With nearly 170 state parks to choose from across 360,000 acres of land in Michigan and Wisconsin, there is plenty to celebrate this summer at a state park near you. Whether you are looking for biking trails, a quiet campground, sand dunes to explore, hiking paths in the forest, a weekend on the lake or even a farm tour- state parks have something for everyone in the family.
Michigan has an extra big celebration this year as 2019 marks the 100th anniversary of its state parks. To kick off that centennial celebration, Michigan’s Department of Natural Resources has planned special events throughout the year, encouraging everyone to get outside. Specifically this summer, there are Campfire Storytelling events, documentaries of Michigan’s most unique parks, and special geocaching locations.
Wherever you reside, take the opportunity to enjoy the beauty. And, if you are looking for a few great recommendations, try these:
1. Tawas Point State Park, Michigan
Often known as the “Cape Cod of the Midwest,” historic Tawas Point Lighthouse stands tall along Michigan’s Lake Huron shores. Enjoy swimming in Tawas Bay and take your dog for a walk along the pet-friendly shoreline.
2. High Cliff State Forest, Wisconsin
Overlooking Lake Winnebago and featuring scenic limestone cliffs, the High Cliff State Park is as breathtaking as it is historic. Take advantage of the boating and swimming, as well as hiking and the General Store Museum.
3. Mitchell State Park, Michigan
Watch the sunrise on Lake Cadillac and sunset on Lake Mitchell each day as you travel through the park’s historic canal. With over 300 acres to explore, Mitchell State Park is sure to impress the whole family.
4. Higgins State Park, Michigan
With nearly two miles of bike routes and eight miles of hiking trails, Higgins State Park might be the place to leave you breathless. Add in two campgrounds and mini cabin options to create your own week, or weekend, get-away.
5. Point Beach State Forest, Wisconsin
While it may be a state forest, there are 127 campsites to choose from, all within walking distance to Lake Michigan. Visit the 1853 Rawley Point Lighthouse and enjoy a picnic with family along the five miles of undeveloped shoreline.
6. Duck Lake State Park, Michigan
Located in Muskegon County, this day-use park will bring out the adventurer in you with 728 acres to explore and two local lakes, Duck Lake and Lake Michigan.
7. Albert E. Sleeper State Park, Michigan
Often known as the location of Michigan’s annual Cheeseburger Festival, the city of Caseville is loved for both burgers and the relaxing atmosphere the park offers. Just minutes from downtown, the
723 acres of nature trails, sandy dunes and shorelines help make your vacation an unforgettable one.
8. Potawatomi State Park, Wisconsin
View over two miles of rocky shoreline from the park’s 75-foot tall observation tower overlooking Sturgeon Bay. Enjoy Wisconsin’s wilderness while traveling through the park’s eight-mile off-road bike route or hike a variety of nature trails.
9. Maybury State Park, Michigan
Offering guests an adventure-filled visit with miles of biking, hiking and equestrian trails. On site is a working farm that takes visitors back to the 1900’s through sheep shearing, honey extracting and grain harvesting farm demonstrations.
10. Bewabic State Park, Michigan
Just four miles from Crystal Falls, this Upper Peninsula getaway is located off Fortune Lakes with a large beach and boat launch, and plenty of campsites. A trip to Bewabic State Park is known to come with sunshine and good times.