This is a list of Michigan state parks and related protected areas under the jurisdiction or owned by the Michigan Department of Natural Resources (DNR) Parks and Recreation Division. A total of 103 state parks, state recreation areas and trail state parks currently exist along with eight other sites as well as 16 state harbors on the Great Lakes. While the Parks and Recreation Division directly manages the large majority of the parks in the system, a few are either jointly-managed with other agencies or are leased to other governmental entities, either temporarily or on an ongoing basis. Michigan's 103 state parks and recreation areas cover 306,000 acres (124,000 ha) with 14,100 campsites in 142 campgrounds and over 900 miles (1,400 km) of trails.[1] The state parks and recreation areas statewide collectively saw more than 26 million visits in 2016.[2]

History

Michigan's state parks system was started in 1919. Three Michigan state parks pre-date the creation of the park system in 1919: Mackinac Island State Park (1895), Michilimackinac State Park (1909) and Interlochen State Park (1917).

Mackinac Island State Park was created in 1895. It had served as the nation's second national park for two decades beginning in 1875. In 1909, Michilimackinac State Park was created in nearby Mackinaw City. Both of these parks, along with Historic Mill Creek State Park are under the jurisdiction of the Mackinac Island State Park Commission.

Interlochen State Park was purchased by the Michigan Legislature in 1917 and was the first public park to be transferred to the Michigan State Park Commission in 1920. Because Mackinac Island State Park was a federal gift with its own commission and jurisdiction, for those reasons some choose to not consider it the first state park even though it predates Interlochen State Park by nearly 25 years.[3]

Since 1919, 33 additional state park units have been decommissioned for varied reasons. The majority of these former state park units, 16, were transferred to counties or cities and are still local parks today. Four of the former units were incorporated into Michigan's two National Lakeshores when were created in the 1960s and 70s, while five others were removed and reverted into surrounding state lands (state game areas, state forests, state fish hatcheries, etc.). Four of the units were incorporated into larger state recreation areas in the 1940s in the Greater Detroit area, although one of those recreation areas is now a local park. Two of the former state park units are now state forest campgrounds and another two units existed on state lands which were sold to private interests and closed. (The Former state park units section lists each of these former units.)

Additional DNR facilities

DNR operates 746 boat launches on 57,000 acres (230 km2) of designated public water access sites. It also operates 16 "harbors of refuge" as well as providing support for the other 61 harbors in the system. The harbors of refuge are approximately 30 miles (50 km) apart along the Great Lakes shoreline to provide shelter from storms and often provide boat launches and supplies. There are 13 state underwater preserves covering 2,450 square miles (6,300 km2) of Great Lakes bottomland and ten of them have a maritime museum or interpretive center in a nearby coastal community.[4]

The DNR Parks and Recreation Division also manages 138 state forest campgrounds (including a dozen equestrian campgrounds). The Michigan state game and wildlife areas encompass more than 340,000 acres (1,400 km2). DNR also oversees the trail systems in the state. This includes 880 miles (1,400 km) of non-motorized trails, 1,145 miles (1,800 km) of rail-trails, 3,193 miles (5,100 km) of off-road vehicle (ORV) routes and 6,216 miles (10,000 km) of snowmobile trails.[5]

For a discussion of all protected areas in Michigan under all jurisdictions, see Protected areas of Michigan.

