Camping at Duck Creek RV Resort & Exploring Muskegon

By June 8, 2017Adventures

We were finally able to travel for our first camping trip of the season this past weekend. We decided to explore Muskegon and camp at Duck Creek RV Resort as this was a trip we had to cancel the previous year due to weather.

Preparing the camper after winter for the first trip is an adventure in itself. There was de-winterizing, cleaning and restocking to do. And despite our best efforts not everything was completed the weekend in advance and we realized our cast iron griddle for the Camp Chef grill was rusted just a couple nights before our trip. We tried to clean it however we ran out of time (still hoping it is salvageable) so opted to purchase inexpensive pans the night before our trip for breakfast preparation.

“Lists-to do” truly helped me when it came to packing and I leveraged previous ones to not forget any essential. This exercise reminded me though that I definitely want more items to live in the camper so we don’t have to pack as much each trip. Things like raincoats for not only ourselves but Gucci & Tucker would be worth the duplicate purchase. On Friday morning, I finished loading our belongings and filled the fridge while Garrin worked until noon before we could head out.

The weather was beautiful Friday afternoon, mid 70’s and sunny, and we were all excited to make the journey. The trip is about two and half hours however as our first time towing this season–it did feel longer. Guess we were anxious to arrive!

Duck Creek features a office and small store when you check in with minor camping essentials, firewood bundles and souvenir tee-shirts. This is one of the few campgrounds we’ve visited that actually verifies your dogs are up to date on rabies vaccinations and views your certificate at check in. Not a bad thing to know all the animals staying there are safe in this regard. We also ordered a couple bundles of firewood which they delivered to our campsite in a timely fashion. A gentleman escorted us to our site (#36) and directed Garrin for backing in. I always enjoy when campgrounds offer this service so I don’t have to direct.

The campground is very open and less wooded than other campgrounds we’ve stayed at in the past.

However, the campsites are larger with a nice firepit area, picnic table and full hook-up. There are lots of grassy areas all around which the furkids loved.

The staff was friendly, the campground attendees quiet, the sites well maintained and the clubhouse was very clean. The clubhouse features arcade games, a great-room with large TV, laundry and restroom/shower facilities. The pool was adjacent to it and is shaped like a duck. They have a raised lounge area with cushioned wicker furniture besides the regular pool lounge chairs.

It is a really nice pool and it was warm enough Friday that we wished we had brought our suits to take a quick swim. Check out the great aerial photo captured with Garrin’s new toy, a drone!

One thing to note: we did find the firewood bundles on the smaller side and went through the two we purchased the first night so we bought more to continue enjoying  s’mores each evening.

Thunderstorms came during the night and it was windy enough that Garrin went outside in the middle of the night to bring in the awning. Saturday morning was cool with occasional rain which made preparing breakfast a bit of a challenge. The campground is right next to Michigan’s Adventure and Wildwater Adventure Theme Parks  and you can walk there if you want to! This is Michigan’s largest amusement  and water park featuring rides and water slides. We could occasionally hear the wind sound of a roller coaster and excitement cheers of the riders. It was not loud or annoying but the first time was funny as we were not sure if really bad weather was coming or what the sound represented. After breakfast, we decided to not let the weather dampen our plans and headed out to explore Muskegon.

Muskegon is larger than I anticipated and it did not feel like everything is in one place due to the size. We did easily locate the Visitor Center and the staff was welcoming and helpful. They let us know that we could remain parked in their lot while exploring the town. We picked up a couple brochures and recommendations for lunch before walking the main town area. The building appeared old with a lot of character and I loved the architecture.

Muskegon had an industrial feel that I did not expect. There were many pretty homes to admire. The older buildings were interesting and the below one featured unique texture with local art that caught my eye.

There are several cute shops downtown and a stretch of new chalets which are almost like cute pop-up or kiosk shops. Shops such as Gems Near The Lakeshore, Just Klassics and Baby Bears Children Boutique were especially fun. There was a cute dog chalet at the end called Love Bites Treatery where I purchased organic peanut butter & oats treats for Gucci & Tucker.

I enjoyed browsing this area and recommend visiting it though be prepared for crowds. We also checked out the Farmer’s Market which was quite large full of plants, produce and assorted vendors.

We knew we wanted to visit the Lakeshore District and the Visitor Center told us about the Beach Town Trolley as a transportation option. This is a fun cable car that you can ride and runs hourly. We were unsure if the dogs would be allowed on board so we decided to drive over to the Lakeshore District instead.

We observed many bike riders while in town and saw even more along the drive. Most wearing Pub Pedal themed shirts so we knew it was some type of event. The bike riders travel across Muskegon and stop at pubs for refreshments. This is the 11th year and hundreds of people now participate in this event. A few years back they started making it an official event and and sold tee-shirts to raise a donation for a family in need. This year the the shirt funds (estimated to be over $6000) went to help a two and half year girl named Fiona who is fighting a brain tumor. It is always inspiring when you find a community join together for fun and a good cause.

Our drive along Muskegon Lake was scenic and we stopped at the beach first to admire an incredible view of Lake Michigan. Since it was not very warm and we were hungry–we decided to head to The Deck to eat. This BBQ restaurant along the water features outdoor seating which is dog friendly and the food was recommended by the Visitor Center. Upon arrival, there were bike riders everywhere and a long line to the patio seating. We decided it appeared too crowded for us with the dogs even with the Dogger in tow so we headed to the Lakeshore Business District to check out the shops instead.

I was excited to visit Art Cats Gallery as the owner, Louise Hopson, reached out to The Mitten Adventure with an invitation to visit last year. Unfortunately upon my arrival, I discovered that Louise was out of town so I missed meeting her. I loved the gallery though as it is filled with beautiful artistic creations from over 70 artists (about half from Michigan). This is the gallery’s 18th year and I highly recommend checking it out if you visit the area. I know I will come back!

We decided to head back to the campground for food and spent the evening enoying a refreshments, hanging by the fire and eating s’mores. There is more in Muskegon to explore and I know we will come back again.

 

About Liz Ball

Liz Ball is a freelance writer focusing on Michigan travel and local events in her community.