Winter Wonderland

“You can’t get too much winter in the winter”

Robert Frost

 

On Sunday, March rolled into West Michigan just as February had departed…clear and frosty cold.  It was a perfect day to head back to Lake Michigan and one of the unique attractions we have here; the Muskegon luge track!

The Muskegon Winter Sports Complex is located in Muskegon State Park.  It is a partnership between the Michigan Department of Natural Resources, the Muskegon Sports Council, the Muskegon Luge Club and the West Michigan Speed Skating Association.

The first thing you encounter at the complex is a large skating rink.

Next to the concession and warming building is a fire ring with benches surrounding it.  It was bone-chilling cold on Sunday, so the fire rings were well used!

There were several folks in the concession building, and everyone seemed to be having a great time.

Off the back side of the building is the start of the skating trail through the woods.  This is a lighted trail that is very well maintained and smooth.  The trail to the right is the ski, snowshoe and hiking trail.  It is also the path to the luge track.

At the bottom of the track is another large fire ring, and the meeting place for the lugers.  The Muskegon luge course was designed by Olympian Frank Masley and is where the most decorated American luger, Mark Grimmette, got his start.  He grew up just up the road from here.  This course is not as massive as the courses in Lake Placid and Salt Lake, but it is challenging nonetheless.

And it is open to the public!

Public sliders start about 3/4 of the way up the hill.

 

The run goes quite a ways up!

The top of the hill bears the champion’s name.

Here is the next group getting ready to head up the hill.

Hmmmmm…..should I give it a shot?  Not this trip!

While we were there, several snowshoers trekked by.

This woman and a boy who appeared to be her grandson were out Nordic skiing.

Once we finished checking out the sports complex, we crossed the road and checked out the campground.  Muskegon State Park has several campsites plowed and ready for campers.  No one was taking them up on it, but it certainly would be a beautiful place to stay in the winter.

There are also a few camping cabins available.

At the center of the campground is the trail to Lake Michigan.

Wow!  Perched up on the dune, you can see a long way! About 80 miles across that ice is where Peter and Peg from Life Unscripted used to live in Milwaukee.

Like we saw in Saugatuck, the ice piles were huge.  West Michigan just endured the coldest February ever recorded, and that is a major contributor to these formations.  Grand Rapids averaged 13.3 degrees!

There were several ice caves a ways out.

There even was some open water in the distance.  Could spring be far away?

Or perhaps the dog days of summer?

Our forecast is calling for temperatures in the 40’s next week.  It is going to feel like a heat wave, for sure.  This winter has been tough, but we have really enjoyed it.  During our working years, we never had a chance to really experience winter like we were able to this year.  It sure has been a lot of fun!

 

With that said…bring on Spring!  🙂

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

16 thoughts on “Winter Wonderland”

  1. You should have done the Luge! Is it free? I wanted to do it in Park City a couple of years ago but they wanted over $100.

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  2. The Muskegon Winter Sports Complex looks like a great place for winter sports! I like the fire pit they had as well, always nice to warm up a bit:) The luge track looked fun – and a bit scary at the same time! You should have tried it so you could give us a report on how it was! I bet you get a decent speed:)

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