Michigan state parks

Name[6] County Size Estab-
lished[7]
Lake / river Image Remarks
acres ha
Algonac State Park St. Clair 1,450 acres 590 ha 1937 St. Clair River Rare savanna lands
Aloha State Park Cheboygan 107 acres 43 ha 1923 Mullett Lake On the Michigan Inland Waterway
Baraga State Park Baraga 56 acres 23 ha 1922 Lake Superior On Keweenaw Bay
Bay City State Park Bay 2,389 acres 967 ha 1923 Lake Huron On Saginaw Bay
Belle Isle Park Wayne 982 acres 397 ha 2014 [a] Detroit River
Bewabic State Park Iron 315 acres 127 ha 1966 [b] Fortune Lake
Brimley State Park Chippewa 151 acres 61 ha 1922 Lake Superior On Whitefish Bay
Burt Lake State Park Cheboygan 406 acres 164 ha 1920 Burt Lake
Cambridge Junction Historic State Park Lenawee 80 acres 32 ha 1965 none Historic Walker Tavern
Cheboygan State Park Cheboygan 1,250 acres 510 ha 1962 Lake Huron
Clear Lake State Park Montmorency 290 acres 120 ha 1966 Clear Lake
Coldwater Lake State Park Branch 400 acres 160 ha 1987 Coldwater Lake
Craig Lake State Park Baraga 8,459 acres 3,423 ha 1967 Craig Lake
Dodge #4 State Park Oakland 139 acres 56 ha 1922 Cass Lake
Duck Lake State Park Muskegon 728 acres 295 ha 1974 Duck Lake
Fayette Historic State Park Delta 711 acres 288 ha 1959 Big Bay de Noc, Lake Michigan
Fisherman's Island State Park Charlevoix 2,678 acres 1,084 ha 1975 Lake Michigan
Fort Wilkins Historic State Park Keweenaw 711 acres 288 ha 1923 Lake Superior Site of Copper Harbor Light
Grand Haven State Park Ottawa 48 acres 19 ha 1920 Lake Michigan
Grand Mere State Park Berrien 985 acres 399 ha 1973 Lake Michigan
Harrisville State Park Alcona 107 acres 43 ha 1920 Lake Huron
Hartwick Pines State Park Crawford 9,672 acres 3,914 ha 1927 East Branch Au Sable River Old-growth white and red pine forest
Hayes State Park Lenawee,
Jackson, Washtenaw
654 acres 265 ha 1920 Wamplers Lake,
Round Lake
Historic Mill Creek State Park[8] Cheboygan 625 acres 253 ha 1978 Near Lake Huron Contains Historic Mill Creek Discovery Park
Hoeft State Park Presque Isle 301 acres 122 ha 1920 Lake Huron
Hoffmaster State Park Muskegon,
Ottawa
1,100 acres 450 ha 1963 Lake Michigan
Holland State Park Ottawa 617 acres 250 ha 1926 Lake Macatawa,
Lake Michigan
Indian Lake State Park Schoolcraft 847 acres 343 ha 1932 Indian Lake
Interlochen State Park Grand Traverse 187 acres 76 ha 1917 Green Lake,
Duck Lake
First state park created under Michigan state parks system
Keith J. Charters Traverse City State Park Grand Traverse 47 acres 19 ha 1920 Lake Michigan On Grand Traverse Bay
Lake Gogebic State Park Gogebic 1,329 acres 538 ha 1926 Lake Gogebic
Lakeport State Park St. Clair 565 acres 229 ha 1938 Lake Huron
Laughing Whitefish Falls State Park Alger 960 acres 390 ha 1946 Laughing Whitefish River
Leelanau State Park Leelanau 1,350 acres 550 ha 1964 [c] Lake Michigan
Ludington State Park Mason 5,300 acres 2,100 ha 1927 Lake Michigan
Mackinac Island State Park[8] Mackinac 1,800 acres 730 ha 1895 [d] Lake Huron Home to historic Fort Mackinac.
Maybury State Park Wayne 944 acres 382 ha 1971 none
McLain State Park Houghton 443 acres 179 ha 1930 Lake Superior
Mears State Park Oceana 610 acres 250 ha 1920 Lake Michigan
Meridian-Baseline State Park Ingham,
Jackson
188 acres 76 ha 1967 Shaw Branch
Michilimackinac State Park[8] Emmet, Cheboygan 37 acres 15 ha 1904 Straits of Mackinac Includes Colonial Michilimackinac and Old Mackinac Point Lighthouse
