Into the Great Outdoors

Summer fun at Wilderness State ParkFrom misty morning walks to picnics and from a leisure mid-day fishing adventure to an afternoon whiled away, Michigan’s parks provide a refuge from life’s fast pace. Enjoy nature’s tranquility in six state forests, four national parks or 103 state parks. Additionally many parks offer playgrounds, interpretative centers, horse trails, biking and hiking trails, special events--as well as attractions and tours.

You can plan a quick getaway or a longer vacation around a host of Michigan parks and preserves.

Craig Lake State Park near Michigamme in the western Upper Peninsula (UP) attracts backcountry campers to the heart of moose territory. In the southern UP, visitors tour a restored 19th-century iron-smelting town at Fayette Historic State Park along Big Bay de Noc near Garden.

In the Lower Peninsula, consider Cheboygan State Park in the northeast and Bald Mountain Recreation Area in the southeast near Lake Orion. Historic lighthouse ruins and the Lake Huron beachfront draw visitors to Cheyboygan State Park. Visitors to Bald Mountain can try their luck in 11 fishing lakes and two trout streams. Marksmen also can test their skills at multiple ranges including a 25-position sporting-clays course.

Fort Custer Recreation Area in the southwest near Augusta attracts cross-country skiers, canoeists and mountain bikers. You also can rent cabins here. Along Lake Michigan’s eastern shore in the northwestern Lower Peninsula, you’ll discover Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore, a vast preserve known for its forests, beaches, dunes and historic farm district.