Department of Natural Resources
Liam and Lachlan meet little Liam and Lachlan! Chances are pretty slim for this name combination...
We found the perfect place to take 10 days and explore with our family. It's peaceful and beautiful. The sound of the waves put us to sleep every night and woke us every morning.
This was fun!! First time renting a cabin in the Park. We were 3 generations of happy excitement. We spend they day going north to Sleeping Bear Dunes and drove back along the coast stopping at many towns along the way. One of the cleanest campgrounds ever and we've stayed in many over the years!! Good job Rangers!
In addition to an earlier 1927 photo that included my mother at the WDSP Beach, when locals accessed the now State Park Beach ( Mt Edward in the background), this one has notes from my Dad , who was from Three Oaks and was the first Manager, from 1946-64 and Naturalist from 1967-1975. Dad was an MSC Graduate (1940) who had been drafted (Not enlisted!) and serbed in the 3rd Armored Division from Normandy to meeting up with the Russians He helped Department of Conservation Surveyors lay out the road that is still there ( same 1946 concrete is there !) He loved " The Park" and I enjoyed living there from my birth in 1950. The EL Warren Foundation donated a big chunk of land to the State, including land at the now South Boundary of the Park at the end of Browntown Road- where my grandfather took these girls in 1927 to the Beach. The Foundation also donated land that is the New Buffalo City Beach and Chikaming Township Cherry Beach . Please note that less than 2% of SW Berrien County lakefront is open to the public.
Visitors at the Charles Mears State Park for the annual Pentwater Boat Parade of Lights.
Family fun at North Higgins Lake State Park!
I have been camping at Ludington since I was 12 years old. Now I have the joy of sharing it with my daughter for her last 12 years!
Kayaking with the family!
One of the most beautiful places in Michigan. A great place for families with so much in the area too.
July 2018, we decided to check out Wilson State Park and had a great time. Our 4.5 y/o made friends with the couple camping next to us and before they left he got a ride around the park on the back of their Harley.
Camping here nearly every Memorial Day weekend always include lots of happiness, family togetherness, and laughter.
Tawas Point State Park was our 110th State Park! We hiked the trail out to the point and enjoyed lunch and a beach walk there. In 2009 we decided to broaden our horizons and visit all of the Michigan state parks, recreation areas, scenic sites and linear trails, with a goal to finish by the centennial this year. This was our second to last park before meeting our goal. Another beautiful spot!
After almost 10 years of visiting Michigan State Parks John and I have now had the pleasure and privilege to have visited every one! Negwegon State Park was our 111th park of 106 state parks and recreation areas and 5 linear trail state parks in Michigan. We celebrated the completion of our adventure AND the Michigan State Park Centennial this weekend with some wonderful friends at Negwegon State Park!
This has to be one of the most beautiful locations ever. But with all the rain in 2019, camping here at the end of June meant stable flies, mosquitoes, and no-see-ums. One couldn't even be outside shelter or walk along the lake. Yowser! Highly suggest it during non bug season. About 15 or so sites, lovely woods and incredible beach.
Family camping with grandkids. Tree climbing
Beautiful trip with my 6 year son.
During the Tall Ships festival you can view the ships passing by the point and often stopping at our marina in East Tawas.
Not only does Tawas area get great sunrises we also have beautiful sunsets at the Pointe!
The Tawas Birding Festival is world renowned. A migratory stopover for so many species of birds. Such easy access for so much pleasure.
Our family camping trip in 2015!
Ludington State Park is our favorite! Beechwood by Lost Lake is our dream camping area!
We were geocaching in the area and visited the beach on a very windy, cool day. A beautiful view, but the wind blew our hair everywhere! Still, we made some fun memories.
Motorcycle camping is great.
We found a very large downed tree while hiking, and couldn't help but explore it a little.
While in town for training, I finished and found a peaceful place to watch the sunset. What a great way to end the day!
In 2016, an incredible storm front moved over the bay during our visit to the state park. It was fascinating to watch the clouds roll by!
We visited Belle Isle in 2016 for the first time. Our daughter enjoyed seeing oranges and bananas growing in the conservatory. We're going back this year!
We enjoyed swimming in Silver Lake during the day, and watching the sunset behind the dunes in the evening.