Mitchell State Park Wexford 1,289 acres 522 ha 1920 Lake Mitchell,
Lake Cadillac
Muskallonge Lake State Park Luce 217 acres 88 ha 1956 Lake Superior
Muskegon State Park Muskegon 1,233 acres 499 ha 1923 Lake Michigan,
Muskegon Lake
Negwegon State Park Alcona, Alpena 591 acres 239 ha 1962 Lake Huron
Newaygo State Park Newaygo 257 acres 104 ha 1966 Hardy Dam Pond
North Higgins Lake State Park Crawford 429 acres 174 ha 1965 Higgins Lake
Old Mission State Park Grand Traverse 520 acres 210 ha 1989 [e] Lake Michigan Leased to Peninsula Township and operated as Lighthouse Park
Onaway State Park Presque Isle 158 acres 64 ha 1920 Black Lake
Orchard Beach State Park Manistee 201 acres 81 ha 1921 Lake Michigan
Otsego Lake State Park Otsego 1,293 acres 523 ha 1920 Otsego Lake
Palms Book State Park Schoolcraft 388 acres 157 ha 1929 Kitch-iti-kipi,
Indian Lake
Petoskey State Park Emmet 203 acres 82 ha 1961 Little Traverse Bay
Porcupine Mountains Wilderness State Park Gogebic,
Ontonagon
59,020 acres 23,880 ha 1944 Lake Superior
Port Crescent State Park Huron 600 acres 240 ha 1955 Lake Huron
Sanilac Petroglyphs Historic State Park Sanilac 240 acres 97 ha 1971 Little Cass River
Saugatuck Dunes State Park Allegan 1,000 acres 400 ha 1977 Lake Michigan
Seven Lakes State Park Oakland 1,434 acres 580 ha 1971 Big Seven Lake
Silver Lake State Park Oceana 2,936 acres 1,188 ha 1920 Lake Michigan, Silver Lake Includes Little Sable Point Light
Sleeper State Park Huron 723 acres 293 ha 1924 Lake Huron
Sleepy Hollow State Park Clinton 2,678 acres 1,084 ha 1965 Lake Ovid
South Higgins Lake State Park Roscommon 1,000 acres 400 ha 1924 Higgins Lake
Sterling State Park Monroe 1,300 acres 530 ha 1935 Lake Erie
Straits State Park Mackinac 181 acres 73 ha 1924 Straits of Mackinac Includes Father Marquette National Memorial
Sturgeon Point State Park Alcona 76 acres 31 ha 1960 Lake Michigan
Tahquamenon Falls State Park Chippewa,
Luce
46,179 acres 18,688 ha 1947 Tahquamenon River
Tawas Point State Park Iosco 183 acres 74 ha 1960 Lake Huron
Thompson's Harbor State Park Presque Isle 5,109 acres 2,068 ha 1988 Lake Huron
Twin Lakes State Park Houghton 175 acres 71 ha 1964 Lake Roland
Van Buren State Park Van Buren 400 acres 160 ha 1966 Lake Michigan
Van Riper State Park Marquette 1,055 acres 427 ha 1956 Lake Michigamme
Warren Dunes State Park Berrien 1,952 acres 790 ha 1930 Lake Michigan
Warren Woods State Park Berrien 311 acres 126 ha 1949 Galien River
Watkins Lake State Park and County Preserve Washtenaw 1,122 acres 454 ha 2016 Watkins Lake
Wells State Park Menominee 678 acres 274 ha 1925 Lake Michigan On Green Bay
Wilderness State Park Emmet 10,512 acres 4,254 ha 1927 Lake Michigan
William G. Milliken State Park and Harbor Wayne 31 acres 13 ha 2004 Detroit River
Wilson State Park Clare 36 acres 15 ha 1920 Budd Lake
Young State Park Charlevoix 563 acres 228 ha 1920 Lake Charlevoix
  1. ^ Established in 1845 as a Detroit City Park, established as a Michigan State Park in 2014 under a 30-year lease.
  2. ^ Established in 1923 as an Iron County Park, purchased by the State of Michigan in 1966.
  3. ^ The park was originally deeded to the State in 1932, however.
  4. ^ Established in 1875 as Mackinac Island National Park, deeded to the State of Michigan in 1875.
  5. ^ The park was originally deeded to the State in 1932, however.

