisherman's Landing. The downtown area offers a Farmer's Market, dining, and a couple of local breweries. There are many summer events on the streets downtown and in Hackley Park.

Overall

I think this park is in a great location for visiting the Muskegon area. Muskegon State Park offers closer access to Lake Michigan and hiking trails. Fisherman's Landing offers closer access to downtown and the bicycle trail, while still offering beach access within a reasonable distance.

Please let me know if you have any questions, and feel free to share this post!