Pentwater - White Cloud - Muskegon

This Western Michigan fall color tour includes rolling wooded hillsides, orchards with ripe apples and beautiful vistas of Lake Michigan.

Best Enjoyed: Late September to Mid-October
Approximate Length: 235 miles

Before leaving Pentwater walk the Mears State Park trail that winds around to the top of Old Baldy, a wooded and sand-blown dune that provides an excellent view of the Lake Michigan shoreline, the town of Pentwater and the boat harbor.

Take Business 31 (Monroe Rd.) southeast out of Pentwater. Follow Monroe Rd. to 126th Avenue, turning left north to Madison Rd. Take a right on Madison Road heading east through Crystal Valley to 176th Avenue. Turn right on 176th Ave. to Jackson Rd. Turn left on Jackson, heading east to Bitely.

At Bitely, take a right on M-37 to White Cloud. Continue south on M-37 to Newaygo. Take a break and visit White Cloud Alpacas, pet the animals, buy some Alpaca fiber. When leaving Newaygo head east on Croton Drive to Pear Avenue. Turn left on Pear Ave., right on 52nd St. and left on Locust Avenue. Turn right on 36th Street to Oxbow. Follow 36th Street east into Mecosta County. At the county line 36th Street becomes Jefferson Rd. Continue east on Jefferson Rd. to Morley.

In Morley turn right on Cass Street, heading south. At the Montcalm county line, Cass St. becomes Federal Rd. Continue south on Federal Rd. through Howard City into Kent County. In Kent County the name changes to Northland Drive. Continue south through Cedar Springs to 13 Mile Rd. Turn right on 13 Mile Rd. to Sparta. Stop in Steffens Orchard Markets for fall produce including apples, pumpkins, jams, jellies and more.

Continue east on 13 Mile Road to Muskegon County where the road name changes to Ellis Road. Follow Ellis Rd. to Ravenna Road. Turn right towards Ravenna. Enjoy a bit of nature on the Musketawa Trail, a paved surface trail between Muskegon and Marne. Leaving Ravenna, follow Heights-Ravenna Road east towards Muskegon.

Muskegon offers many points of interest including two state parks:
·         P.J. Hoffmaster State Park 
·         Great Lakes Naval Memorial & Museum 
·         Muskegon State Park 

Leaving Muskegon take US-31 north to Business 31 West. Follow 120 north then turning left on Ruddiman Drive which then becomes Memorial Drive. Follow Memorial Drive to Scenic Drive. Turn right heading north to S. Shore Drive.

Turn right on S. Shore Drive to Whitehall and Montague. While in Whitehall be sure to visit White River Light Station Museum. Learn firsthand about the nautical and navigational devices used on the Great Lakes. Also, don't miss the World's Largest Weathervane in Montague.