Michigan state recreation areas

Name[6] County Size Estab-
lished[7]
Lake / river Image Remarks
acres ha
Bald Mountain State Recreation Area Oakland 4,637 acres 1,877 ha 1944 Lower Trout Lake, others Water Warrior Island waterpark
Bass River State Recreation Area Ottawa 1,665 acres 674 ha 1994 Grand River
Brighton State Recreation Area Livingston 4,947 acres 2,002 ha 1944 Bishop Lake, others
Fort Custer State Recreation Area Kalamazoo 3,033 acres 1,227 ha 1971 Eagle, Jackson Hole and Whitford-Lawler Lakes
Highland State Recreation Area Oakland 5,900 acres 2,400 ha 1944 Haven Hill, Temple, Moore Lakes and others
Holly State Recreation Area Oakland 7,817 acres 3,163 ha 1944 Heron, Valley, and McGinnis Lakes
Ionia State Recreation Area Ionia 4,500 acres 1,800 ha 1965 Grand River
Island Lake State Recreation Area Livingston 4,000 acres 1,600 ha 1944 Huron River, Island Lake Hot-air balloon launch area
Lake Hudson State Recreation Area Lenawee 2,796 acres 1,132 ha 1979 Lake Hudson First-ever Dark-Sky Preserve designated, 1993
Lime Island State Recreation Area Chippewa 980 acres 400 ha 2011 St. Marys River Visitors provide own transportation to remote island; six rental cabins; Victorian House/Museum
Menominee River State Recreation Area Dickinson, Menominee 2,879 acres 1,165 ha 2012 Menominee River Co-managed with Wisconsin's Menominee River State Park and Recreation Area
Metamora-Hadley State Recreation Area Lapeer 723 acres 293 ha 1944 Minnewanna Lake
Ortonville State Recreation Area Lapeer, Oakland 5,400 acres 2,200 ha 1944 Big Fish and Davison Lakes
Pinckney State Recreation Area Livingston, Washtenaw 11,000 acres 4,500 ha 1944 Numerous inland lakes
Pontiac Lake State Recreation Area Oakland 3,745 acres 1,516 ha 1944 Huron River, Pontiac Lake
Proud Lake State Recreation Area Oakland 3,030 acres 1,230 ha 1944 Huron River, Proud Lake
Rifle River State Recreation Area Ogemaw 4,449 acres 1,800 ha 1963 Rifle River
Rockport State Recreation Area Alpena, Presque Isle 4,237 acres 1,715 ha 2012 Lake Huron Contains old limestone quarry and Besser Natural Area
Tippy Dam State Recreation Area Manistee 117 acres 47 ha 2007 Manistee River Managed under a lease agreement with Consumers Energy.
Waterloo State Recreation Area Jackson, Washtenaw 20,125 acres 8,144 ha 1943 Numerous inland lakes
W.C. Wetzel State Recreation Area Macomb 913 acres 369 ha 1969 Coon Creek
Yankee Springs State Recreation Area Barry 5,200 acres 2,100 ha 1943 Gun Lake
Map of Michigan state recreation areas
Bald Mountain Recreation Area
Bass River Recreation Area
Brighton Recreation Area
Fort Custer Recreation Area
Highland Recreation Area
Holly Recreation Area
Ionia State Recreation Area
Island Lake Recreation Area
Lake Hudson State Recreation Area
Lime Island State Recreation Area
Menominee River State Recreation Area
Metamora-Hadley Recreation Area
Ortonville Recreation Area
Pinckney State Recreation Area
Pontiac Lake Recreation Area
Proud Lake State Recreation Area
Rifle River State Recreation Area
Tippy Dam State Recreation Area
Waterloo State Recreation Area
Wetzel State Recreation Area
Yankee Springs Recreation Area
Michigan state recreation areas (clickable map)

Michigan trail state parks

The following state trails are units of the State Park System. Several other state trails fall under Department of Natural Resources jurisdiction and/or maintenance, but are not state park units and are not included here.

Name Official name Counties Length Estab- lished Image Remarks
mi km
Hart-Montague Trail State Park William Field Memorial Hart-Montague Trail State Park Muskegon, Oceana 22 35 1988 Converted rail-trail
Kal-Haven Trail Kal-Haven Bicycle Trail Sesquicentennial State Park Kalamazoo, Van Buren 34.5 55.5 1988
Trail through woods.
Converted rail-trail
Lakelands Trail State Park Mike Levine Lakelands Trail State Park Ingham, Livingston, Washtenaw 26 42 1991
Sign, car park, and station.
Converted rail-trail
Van Buren Trail State Park Van Buren 14 23 1994 Converted rail-trail
White Pine Trail State Park Fred Meijer White Pine Trail State Park Kent, Mecosta, Montcalm, Osceola, Wexford 92 148 1996
Little Muskegon River from trail bridge in Morley, Michigan.
Converted rail-trail