After waking up at midnight, we couldn't help but go out and watch the full moon rise over the Lake. It was beautiful!
We love camping in the state parks! Our daughter learned to set up a tent and start a campfire, on which to cook dinner.
We always enjoy helping our daughter in the kid's fishing tournament. Catch or not - she has a blast!
Under the direction of "Paleo Joe," we learned to identify fossils and how to remove them.
Tawas State Park is even beautiful in the winter... when there isn't too much snow!
While Mom & Dad searched for fossils, daughter rested in the shade!
After learning it was ok to search for fossils, we spent all day finding remnants of an ancient sea!
We searched for agates along the shores of McLain State Park, but found instead some uniquely twisted trees. Interesting and lovely!
We saw the Lake of the Clouds for the first time in 2012. How lovely!
Mom and daughter enjoying daughter's first visit to Bond Falls. What a beautiful location!
The sunset and began to light up the sandstone cliffs at the water's edge. Beautiful!
We toured the abandoned town in the evening, but especially enjoyed the kiln.
We thoroughly enjoyed this geocache "trap" for humans in Newaygo State Park. Even though we did it in 2012, it remains a favorite!
Our daughter enjoyed talking to the ranger about a new friend -- this moose head.
The lower falls are just as pretty, especially when the spray lifts in the sun!
The Tawas Point Light is always lovely, even from the water. It's a great beach for all sorts of water sports!
We always enjoy the lighthouse at this state park.
Every spring, we visit to see the swans at Tobico Lagoon at Bay City State Park.
There's always lots of wildlife to see at the Tobico Lagoon portion of the Bay City State Park.
Our visit to the state park in 2007.
Our daughter loved playing in the sand on an early camping trip.
My daughter Lexi and I try to go tent camping at least once every Summer and this year we chose Michigan--Warren Dunes State Park. We had a wonderful time hiking the trails and beach of Lake Michigan. We definitely will be back!
Excellent memories geocaching at Hoffmaster State Park. Our family had a great time camping and exploring the park.
Southern Indiana travelers here and found an event on facebook with Lunar Observing on Holland State Park. This pic is of my son waiting for the clouds to clear so we could view the moon.
Our parents camp Ostego Lake every year and it's great that us girls can join them! We absolutely love this campground and our memories we make here every July!!
Auntie Aubrey and niece, Liesl enjoying some hammock time during the Cherry Festival at Traverse City State Park.
Friends and family gathering for our annual Memorial Day camp weekend. I captured this photo from inside my trailer and had to enhance the photo to look vintage (goes with our friends' vintage trailer). Some day, this will be our good old days.
All smiles here! Enjoyed 5 fun packed days at 5 MI State parks over July 4th weekend. Petoskey, Brimley, Straits, Ft. Wilderness, and Tahquamenon Falls. What a blast. The family that camps together stays together :-)
My mother circa 1927 , Joan Osborn McDonald-- Girlfriends and my Grandfather Charles Osborn
Time with family, brothers. Irreplaceable!
Our 4th of July parade 2019
This is a wonderful campground we always enjoy ourselves. The staff is friendly. We try to visit yearly. Highly recommend this state park.
Beautiful Sunset 6/8/19
Annual Smith Family Camping trip. Always a great time!
Beautiful sunset on Black Lake in the Onaway State Park 7-5-2019. Camped with friends. Kayaked on Black Lake and took many bike rides. We can't wait to come back for another visit.
Lucky enough to live close to this park and get to enjoy it all year. Beaches, Camping, Picnics & of course THE LIGHTHOUSE!
While the light was decommissioned by the Coast Guard in 2016, Tawas Point lighthouse still stands proud and tall. Mother Nature sometimes lights it up!
We love climbing up to the top of the Tawas Point Lighthouse.
Our twins LOVE to be outside! That's why they look so determined to be off on a hike in the UP. Our whirlwind, five day trip took us to a lot of different parks and places that we can't wait to go back and visit again one day!
Sunday morning breakfast displaying our "Celebrate 100 magnet" from the State Parks.
This was our second visit to North Higgins Lake State Park. We have just completed set up with our new camper and are ready for 4 days of relaxation. Mike and Bonnie Fink with our dog Gretchen - Westphalia, MI
Beautiful Black lake! My favorite Onaway state park!
