“hike the dunes!”
Often overshadowed by the hiking at P. J. Hoffmaster State Park, Muskegon State Park's 12-mile trail system is no less impressive than its better known sister park just to the south of it. This hike is a 4.2-mile loop combining two of the park’s most scenic foot paths; Dune Ridge Trail and Devil’s Kitchen Trail. Located in the southern half of the park the two trails wind through a series of unique intracoastal dunes, a sea of shifting sand that lies between two large bodies of water: Lake Michigan and Muskegon. The trek is described from the trailhead in the Snug Harbor Day-use Area but can also be hiked beginning in Channel Campground or at post No. VII opposite a day-use parking area along the Ship Channel. Muskegon’s trail system is well marked with color-coded posts and at times the junction posts can be bit confusing as they labeled in Roman numerals and letters in the southern half of the park and numbers and letters in northern half. Add to the fact that the many spurs, loops and unofficial trails in the open dunes make it easy to get turned around and you have a place that requires a map in your daypack. Like other dune areas, the hiking at Muskegon can be challenging. Steep climbs through the soft sand of a towering dune are common on this hike. If you arrive during the height of the summer, make sure you carry along a quart of water per person.
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Dune Ridge Trail
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