Choose Your Park Adventure
With more than 100 state parks across Michigan to visit, how do you decide where to go? Your journey will offer experiences from rustic outposts to sandy beaches, from maritime explorations to bird watching and from towering sand formations to a gushing freshwater spring. Our parks offer a treasure of experiences coupled with great adventure and endless fun as you’ll see with the small sampling below:
Porcupine Mountains Wilderness State Park, Ontonagon
You’ll Love the 60,000 acres of wilderness visible from the Summit Peak observation tower rising above the treetops. Trees thrive here in the Midwest’s largest tract of old-growth hemlocks and hardwoods.
Play Hike to the rocky escarpment of the iconic Lake of the Clouds scenic overlook. The Mirror Lake Trail descends into the heart of the park, part of a 90-mile trail network.
Stay Book early for the rustic cabins hidden along the Lake Superior shore, accessible only by foot.
Silver Lake State Park, Mears
You’ll Love the toys in this grown-up playground—the kind with roaring engines and balloon tires that spray sand.
Play Thrill-seekers can bring or rent off-road vehicles to blast up the steep slopes and bounce over ridges in the 400 acres of sand dunes. Or sign up for a dune buggy adventure with Mac Wood’s Dune Rides. During breaks, hunt for fulgurites—crusts of glass formed when lightning strikes dune sands.
Stay Choose from more than 200 campsites along Silver Lake.
Warren Dunes State Park, Sawyer
You’ll Love the beachy bliss that comes dressed in a crisp palette of denim blue and khaki. Lake Michigan laps onto a broad boulevard of sand backed by 235-foot-tall dunes.
Play The gradual beach provides ample shallow waters for splashing and swimming. Trudge up sandy Tower Hill for views that stretch to the Chicago skyline (best seen at night with binoculars). Bring a skimboard for a wild ride down.
Stay Choose from three mini cabins and more than 200 campsites.
Palms Book State Park, Manistique
You’ll Love Kitch-iti-kipi, also called The Big Spring, the state’s largest freshwater spring. At
300 feet across and 40 feet deep, the spring gushes more than 10,000 gallons per minute at a constant temperature of 45 degrees.
Play Take a ride on a hand-cranked covered raft to see the spring’s clear water bubbling up from the bottom, ancient tree trunks and trout.
Stay Though the park itself has no campgrounds, nearby resorts offer rental cabins and campsites along Indian Lake.
Belle Isle Park, Detroit
You’ll Love the flower-filled conservatory designed by Detroit architect Albert Kahn, along with other historic buildings and natural areas in this century-old island park.
Play Rent a bike to cruise the flat, 5-mile drive that loops this island in the Detroit River. Check out the Dossin Great Lakes Museum, where you can peer from the pilothouse of a real Great Lakes freighter as maritime traffic churns past.
Stay The old downtown firehouse is home to The Detroit Foundation Hotel, two blocks from the river.
Tawas Point State Park, East Tawas
You’ll Love that there’s something for everyone in the family: beach, water, a lighthouse and birds—100 species, including the rare Kirtland’s warbler, flock by the millions to Tawas Point each spring.
Play Swim and kiteboard in sun-warmed Lake Huron waters. On dry land, the Sandy Hook Nature Trail wanders through dune grasses and past the Tawas Point Light.
Stay The park’s campgrounds front Huron Bay.
Isle Royale National Park via Houghton and Copper Harbor
You’ll Love the solitude on this island marooned in the vast waters of Lake Superior. Free of cars, roads and most modern conveniences, Isle Royale is wonderfully wild.
Play Arrive by ferry or seaplane to backpack the island’s 165 miles of trails, or kayak along its shoreline of rocky islands and secluded coves.
Stay Permit camp in the backcountry, or settle in near the ferry dock at Rock Harbor. The town offers lodging, dining, access to trails and park service boat excursions.
For a complete list of Michigan state parks, visit the Michigan Department of Natural Resources.