State Parks


Photo courtesy of Pure Michigan

Tahquamenon Falls Sate Park is just one of the many State Parks in Michigan you can explore.

The state of Michigan is well known for its abundance of natural resources and features. Parks allow for visitors outside and inside the state to interact with and around such features, and become one with nature. Hopefully, these parks described below make it on your bucket list to visit!

Tahquamenon Falls State Park 

Spreading nearly 50,000 acres in the Upper Peninsula, Tahquamenon Falls State Parks is home to various campgrounds and overnight lodge facilities, over 35 miles of trails, boat launches and of course, lookouts of the upper and lower waterfalls. The falls have a distinct amber color due to leach tannins from surrounding cedar, hemlock and spruce trees. Native animals to the park include deer, abundant bird life, fox, porcupines, otters, black bears etc. With many activities permitted, the park is open all year round with skiing pathways! 

Charles Mears State Park

Charles Mears State Park shares the name of lumber baron and early settler Charles Mears, and is located on the channel that connects Lake Michigan to Pentwater Lake. The park is one of the first 13 established Michigan state parks created after the installation of the Michigan State Park Commission in 1919, which originally spanned just 16 acres. Today, Mears State Park encompasses 50 acres of land, with two miles of sand dunes, and is most famous for its one mile sand dune hike that ascends a 152 foot sand dune in Michigan named “Old Baldy.”

Grand Haven State Park

Grand Haven State Park is a 48 acre park that has a sandy Lake Michigan shoreline that is set a half-mile along the lake. This park gives beautiful scenic views overlooking the Grand Haven Pier and two lighthouses. The park has a campground, an overnight lodge, a beach, picnic areas and a pavilion. The boardwalk next to the Grand River is a popular fishing destination. Grand Haven State Park is a great place to visit with family. In the summer, they host Soccer in the Sand Tournament, there’s shops and restaurants that run along the Harbor to the park, as well as an Art Festival in June. 

Aloha State Park

Aloha State Park is located in Cheboygan, Michigan. This park covers about 172 acres of land and is on the northeast side of Mullett Lake. Aloha State Park was created when Cheboygan County purchased an initial eight acres of abandoned land that had been a park created by the Detroit and Mackinac Railway. At Aloha State Park, you can go camping, boating, swimming and fishing. Visit Michigan State Parks for more information!

Mackinac Island State Park

Any self respecting Yooper knows about Mackinac. Over 80 percent of the island extends into a state park featuring several attractions for fans of history and nature alike. Established in 1895, the park’s website boasts several sites including Fort Mackinac, Mackinac Island State Park, The Richard and Jane Manoogian Mackinac Art Museum, Biddle House, featuring the Mackinac Island Native American Museum, the Benjamin Blacksmith Shop, the American Fur Co. Store & Dr. Beaumont Museum and McGulpin House on Mackinac Island as well as the Michilimackinac State Park, Colonial Michilimackinac, Historic Mill Creek Discovery Park and Old Mackinac Point Lighthouse in Mackinaw City.

Maybury State Park

Something that draws people into the appeal of state parks is the history behind the area. Maybury State Park is one to admire when it comes to learning about the past. In 1919, the land now known as Maybury State Park held a tuberculosis Sanitarium which served as a quarantine and recovery center for people with tuberculosis. The sanitarium was closed in 1969 when a cure was found, and is now loved for the rolling meadows and woods that can be explored on foot, bike, ski or horseback. The park also has all terrain track chairs for people with accessibility needs to borrow for free, being a place where all can explore and learn.

Porcupine Mountains Wilderness State Park

Home to over 90 waterfalls and 44 hiking trails, the Porcupine Mountains Wilderness State Park is a small mountain range located in Ontonagon County. The park is filled to the brim with spectacular views and things to do all year round. There are a number of copper mines to tour to escape the heat during the summer and skiing to be done in the winter. From a long history to hiking trails, the Porcupine Mountains are a can’t miss Upper Peninsula Michigan destination.

Interlochen State Park 

Interlochen State Park is located about four hours north of Livonia, MI. It is near popular attractions such as Sleeping Bear National Lakeshore, Platte Lake and the beautiful (and cold) Lake Michigan. Interlochen is Michigan’s oldest state park where visitors can kayak, hike, fish and swim! Visitors may also choose to camp out on the park grounds. Additional attractions/amenities in the park include electricity, restrooms, playgrounds, boat launches and a concessions store. Certain access to the park may be limited during winter months. Many up north roads are seasonal.