Kites on point
I was lucky to have been part of the Keeper program at the lighthouse twice in the past. What a special experience - living in the lighthouse and giving tours to visitors. Lighthouses are America's castles and Tawas Point Light is certainly a gem! We are so lucky to this historic site to share the history of Michigan to all!
My Great-Grandparents immigrated from Finland to the U.P., and witnessed the creation of the park service in the state of Michigan. Their son enlisted in the CCC Camps 19 years later which is my maternal grandfather. Now I traveled to Michigan to celebrate the 100th Anniversary of the park service here.
This is one of our favorite sites in Michigan. We love camping st Harrisville with our mini Goldendoodle, Deke.
My husband and I went to PJ Hoffmaster State Park on Valentine's Day of 2018. I'd never been to the lakeshore during the wintertime. I was pleasantly surprised! It was absolutely gorgeous.
I visited this gorgeous park in June 2019. Not only is the waterfall breathtakingly beautiful but the trail that leads you through the park gives a close-up view of the Laughing Whitefish River.
Flying kites on the beach is a tradition when we camp.
What a beautiful park! We especially enjoy the programs put on by the parks. Over the years we have learned about everything from carnivorous plants to bats. Great memories!
The beginning to a life of great state park camping trips!
Last summer, I took a week-long camping trip through the UP with one of my best friends. McLain was our first stop--and it was the best possible beginning. Our campsite was just a stone's throw from the rocky shore, and we arrived just before sunset. We sat by the water as the sun made its journey to the horizon, and I was filled with the inexplicable peace of being close to one of nature's wonders. Looking out over the water, I felt like I was on the edge of the world.
Our first time camping at Otsego Lake State Park! It will definitely not be our last!
One of the best views I have ever had while camping, looking right out onto Lake Michigan.
Worked at JW Wells State Park in 77 - 80, most of the time with my best Friend. We drove from Menominee out to the park almost everyday. Loved it. Learned to love the outdoors and how to take care of it. Was my start to my career with the National Park Service and the Bureau of Land Management. Remember Jim, & Jim, Marion, Dan, Rich and all the other folks working there. I was an Interpreter one summer, picked up garbage and helped clean the bathrooms, worked at the entrance station and shut down the park at night. Remember the Conservation Officers and State Patrol coming in to make sure we were OK. What a great job for me.
My husband and I met at OLSP fifty years ago while camping with our families. We kept in touch through the following years and married in 1972. We have 5 children and sixteen grandchildren who all love to camp. Hubby and I are planning to spend a few days at OLSP in July for our anniversay.
New hike in sites if you want to tent it away from the main campground . Well worth the extra effort of packing in all your essential gear.
I met my future (and present) wife at the park in 1969 where she worked as the park administrative clerk and I was a summer ranger. She arrived for work my first morning on the job while a fellow ranger and I were eating breakfast at a picnic table outside the park office. She threw a dead mangled fox at our feet that she found on the road on her way in saying we should take care of it. After gagging, I knew right away she was the one for me! Great time exploring the park after work! Watching bats fly out of the old barn at the Ranch at dusk one highlight! Park Superintendent Carl Slosser best boss ever!
Just a lucky shot of the sunset at Tawas. It was a beautiful trip to one of my happy places.
Most of my childhood memories of my birthday were spent camping at Burt Lake State Park . My Dad and his best friend (pictured) would go fishing on the Sturgeon River for trout while the Moms and kids would go to the beach or shop in Indian River. We would climb the stairs in the back of the campground to visit the Cross in the Woods. On the 4th of July we watched nearby fireworks from the beach. Fifty years ago in 1969 I had just turned 10 when the first moon walk happened. We watched it on our little black and white TV under our awning. That night we looked up at the moon as we sat around our bonfire and marveled that people were up there. Finally, no trip was complete until we visited the camp store to buy candy and souvenirs. It turns out the best souvenirs are the memories you make camping with your family and friends.
At Hoeft state park we had an especially friendly critter we named Chippy! He visited us throughout our whole stay and we rewarded him with lots of nuts
My husband is not much for the swimming but loves the beach for reading and relaxing for over 20 years. We love the solitude and quiet campground just a short walk from the beach. While he devours books and magazines I get to play in the lake and spend hours hunting for unique rocks and fossils. This beach is a favorite of the family!