Follow Business 31 north out of Montague, turning left on Fruitvale Rd., right on Whitbeck Rd., left on Meinert Park Rd., and right on Indian Bay into Oceana County. Continue north to Webster Road. Turn left on Webster Road, then north on Scenic Drive (B-15). Continue north back to Pentwater. Suggested stops along the trip back to Pentwater include:
·         Country Dairy, Inc & Farm Store 
·         Little Sable Point Lighthouse 
·         Silver Lake State Park 
Charles Mears State Park
400 W. Lowell Street
Pentwater, MI 49449
Reservations: (800) 447-2757
Phone: (231) 869-2051,4570,7-153-10365_36576-308731--,00.html
Charles Mears State Park is located in the quaint village of Pentwater along the Lake Michigan shoreline. Paved campsite lots are surrounded by fine sand, with a swimming beach adjacent to the harbor pier. Shore fishing is very popular at Pentwater Lake in the fall. Fishing from piers adjacent to the park is also a popular year-round activity. During the winter, Pentwater Lake provides excellent ice fishing. There is an interpretive trail about one mile in length for hiking. It winds around to the tip of Old Baldy, a wooded and sand-blown dune that provides an excellent view of Lake Michigan's shoreline, and the town of Pentwater and the boat harbor. Snowmobiles are not allowed on the hiking/cross-country trails, but the activity is supported in the park. It also has a metal detecting area. Pet friendly shoreline.
White Cloud Alpacas
3597 S. Pine
Newaygo, MI 49337
Phone: (231) 652-4647
White Cloud Alpacas is a family run farm. We currently have 14 Alpacas, one Llama, a goat, three Newfoundland dogs, cats and chickens. We love to have farm visitors & field trips. Spring visitors may expect to see new cria's (baby Alpacas) playing in the pasture, baby chicks are always fun to see and spring is when we harvest the Alpaca fleece. We love to have visitors out for the harvesting and everyone gets in on the fun Whether it's helping gather the fiber, brush out the Alpacas and ready them for shearing or help cleaning, weighing and labeling the shorn fleece. If your a spinner or knitter you'll want to get a bag of your favorite colored Alpaca fiber to take home with you. Alpaca's come in over 22 natural colors and everyone seems to have a favorite. Mine is rose gray. When a rose grey Alpaca seeming to be a brownish in color is sheared you wind up with this gorgeous lavender like color. Absolutely amazing. Summer brings fresh veggies and walks with the Alpacas. You can try taking one through the obstacle course. Fall may bring more cria's (baby Alpacas), and of course those wonderful Alpaca socks, gloves and clothing, warmer & lighter then wool with the softness of cashmere, can be purchased readying even the coldest feet for winter. Winter is a quieter time when the Alpacas are enjoying the cooler weather. Early spring is spent gathering sap for Maple syrup. Come for a visit!
Steffens Orchard Market
4344 13 Mile
Sparta, MI 49345
Phone: (616) 887-2404
Come and enjoy the beautiful apple orchards and view. U-pick (some varieties) and picked apples including Honey Crisp, Gala and Northern Spy available. Red raspberries, squash, pumpkins, fall decorations, jams, jellies, snacks, pies, cider, caramel apples and other items. Steffens Orchards & Market is a fourth generation, family-owned farm.
Musketawa Trail (Friends of the Musketawa Trail)
PO Box 5082
N Muskegon, MI 49445
Phone: (231) 744-8133
The Musketawa Trail is a 25 mile multi-use recreation trail between Marne and Muskegon, Michigan. It passes through farmlands and wetlands, over creeks, and through villages. The trail is a four season adventure for the outdoor enthusiast, living healthy and having fun. It provides a safe and natural environment for individual, family, and organizational use. This trail is enjoyed by bikers, snowmobilers, horseback riders, rollerbladers, cross country skiers, wheelchair travelers, hikers and nature lovers. We hope that you will come and enjoy it with us!
P.J. Hoffmaster State Park
6585 Lake Harbor Road
Muskegon, MI 49441
Reservations: (800) 447-2757
Phone: (231) 798-3711
P. J. Hoffmaster State Park features over three miles of Lake Michigan shoreline, a 293 site modern campground, towering Lake Michigan dunes, and the Gillette Sand Dune Visitor Center. Miles of hiking and skiing trails offer stunning views of Lake Michigan and subtle beauty at every turn.
USS Silversides Submarine Museum
1346 Bluff St.
PO Box 1692
Muskegon, MI 49441
Phone: (231) 755-1230
Step back into time and tour a WWII submarine and a Prohibition-Era Coast Guard Cutter. These vessels are currently berthed in Muskegon, Michigan at the Great Lakes Naval Memorial and Museum. They are the USS SILVERSIDES SS-236 and the USCGC McLane W-146. The Great Lakes Naval Memorial and Museum is located on the south side of the channel wall near beautiful Lake Michigan, also features a maritime museum and gift shop. Become an official "Crew Member" for a night, ask about the overnight encampment program. Tours available all year.
Muskegon State Park
3560 Memorial Drive
North Muskegon, MI 49445
Reservations: (800) 447-2757
Phone: (231) 744-3480
Over 1,165 acres on Lake Michigan and Muskegon Lake. 247 modern and semi-modern campsites, two mini-cabins. Sun bathing, swimming, picnicking, fishing, boat launch, ice fishing. Twelve miles of marked and groomed hiking trails, with five miles (8 kilometers) lighted for all levels of cross-country skiers. Trail maps. Replica of an historic fort blockhouse overlooking Lake Michigan and sand dunes. Metal detecting area.
White River Light Station Museum
6199 Murray Road
Whitehall, MI 49461
Phone: (231) 894-8265
A vintage 1875 lighthouse now used as a museum which offers the opportunity to see what life used to be like around the great lakes. It features photos, paintings, artifacts, and newspaper articles about the lighthouse, shipping, and lumbering. Open 6days a week May 22nd through October 31 from 10am to 5pm. Closed on Mondays. Admission $5.00 for Adults and $2.00 for children 12 and under.
World's Largest Weathervane
Corner of Dowling & Water Street
Montague, MI 49437
Phone: (231) 893-1155
Built by Whitehall employees in our factory in Montague. This functioning weathervane is 48 feet tall with an arrow 26 feet long. Very unique and interesting.
Country Dairy, Inc. & Farm Store
3724 S. 80th Ave.
New Era, MI 49446
Phone: (231) 861-4636
Take a tour of our processing plant and show barn in order to see where it all begins. Country Dairy is a fourth generation family farm and has been bottling our own milk free of rBST (bovine growth hormone) for over 30 years. Country Dairy also makes rBST Free cheese, butter, and premium Ice Cream. Country Dairy now has a Farm Store and Deli hosting a bottomless cup of our own fresh milk. At the Deli, guests can enjoy cold and hot sandwiches, wraps, grilled panini sandwiches, and hoagies. Afterward they can top off their meal with a selection from various Specialty Sundaes or choose from our 32 flavors of ice cream made right here on our farm. Farm store and Visitor's Center open Mon—Sat 7am—8pm.
Little Sable Point Lighthouse
287 North Lighthouse Drive
Mears, MI 49436
Phone: (231) 845-7417
Located in Oceana County, the Little Sable Point Lighthouse was built in 1874 and once looked very similar to the Big Sable Point Lighthouse near Ludington. Both towers stood 107 ft tall, both were constructed of brick, and both had a third-order Fresnel lens. The Big Sable Point tower deteriorated and eventually was covered with steel plates, but the tower at Little Sable Point still looks much as it did 120 years ago. Open to the public seven days a week from 10am to 5pm with a small admission fee of $5.00 for adults and $2.00 for Children 12 and under.
Silver Lake State Park
9679 W. State Park Road
Mears, MI 49436
Reservations: (800) 447-2757
Phone: (231) 873-3083
Silver Lake State Park is almost 3,000-acres along the Lake Michigan shoreline. This area includes both dune country and acres of mature forest. One of the park's biggest draws is the 450-acre off-road vehicle area. Silver Lake State Park contains more than four miles of Lake Michigan shoreline and boasts a large sandy beach. 200 site campground with electrical service and modern restrooms.