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Exploring Michigan's Great Outdoors

  • Red envelopeSubscribe to Recreation "How To" (Instructional Programs) updates from Michigan DNR
  • Schedule of Nature Programs in Michigan State Parks & Visitor Centerskids learning about sand dune ecosystemsThe Michigan Department of Natural Resources (DNR) offers nature programs and special events for families and school groups at 10 visitor centers state wide. Interpretive naturalists and educators cover topics from the wonder of wetlands to sand dune ecology, why we need trees and more! In addition to these interpretive programs, we offer seasonal nature programming in 40 other state park and recreation areas. Find the facility nearest to you and you'll find out what's going on in nature this week!
  • Michigan Mammals Week
  • State Park Explorer ProgramCome explore the natural treasures of Michigan's state parks with a state park explorer guide leading the way. These fun, entertaining and informative programs are offered each summer at over 40 of Michigan's state parks and recreation areas.

  • Hook, Line and Sinker: Learn to fish with the DNRWhether you have some angling experience or have never picked up a pole, "Hook, Line and Sinker" is a great way for youngsters to spend a summer evening with their friends and family. We supply everything you will need!
  • Threatened & Endangered Species Week August 4 -10This year marks the 40th anniversary of Michigan's Endangered Species Act (ESA), the important legislation that has been critical to the recovery of many different species. The Department of Natural Resources is celebrating this milestone over the next four months by highlighting 18 of Michigan's protected or recovered species. These species will be featured at number of State Park and Recreation areas in August. Find a location near you!

Exploring On Your Own

  • Michigan morel mushrooms, photo taken by Randy McKenzie, Fire Management Specialist, DNRConservation and Safety Tips for Michigan Morel Hunters - practices for harvesting mushrooms, suggestions for seeking out hunting spots and a guide on how to recognize poisonous mushrooms.
  • DNR Visitor Centers, Museums & Historic SitesMichigan is home to some great visitor centers that highlight our state's amazing natural resources, as well as great historical sites that tell Michigan's story. Many programs and activities are offered all year. Check it out!
  • EVERYBODY, Go, Get Outdoors!Here you'll find a calendar of events for our state park and recreation areas.

  • Fishing Opportunities in MichiganLearn all about fishing in Michigan, including how-to tips and where to go.
  • Free Fishing WeekendsMichigan holds two Free Fishing Weekends each year – one in the winter and one in the summer. This is a great opportunity to introduce children to fishing. Learn more at
  • Michigan Watchable Wildlife Viewing Guide Online!Binoculars indicating watchable wildlifeThis binocular logo is the national symbol for wildlife viewing sites. All of the sites included in this Web guide display this sign. Watch for this logo on highway signs as you travel outside Michigan, because there is a national network of wildlife viewing sites springing up across the country. The online version of the popular Michigan Wildlife Viewing Guide, features 121 of the best places in Michigan to view wildlife.
  • Recreation OpportunitiesWhether it's hiking, biking, fishing or boating, Michigan has lots to offer those who prefer to recreate out-of-doors. These state land facilities are the perfect place to explore nature on your own. So Grab a field guide and get out there!

Mentoring Opportunities

  • Providing fun, safe ways for children and families to connect with our state's natural and cultural resources is what the DNR does every day. Here is a list of some of the opportunities that families and mentors and their matches can participate in to experience Michigan's outdoors.

  • DNR and Mentor MichiganThe DNR has partnered with Mentor Michigan to provide more outdoor opportunities for mentors and their matches. Just one hour a week can make a big difference in a young person's life. Learn more about mentoring opportunities and organizations in your area. Go to

  • Mentored Youth HuntingMentored Youth Hunting is the newest hunting opportunity in Michigan. Under this new program, there is no minimum hunting age. Mentored youth hunters are accompanied by an adult mentor who can provide one-on-one guidance in the sport of hunting, allowing for a safe and enjoyable experience. Learn more at

  • Apprentice HuntingIf you want to give hunting a test drive before investing in hunter education, apprentice hunting is for you!