I have been going to Lake Michigan most of my 62 years, traveling from Indiana and Illinois.. Our family has camped at Van Buren the past 21 years. A favorite for its quietude and proximity to beach. A rocky beach for sure but that is part of the attraction. This is one of our daughters and me.
We thoroughly enjoyed learning about the history of surveying and how the Meridian and Baseline helped shaped all of our land designations. You can learn more about the park in the video we did during our visit: youtu.be/0NSDui5gwRs
From tent to trailer camping, our favorite family memories are at Michigan State Parks. Mom really loved when we went from a tent to a camper...we must have too!
Young State Park hosts an annual Easter egg hunt. To celebrate the centennial we had a drawing for a grand prize camping package. The winner was Lilah from Petoskey pictured here. We had over 200 egg hunters this year.
Playing at Silver Lake State Park means all day fun!! Catching air was such a thrill. I made sure I had the same machine as all the guys, so I could keep up and give them a healthy dose of competition.
We put on the Michigan Adventure Race: Silver Lake Edition in 2015, the largest adventure race in the United States in a decade! We are coming back to do it again on June 1. Nothing like enjoying a Michigan state park while running, biking, sandboarding and paddleboarding in an Amazing Race-like treasure hunt for hidden flags.
Spring break 2019 for a six year old
An older drone photo of Ludington State Park. The lighthouse can be spotted in the far distance.
Aerial of the lower falls
Fall colors abound in this aerial of the Porcupine Mountain State Park.
A birds eye view of Agate Falls
Most never see the cliff they are standing on when viewing Lake of the Clouds and the Carp River at Porcupine Mountains State Park.
Dismal day, but still grabbed the fall colors and falls from above.
Favorite day, favorite people, favorite place.
My then fiancé (now husband) and I sharing a laugh in one of our favorite places!
Fall colors visit the Tawas Point State Park in this image from 2015.
It was a sunny Spring day 2017. My young adult daughter called me and was particularly down. I told her that I wanted to pick her up and go for a drive. We live in the Greater Lansing Area and decided to take a drive to Sleepy Hollow State Park for a picnic. We sat on a bench near the water and noticed a bird running back and forth trying to get our attention. He was fascinating us. We realized that he was working to distract us from his mate who was dutifully sitting on her nest. It was a beautiful day. My daughter still remembers this as a day of rescue from her depression. THANK YOU!
Even from 400 feet in the air you can still see the bottom of the big spring - Kitch-iti-kipi (Palms Book State Park).
The tannin leached waters match the autumn foliage. This aerial (sorry, it is an old one) attempts to capture the beauty of both.
While you won't find motorhomes and campers parked in the campground during the winter at Grand Haven, there are still hearty beachgoers enjoying the season checking out the ice. Pancake ice is but one of the many ice types to form in Lake Michigan. And what could be a better view of such with the Lighthouse serving as a colorful backdrop.
At just the right angle from above, the island in First lake at Bewabic State Park forms the mitten of the lower peninsula. Here it is captured in fall colors.
Every summer, I take the same vacation: I spend the two weeks prior to Labor Day in Ludington, with daily trips to the Lake Michigan beach at the state park. It is gorgeous, peaceful, never crowded. Sometimes I go for a couple hours to swim, and then come back later in the evening to watch the sunset. I've never found another place this perfect. It is my favorite place on Earth.
Sundown on Otsego
Sundown August 2018
View from the small beach near our campsite.
This trip started another new tradition - adding Ludington to our every growing list of annual SP visits - beauty all around
It's very interesting to monitor the ever evolving landscape on the lakeshore
One of many curiosities on this Hoffmaster trip!
Displaying our athletic loyalties to everyone in the park - #golakers #GVSU #gotigers
Enjoying Hoffmaster State Park
Watching the storm come in over the lake at Ionia State Park
Enjoy a sunset at one of Michigan's hidden gems - Ionia State Park
Annual creek comparison from spring to summer 2018
Enjoyed a walk on the shoreline!
Enjoyed the wildlife while walking through this beautiful park
Spring camping at Hoffmaster State Park, despite the snow!
