• Interpretive Guideexploring nature photo 2
  • leading a group on a nature walkexploring nature photo 3
  • show and tellexploring nature photo 4
  • learning to fishexploring nature photo 5
  • telling stories around the beach fireexploring nature photo 1

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!

  • View a schedule of programs in parks across the state

Special Programs

Special Programs
Hook, Line and Sinker: Learn to fish with the DNR

Bobber and fishing line with water splashes and the title Hook, Line and Sinker

Boy with fishing pole

Have you ever wanted to learn to fish? Beginning in mid-June, join us for "Hook, Line and Sinker," a weekly fishing program available at over 30 state parks and fish hatcheries.

We'll teach you casting and fishing basics, and we can provide a rod and reel to use if you don't have your own equipment. Hook, Line and Sinker programs begin in mid-June and continue throughout the summer.

Participants under 17 do not need a fishing license. Programs are FREE; however, a Recreation Passport is required for park entry.

Our experienced, friendly instructors will introduce you to fishing in a relaxed and fun atmosphere. 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. After the 20-30 minute lesson, you'll be ready to hit the water and exercise your new skills.

Hook, Line and Sinker is available at the parks listed below. Contact each location for dates and times.

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.

Red envelope Subscribe to Recreation "How To" (Instructional Programs) updates from Michigan DNR

Wildlife Weekend, June 23-25, 2017

In 2017 we are featuring “herpetofauna” – the reptiles & amphibians of Michigan! Attend a state park program to learn more about some of these interesting creatures. The following parks will have Wildlife Weekend programs. Click on each link to download a flyer with the information for that park's programming.

Michigan Mammals Week, July 10-16, 2017

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, August 1-6, 2017

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 2017 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!

Algonac State Park
Brighton State Recreation Area
Brimley State Park
Burt Lake State Park
Clear Lake State Park
Hayes State Park
Hoeft State Park
Holland State Park
Indian Lake State Park
Interlochen State Park
Ionia State Recreation Area
Island Lake State Recreation Area
Lakeport State Park
Maybury State Park
McLain State Park
Muskegon State Park
Pontiac Lake State Recreation Area
Proud Lake State Recreation Area
Rifle River State Recreation Area
Sleeper State Park & Port Crescent State Park
Sleepy Hollow State Park
Sterling State Park
Tawas Point State Park
Van Buren State Park
Van Riper State Park
Warren Dunes State Park
Young State Park

Earn Digital Badges!

digital badge image We are partnering with Detroit Public Television to offer 3 different digital badges. Here’s how you can participate:

  1. Go to www.digitaladventure.org
  2. Register for a free account
  3. Look in the ‘Parks and Recreation’ category to find our badges in Fishing, Michigan Mammals, and Invasive Species
  4. 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.