Montague and Whitehall are neighboring towns on beautiful White Lake. Whitehall is the larger of the two communities, but both have charming downtown areas with small shops and family-owned businesses.
White Lake provides a convenient access point for reaching Lake Michigan, and several marinas around the lake are preferred docking locations for visitors during the summer months. Personal watercraft and boats of various sizes use the lake regularly when the temperature rises, and it's ideal for waterskiing or tubing. White Lake is also known as a choice fishing spot throughout the year.
Area attractions include Whitehall's Howmet Playhouse, Michigan's Adventure amusement park, Blue Lake Fine Arts Camp, Hart-Montague Trail State Park, White River Light Station, and the Dogs 'n Suds Drive-in.
Trails & Bike Routes
The Hart-Montague Trail State Park
has a trailhead just north of Dowling Street/Business US-31 in Montague. From there, the wide paved trail meanders north through rural areas and small communities, including Rothbury, New Era, Shelby and Hart. The 22-mile-long trail is used for biking and hiking during the summer and for snowmobiling during the winter.
The Medberry Bike Trail
and White Lake Pathway
connect to the Hart-Montague Trail near Dowling Street/Business US-31 in Montague. The Medberry Bike Trail goes southwest past Roesler Lakefront Park and then angles west past Cullen Memorial Little League Fields. White Lake Pathway goes southeast past White Lake, through Goodrich Park and then goes south and southeast to White Lake Drive. Both trails are primarily used for biking, jogging, roller-blading or walking. Sections of the White Lake Pathway provide scenic views of White Lake.
Cyclists can use bike lanes
along Whitbeck Road Old Channel Trail and the outer edge of Lau Road to ride from Montague Township Park to Medberry Park, which has a nice beach on Lake Michigan. The route connects to the Medberry Bike Trail at Whitbeck Road.
The White River Trail
connects Lions Park and Norman Park on the north side of Whitehall. The trail is used for leisurely walks near the White River and is approximately 1/4 of a mile long.
Montague Area Beaches & Parks
has a pristine beach on Lake Michigan, just north of the channel to White Lake. A nearby pier is great for watching boats travel to and from Lake Michigan, and you can also see the historic White River Lighthouse on the opposite side of the channel. Medberry Park's restrooms are located near the parking lot. The park closes at 11 p.m., and there is no lifeguard on duty. Pets must be on a leash when visiting the park. The park is located about 10 miles southwest of downtown Montague off Lau Road.
Maple Grove Park
(also known as Maple Beach) has small swimming beach on White Lake. The park's picnic shelter is commonly used for family gatherings and has a playground and restrooms nearby. Maple Grove Park is located approximately 2 miles south of downtown Montague.
Roesler Lakefront Park
is a large recreation area on the northern shore of White Lake. The park's band shell hosts free concerts on Tuesday nights during the summer, and its large picnic area offers a great view of the lake. The municipal boat launch is located south of the band shell and has a parking lot for vehicles with trailers. A short boardwalk starts near the boat launch and ends at White Lake.
Montague Township Park
is on Hancock Road, west of downtown. The large recreation area has ball diamonds, basketball courts, tennis courts, and shuffleboard courts. A picnic shelter and playground are on the north side of the park.
is home to the "World's Largest Weathervane" in downtown Montague. Built in 1984, the weathervane stands 48 feet tall and weighs 3,500 pounds. The small park is named for the schooner Ella Ellenwood, which was built in Saginaw in 1869 and sank in 1901 near Milwaukee, Wisconsin.
The Cullen Memorial Little League Fields
host White Lake Little League Association games. The fields feature dugouts, restrooms, and a concession stand. The Medberry Bike Trail passes through the park.
On north side of Dowling Street/Business US-31, Covell Park
is a pie-shaped park with a scenic view of the White River. The park is a favorite spot for fishermen, who like to fish from the trail bridge that crosses over the White River. A boat launch at the park provides access to White Lake and the White River. Covell Park also features a World War I Memorial and an historical marker that describes White Lake's first sawmill and lumbering in the area.
is a nice park that offers beautiful views of White Lake. White Lake Municipal Marina is located at the park, which also has a picnic shelter, playground, and restrooms. There are picnic spots and places to sit and just watch the waterfront around the park. A small fishing pier is on the south side of Goodrich Park. The park can be used to access the White River Pathway, a paved recreational trail.
is adjacent to City Hall on the south side of Colby Street/Business US-31. The park has lighted tennis courts that are used by school teams. The courts can be used by others when the teams are not playing games or practicing. There are also picnic tables and grills at Slocum Park.
is a large athletic complex on the north side of Whitehall. Recreational facilities include softball and baseball fields, basketball courts, and a soccer field. School teams and rec league teams use the fields at the park. Funnell Field also has a playground, picnic area, and restrooms.
is south of downtown on Lake Street and offers a picnic spot close to White Lake. The park has playground and boat launch area that could be used to launch a kayak.
includes a picnic shelter and a boardwalk near the White River. The park is connected to Norman Park by a walking trail.
has picnic areas with grills. Kids enjoy the swings at the park.
is a small park about two miles south of downtown Whitehall. The park has picnic tables and a playground.
is a favorite place to stay for many Hart-Montague Trail users during the summer. Over 50 campsites are located at the park, which also has rustic tent sites. For reservation details, visit the Trailway Campground web site.