Sunset over Gun Lake - Yankee Springs fall camping November 2016
Love it when my grandkids come to visit! play day at Hoffmaster State Park
Beautiful spring day on the lakeshore
Spring camping can be undpredictable, but this trip was warm enough to dip our toes!
Walking the trails with my honey in Yankee Springs State Park during fall camping
This visit started a new tradition of fall camping at Yankee Springs SP
Campfire fun at Interlochen SP
Traditionally we take a picture of Black Creek every time we are camping to compare from season to season.
September 2014 was a cold and blustery visit
Sunset on the lake...Wilderness State Park
Love northern Michigan!! It's like a world of its own...we are so blessed!
First time staying at Muskegon SP! It's gorgeous.
We camp at Hoffmaster several times each year starting in April. Every year it is interesting to watch the variations in the shoreline.
Interlochen is one of our favorite state parks. We enjoy the park, visiting Traverse City, and Interlochen Arts Camp!
Water, fun, sun, and camping! Our state parks are the best!!
Camping at the state parks is our favorite summer activity. So much to do and explore.
Stayed here in early April. Very cold but stayed warm in one of the two heated mini cabins offered. Bathrooms had just been opened which was great for the kids.
Zachary (middle, 4), Nathan (right, 1), Owen (left, 1) at annual group camping trip, 2016.
How do we work this thing?!
2015 annual group camping trip. Lots of babies means lots of umbrellas and beach naps!
Visiting Kitch-iti-kipi (The Big Spring) for the first time. December 2018.
The biggest and best sandbox for an almost 2 year old!
Our family in 2017 at the spot where we got engaged in 2006.
Checking out the CCC Museum at the North Higgins Lake State Park (2017)
The kids' first trip to the U.P.
Mom with her 3 boys after finishing the 2015 Higgins Lake Sunrise Run.
Family hike on Mother's Day weekend 2018.
Our first triathlon.
Owen (left), Nathan (right) at about 5 months old for their first camping trip!
Annual friends camping trip 2014. This was the trip we tent camped with an almost-two-year old and it was a low of 37!
Summer 2018 annual friends & family camping trip. 8 kids under age 6! (10 adults ... at least we out-numbered them!)
Zachary (back, 5), Nathan (green, 3), and Owen (blue, 3) having a water fight!
Late summer 2014
Family nature hike in the spring.
My husband and I met each other in Port Austin, MI. The area where we chose to take our wedding photos is part of Port Crescent State Park on the old Trestle Bridge. We went on many dates to this area to walk the trails and watch sunsets. We continue to visit often.
Each year on our anniversary, I put on my wedding gown. In 2017 we were at Interlochen State Park.
Many fond memories on the Huron River in the rec area
Enjoyed a beautiful August weekend with a motorcycle ride to Bond Falls Scenic Site, we have been to plenty of waterfalls and this one is in our top 3!
A peaceful September evening camping at Lake Gogebic State Park
My husband and I frequently enjoy riding the paved bike trail through the Island Lake State Recreation Area. In fact it has become part of our spring- to- fall exercise. In this photograph, we experienced an unusually warm February day so of course we headed out to the park. We enjoy the variety of hills and long stretches through meadows and forested areas.
Tubing on Hamlin Lake
Our favorite spot
We live 20 minutes from Yankee Springs. We've been going there since our kids were small to swim and hike. We have made so many family memories there together. I can't imagine not having this wonderful resource so close to home.
Come visit the oldest industrial site in the State of Michigan - Lime Island! This hidden and forgotten gem is loaded with history and only accessible by boat. It is well worth the effort to see the very pristine island settings. There are lime kilns older than many other industrial sites in Michigan. Visit the Victorian House and the School House built and used by the past residents of the Lime. Stay on your boat in the harbor or rent one of the rustic cabins from the State or camp out on the tent platforms all with the best water views it the Upper Peninsula. The Freighter traffic is second to none and the sunsets are the best in the Upper Peninsula by far. Walk the many trails through old growth forests and you may see deer, coyote, rabbit, squirrels and if you are real lucky you may see the occasional transient wolf, bobcat, moose or black bear. Just remember it's an Island in all its rustic form.
Family camping trip in 2016 when our Granddaughter said " Grandma I want to live at camping".
