OSCEOLA/MECOSTA CO. — The “Mighty Muskegon” River cuts through Michigan, connecting communities from Houghton Lake to city of Muskgon, and providing a source of summer entertainment.

In Mecosta and Osceola counties the river supplies guests and visitors with seasonally favorite activities — tubing and kayaking. Families and friends can spend hours floating on quiet water or testing how well they can stay afloat on the rapids.

“This is only our second trip,” said Monique Catey, of Lansing. “The first time we were in tubes.”

The Cateys, Todd, Monique, Stephanie and Christina, spend three to four weekends at their cabin in Evart during the summers. Earlier this season, the family tubed the Muskegon for the first time, and recently they tried their luck with kayaks.

“The kayaks were really comfortable,” Stephanie said.

From catching a glimpse of turtles or cranes to saying “hello” to people who live along the river, the Cateys agreed the trip was peaceful and something they would do again next year.

Other tubers and kayakers across the area also note people and the wildlife are their favorite parts of taking a ride on the river.

Shelby Cook and Jessica Baugus said some noteworthy sights on the Muskegon were watching herons or eagles near the water, or once seeing a doe crossing the river. Their friend, Destiny Fletcher, said her favorite sight was from their recent from float from Northend Riverside Park to Hemlock Park in Big Rapids. Tubing not far behind the trio was one inflatable tube shaped like a pegasus.

While some groups of tubers leave at separate times, they may meet on the river, which was the case for Jacob, Sonya and Dwayne Aardema. The family left before another group and eventually made new friends on the float.

The Aardemas agreed being with friends in the scenic outdoors is the best part of the trip.

“When we think of things we can do together, we can go see a movie, but we aren’t talking,” Monique said. “This is relaxing.”