Muskegon River, Lake Michigan

Muskegon River is a river in the western portion of the lower peninsula of the U.S. state of Michigan. The river has its headwaters in Houghton Lake in Roscommon County, flowing out of the North Bay into neighboring Missaukee County. From there it flows mostly southwest to Muskegon, Michigan, where it empties into Muskegon Lake. Muskegon Lake is connected to Lake Michigan via a mile-long channel. The river has several major branches, such as the Hersey River, Cedar Creek and Little Muskegon River. The main stream is 216 miles (348 km) long[2] and drains an area of 2,350 square miles (6,100 km2).[3] In September 2002 an often cited article, National Geographic raised concerns about a controversial deal made with Nestle Waters North America giving them permission “to bottle up to 210 million gallons (about 800 million liters) a year from an aquifer north of Grand Rapids, Michigan that recharges the Muskegon River.”

There is abundant wildlife, including otters, waterfowl, deer and eagles and, although development has been creeping in, the upper reaches are still fairly remote and natural with much of the surrounding land composed of state-owned tracts.

In recent years, the river has gained a certain measure of fame as a recreational fishery, boasting large migratory steelhead, brown trout and planted Chinook Salmon.
People have also taken quite a liking to paddling down the river. It is Michigan’s second largest river only to the Grand River.