Other sites

Name[6] County Size Estab-
lished[7]
Hydrologic Feature(s) Image Remarks
acres ha
Agate Falls Scenic Site Ontonagon 213 acres 86 ha 1992 Agate Falls Adjacent to Agate Falls MDOT State Roadside Park.
Bond Falls Scenic Site Ontonagon 90 acres 36 ha 1992 Bond Falls DNR-managed facility on Upper Peninsula Power Company (UPPCO)-owned land.
DNR Pocket Park Delta 1 acre 0.40 ha 1998 none Within the Upper Peninsula State Fairgrounds in Escanaba featuring a fishing pond, archery and pellet gun ranges, a fire tower, a waterfall and a dozen specialty gardens. Open seasonally May through September.
Father Marquette National Memorial Mackinac 58 acres 23 ha 1973 Straits of Mackinac (views) Within the western portion of Straits State Park.
Holly Oaks ORV Park Oakland 235 acres 95 ha 2021 none Jointly-managed with Oakland County Parks.
Outdoor Adventure Center Wayne 0.94 acres 0.38 ha 2015 Detroit River In historic Globe Building, adjacent to William G. Milliken State Park and Harbor.
Ralph A. MacMullan Conference Center Crawford 32 acres 13 ha 1941 Higgins Lake Within North Higgins Lake State Park
Wagner Falls Scenic Site Alger 23 acres 9.3 ha 1956 Wagner Falls
Wagner Falls

Former state park units

Michigan state forests

See also: List of Michigan state forests

The Au Sable River runs through the Au Sable State Forest

Michigan's state forest system is administered by the Forest Resources Division (FRD) within the Michigan Department of Natural Resources, not the Parks and Recreation Division (PRD) which manages the state park system, however the Parks and Recreation Division took over the recreation responsibilities of the Forest Resources Division (e.g. the state forest campgrounds and the trails and pathways within the state forests) in January 2012.

References

  1. ^ "Michigan Statewide Comprehensive Outdoor Recreation Plan 2018–2022: Public Comment Draft" (PDF). Michigan Department of Natural Resources. August 31, 2017. Retrieved June 28, 2018.
  2. ^ "A snapshot of 2016 accomplishments" (PDF). Michigan Department of Natural Resources. Retrieved June 28, 2018.
  3. ^ "MICHIGAN'S FIRST STATE PARK?". Michigan Department of Natural Resources. April 8, 2019. Retrieved April 8, 2019.
  4. ^ "Michigan's Public Land Base and Outdoor Recreation" (PDF). 2008–2012 Statewide Comprehensive Outdoor Recreation Plan. Michigan Department of Natural Resources. Retrieved February 19, 2010.
  5. ^ "Executive Summary" (PDF). 2008–12 Michigan State Comprehensive Outdoor Recreation Plan. Michigan Department of Natural Resources. October 1, 2007. p. 2. Retrieved February 19, 2010.
  6. ^ a b c As listed by Michigan Department of Natural Resources, 2018, except where noted. "Recreation Search". Michigan Department of Natural Resources. Retrieved June 27, 2018.
  7. ^ a b c "When were Michigan state parks and recreation areas established?" (PDF). Michigan Department of Natural Resources. Retrieved March 24, 2020.
  8. ^ a b c "Department of Natural Resources: FY 2021 Capital Outlay Five-Year Plan" (PDF). Michigan Department of Natural Resources. October 31, 2019. Retrieved October 12, 2021.
  9. ^ a b c Karamanski, Theodore (1996). A Nationalized Lakeshore: The Creation and Administration of Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore. Omaha, Nebraska: National Park Service. ISBN 979-8645156039.
  10. ^ "Fund Diversion for Forest Fire Fighting Opposed". The News-Palladium. Vol. 63, no. 263. Associated Press. November 6, 1947. p. 22.
  11. ^ "Former State Park Turned Over To County". Port Huron Times-Herald. No. Vol. XL, No. 76. March 17, 1949. p. 1.