Boating & Kayaking
White Lake and Lake Michigan attract many recreational boaters and kayakers to the area, and the two cities have public and private facilities that can assist visitors.
White Lake Municipal Marina
in Whitehall is located at Goodrich Park. The marina has 20 seasonal and 30 transient boat slips. Electricity, gas/diesel fuel, pump-out service, showers, and restrooms are available at the White Lake Municipal Marina. Day-use dockage is available, and long-term parking is allowed. For more details, call 231-893-4708.
There are a few private marinas
on both sides of White Lake:
- Ellenwood Landing Marina & Yacht Club is on the northwest shore of White Lake in Montague. Boat slips are 20 to 98 feet, with most slips owned by members. The marina features two club houses, heated pool, hot tub, laundry, showers and more.
- Montague Marina is on Goodrich Street, next to Maple Grove Park on the northwest side of White Lake. The small marina is member-owned and features 66 slips. Montague Marina has a clubhouse with a galley, restrooms, showers, ice machine and picnic area.
- White Lake Moorings is a full-service marina in Whitehall, located south of Goodrich Park on Lake Street. The marina offers boat slips, storage, boat sales, service, and cottage rentals.
- Whitehall Landing Marina is a large marina on the the eastern shore, off Lake Street in Whitehall. Whitehall Landing has 180 boat slips that can accommodate powerboats and sailboats up to 50 feet long. A clubhouse, heated pool, dog walk, and boardwalk are some unique features. The marina offers pump-out, power, water, laundry, showers, restrooms, and picnic areas.
There are several boat launches
available in the area. For larger boats, the Montague Municipal Boat Launch at Roesler Lakefront Park is the best choice. Covell Park has a boat launch that can be used to reach White River and White Lake. There is also a small boat launch near Medberry Park, on White Lake close to Lake Michigan.
Kayaks can be launched in Whitehall from Covell Park and Svenson Park. For a shorter paddle to Lake Michigan, kayaks can be launched from the boat launch area that is east of Medberry Park.
White Lake and the White River are known for smallmouth bass, perch, northern pike and walleyes.
If you want to fish from shore, the fishing deck adjacent to the trail bridge at Covell Park is a preferred spot for people fishing on the White River. A pier on the south end of Goodrich Park in Whitehall is used to fish on White Lake. The piers along the channel between Lake Michigan and White Lake are popular with anglers. The pier on the north side is near Medberry Park, while the southern pier is near the White River Light Station.
If you'd rather fish from a boat (and don't own one), charter fishing services in the area can take you to on a fishing adventure.
Maxed Charter Service
Princess Bel Charters
Shelley Lee III Charters
are located in the area.
A valid fishing license is required to fish on Michigan waterways, and you can get a license online at the Michigan DNR E-License web site
and at bait shops and sporting goods stores.
Museums & Historic Locations
The White River Light Station, Ferry Memorial Reformed Church, Howmet Playhouse, and several other historic spots are located in the Montague and Whitehall area. The Montague City Museum and the Caboose Museum are worth a visit when you're in the area also.
Learn more about the area's historic locations and museums.
More About the Whitehall & Montague Area
If you like rollercoasters and water rides, Michigan's Adventure
is located just five miles southeast of Whitehall. The amusement park is home to Shivering Timbers, Wolverine Wildcat, Thunderhawk, and many other cool rides. The park is open from late May to early September.
Whitelhall's Howmet Playhouse
hosts live theatre and music performances, as well as classic movies. The summer season features weekend performances during July and August.
Several miles east of Whitehall in Twin Lake, the
Blue Lake Fine Arts Camp
annually serves more than 5,300 gifted elementary, junior high, and high school students with diverse programs in music, art, dance, and drama. During its Summer Arts Festival the camp hosts over 175 performances.
Northeast of Montague in Rothbury, Double JJ Ranch & Resort
is a vacation resort with golfing, guided horseback rides, and an indoor water park.
Dogs 'n Suds Drive-in
has been a favorite eating spot in Montague since 1963. Burgers, coney dogs, hot dogs, sandwiches and salads are featured on the menu. The drive-in on Dowling Street/Business US-31 is not far from the Hart - Montague Trail.
There are many other places to eat along Business US-31 in Montague and Whitehall. You'll find several fast-food restaurants near
the exit for US-31 on the east side of Whitehall.
Unique shops, antique stores, and art galleries can be found in the downtown areas of both cities. For grocery stores, Montague Foods is in downtown Montague on Water Street, and Plumb's is on the east side of Whitehall on Colby Road/Business US-31.
Places to stay in the area include large motels and bed & breakfasts. Best Western, Ramada Inn, and Super 8 Motel are located in Whitehall on Colby Road near US-31. The Weathervane Inn
in Montague is a luxurious waterfront hotel on White Lake. The White Swan Inn
is an award-winning bed and breakfast near downtown in Whitehall.