State Park Explorer Program
The Explorer Program provides seasonal outdoor education programs in over 40 Michigan state parks. From mammals to birds and from insects to dunes to wetlands and more, learn about the resources in the parks you visit by attending a scheduled program in the summer. In addition to posting schedules on this webpage, program schedules will also be posted in the park, or you can ask the campground host or other park staff. See what’s going on in nature this week!
- Weekly Nature Program Schedules
- Hook, Line and Sinker: Learn to fish with the DNR
Have you ever wanted to learn how to fish? Here's your chance. Hook, Line and Sinker is a weekly fishing program available at over 30 state parks and fish hatcheries. We'll teach you casting and fishing basics, and can provide you with a rod and reel to use if you don't have your own. With step-by-step direction, you'll learn fishing basics like knot-tying, setting up your pole, casting, selecting and using bait, and removing fish from the hook.
The classes are offered free of charge, and participants under 17 do not need a fishing license.
Below are locations that may offer Hook, Line and Sinker classes. Please note, the links below are for each location's weekly program schedule. Hook, Line and Sinker may not be offered at every location each week. To find upcoming dates and times, please call the location your are interested in. You can look up each of these parks on our Recreation Search website.
- Bay City State Park, Bay City, 989-667-0717
- Brighton Recreation Area, Brighton, 810-229-6566
- Cedar River State Harbor, Cedar River, 906-864-1040
- Hartwick Pines State Park, Grayling, 989-348-2537
- Hayes State Park, Onsted, 517-467-7401
- Holland State Park, Holland, 616--399-9390
- Holly Recreation Area, Holly, 248-634-8811
- Ionia Recreation Area, Ionia, 616-527-3750
- Island Lake Recreation Area, Brighton, 810-229-7067
- Ludington State Park, Ludington, 231-843-9261
- Mears State Park, Pentwater, 231-869-2051
- Metamora-Hadley Recreation Area, Metamora, 810-797-4439
- Milliken State Park, Detroit, 313-396-0217
- Mitchell State Park, Cadillac, 231-775-7911
- Muskegon State Park, Muskegon, 231-744-3480
- Pinckney Recreation Area, Pinckney, 734-426-4913
- Pontiac Lake Recreation Area, Waterford, 248-666-1020
- Port Crescent State Park, Port Austin, 989-738-8663
- Proud Lake Recreation Area, Commerce Twp., 248-685-2433
- Rifle River Recreation Area, Lupton, 989-473-2258
- Sleeper State Park, Caseville, 989-856-4411
- Sleepy Hollow State Park, Laingsburg, 517-651-6217
- South Higgins State Park, Roscommon, 989-821-6374
- Sterling State Park, Monroe, 734-289-2715
- Tawas Point State Park, East Tawas, 989-362-5041
- Waterloo Recreation Area, Chelsea,734-475-3170
- Wells State Park, Cedar River, 906-863-9747
- Wolf Lake Hatchery Visitor Center, Mattawan, 269-668-2876
- Yankee Springs Recreation Area, Middleville, 269-795-9081
- Young State Park, Boyne City, 231-582-7523
For camping reservations, visit www.midnrreservations.com or call 800-44-PARKS (800-447-2757).
Hands-on lessons on recreational activities like fishing, archery, kayaking and more are also available through the DNR's Recreation 101 program. Visit www.michigan.gov/rec101 to learn more.
- Wildlife Weekend featuring "Pollinators" June 22-24, 2018
In 2018 we are featuring pollinators, including native bees, moths, butterflies, and other animals. Watch this page for summer schedules to learn more about some of these interesting creatures.
- Michigan Mammals Week, July 9-15, 2018
Michigan is home to a wide variety of wild mammals. Join us at a programs all around Michigan to learn more about their habits, habitats and adaptations for survival. Activities will feature hikes, animal tracking programs, games and much more. The following parks will have Wildlife Weekend programs. Click on each link to download a flyer with the information for that park's programming.
- STOP the Invasives Week, July 30-August 5, 2018
Invasive species are non-native plants and animals that have the potential to become established in an ecosystem, spread widely, and cause ecological or economic harm or even pose a risk to human health. Learn more at one of our park programs. Watch this page for summer 2018 schedule to learn about the non-native or invasive species in your area, how to identify them and what you can do to help STOP THE INVASIVES!
- Earn Digital Badges!
We are partnering with Detroit Public Television to offer 3 different digital badges. Here’s how you can participate:
- Go to www.digitaladventure.org
- Register for a free account
- Look in the ‘Parks and Recreation’ category to find our badges in Fishing, Michigan Mammals, and Invasive Species
- Attend a program to earn your claim code
Join our Team!
- State Park Explorer Guides
Work for the State Park Explorer Program and share your love of the outdoors with others!
- State Park Explorer Specialist
Explorer Specialists serve as regional program coordinators for the DNR’s State Park Explorer Program, a summer interpretive-education program offered in over 40 of Michigan’s state parks.