The city street cars run every ten minutes to Lake Michigan Park, fare 5 cents. On the way they pass along the edge of the bluff that overlooks Muskegon Lake, running for a distance of four miles in constant view of the water. Near the end of the journey the car leaves Muskegon Lake and plunges into the deep shade of the primeval woods, breaking cover again as the sparkling blue waters of Lake Michigan flash into view.
Lake Michigan Park is a natural forest skirting a broad, sandy beach. The majesty of the grand old oaks, murmering together in the breeze, overshadows the dancing waves laughing in the sunlight and singing as they break upon the sand. As far as the eye can reach, the billows are rolling in and breaking in long lines of foam upon the beach. Out on the blue, the sails of ships and the smoke of steamers mark the path of commerce on Lake Michigan.
Lining the beach, and connected by the board walk, are a roller coaster, restaurants, dancing hall, ice cream parlors, candy and fruit stores, oriental bazarr, band stand, theatre, bath pavilion, bowling alleys, curio stores, and other amusment features. At night time, thousands of electric lights transform the Park into a fairyland.
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In the surf are a hundred bathers, many of them children, for the slope of the beach is so gradual that there is no danger of getting into water dangerously deep. Diving floats and platforms are seen farther out. Along the board walk, and on the white, clean sand are other hundreds of people who enjoy the cool breeze sweeping in as they watch the bathers.
A quarter of a mile up the beach are the long piers of "The Channel," the entrance to Muskegon Harbor, where are located the light-house and life-saving station. along the piers is a summer colony of resorters, fishing for perch. the fish bite as fast as the hook can be baited and make delicious eating.
As the channel broadens into Muskegon Lake, five miles long and three miles wide, a dozen boats are seen bobbing in the water, filled with fishermen catching white bass on the bar. Muskegon Lake is and always will be, the greatest natural fishing ground in Michigan. The Muskegon River which empties into Muskegon Lake five miles above the channel to Lake Michigan, is the spawning place for the millions of bass and pickerel evry year. Great schools of these game fish come through the channel and go up the river each season. After spawning, they come down into Muskegon Lake, and all summer long, fishermen bring in great strings of large and small-mouth bass, pickerel and pike. Muskegon Lake, too, boasts the famous muscallonge, and every season large numbers of these mighty fish are brought to gaff. Last season's largest "Muskie" weighed forty-eight pounds.
Up Muskegon River, reached by launch, are some of the finest trout streams in Michigan. Muskegon River, too, is famous for its bass and pickerel. The state fish commission liberally stocks Muskegon's lakes and river and her trout streams every year with "fry," and owing to rigid enforcement of the law in the closed season, the fishing grows better every year.
For the ladies and gentlemen who like to fish, Muskegon Lake is a paradise. Bluegills and perch may be caught anywhere along the shore, or in any part of the lake. There are literally millions of these prolific fish, weighing from a few ounces up to two pounds or more.
After fishing in Muskegon Lake and River and the trout streams, there yet remains for the angler another lake, joined to Muskegon Lake by Bear Creek, a wide, deep stream less than a quarter mile long and navigable to either launch or row-boat. This is Bear. The stranger on Muskegon Lake might pass its entrance a hundred times without suspecting that less than a quarter of a mile away, beyond the trees, there was a lake over a mile long and half a mile wide. The banks of Bear Lake are high and densely wooded and the bottom is deep and clean and sandy. The water is clear as crystal, and in its depths are the muscallonge, bass, pickerel and pike that have made Bear Lake this synonym for "big fish that didn't get away."
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