Enjoying one of the awesome winter lantern hike events at Waterloo state rec area
First backpack trip of the year, the Potowatami Trail, 2/22/19
Perfect mirror image sunset, stunning. We have a copy on our living room wall.
Camping at Proud Lake, relaxing & close to home.
Duck Lake channel connects to Lake Michigan, warm & shallow good for young children, nice beach.
Nature at its finest.
Hiking around upper & lower Falls.
This elegant building hosts an impressive amount of diverse plant species.
Walking on Ludington State Park beach shore of Lake Michigan. As beautiful as Florida!
I could live at the Belle Isle Conservatory
Lake Hudson was absolutely beautiful and calm. We camping during an off time and had a lot of privacy. Bright lake by day and bright stars by night.
A beautiful contrast of Queen Anne's Lace.
Making some staghorn sumac syrup for supper.
Family camping trip to Lake Michigan in Ludington Michigan 2016.
The tower at Rifle River is always a breathtaking 360 degree view.
Upon hiking to explore fungi this little box caught our eye, stuffed into a tree knot.
A beautiful conk mushroom, Ganoderma applanatum
Walking the beach of Superior , listening to her music.
Fall Fest 2018 Sunday morning pancake breakfast in the dining hall
I live on the Huron River just downstream from the ILSRA. I have been fishing, swimming, canoeing, kayaking, etc. the river for the past 75 years. My favorite memory as a boy is taking my lunch and fishing equipment in our boat, and rowing up the river into the ILSRA to spend a the whole day alone. Those were special days, even if I didn't catch a fish.
Every year small changes to the park happen, some natural and some man made. This picture shows the "new" playground in the background. After this picture was taken other changes occurred. See if you can spot what they are this summer.
Our first trip to Ludington State Park was a really memorable one as our son learned to ride his bike for the first time, had an awesome time on the beach and walking out to the lighthouse.
The Rigg Family end of summer, beach front view, fireside breakfast. #PureJoy
My view when heading out for a gorgeous morning walk along the shore. The evening before there were high winds and the waves roared all night but now all was peaceful and serene.
There was a path to the dunes right next to our campsite, so I walked up to the top to watch the sunset...very peaceful and beautiful.
We climbed the watchtower at Summit Peak right as a storm was coming in. The electricity in the air was so strong that it made our hair stand on end! Luckily we were able to make it back to camp at Mirror Lake before the rain actually started!
I spent many summers as a child in Michigan State Parks, and have continued the tradition with my own family. Here my daughter and I play on the sand dunes near the beach.
In August of 2017 my brother drove our 90 year old mother up here from Bellaire for a visit. We were camping here for a week and invited them to join us for dinner. As you can see we served the usual fare; hot dogs, macaroni salad and baked beans. My mother cleared her plate like a good girl!
Little Wesley had his 4th birthday party while camping here. We met everyone for a weekend in July of 2017. We stayed for the rest of the week among the tall pines. Lake Huron was beautiful from the dune beach.
In July of 2017 I took this photo of the Mackinaw bridge. Do you know where I was standing? This is a great park to explore the straits area from the north side.
My son and his wife visited me here in August 2017 and put their boat in at the launch. They took me on a nice evening excursion of Duck Lake. There's a wonderful beach and store here and I bought their 100th anniversary coffee cup. I keep it in the 5th wheel. This park is an oldie but a goodie!
My wife and I visited here in June of 2017. Hartwick is not a huge campground but the surrounding park is huge. We really enjoyed full hook-ups here and the many trails. Very historic and beautiful.
Enjoying a beautiful day at Kitch-itti-kippi!
Nothing like corn hole and hamburgers while camping!
Sand Castle Building Competition during Father's Day Weekend 2013. We won, we were the only ones!
2013 the grandsons are learning archery presented by the park rangers.
Tahquamenon Falls was the 2nd Michigan State park we visited together back in October of 2009. It had snowed and everything was dusted in white. We canoed to the island at the Lower Falls and had the whole island all to ourselves to explore.
We are Dove and John Day of Petoskey, Michigan and the Petoskey State Park is a very special place to us. This was the first state park we visited together. We continue to visit the park in all seasons, walking along the beach and dunes, catching sunsets, and exploring the ever changing beauty. There's always something new to see! In 2009, I bought John at Michigan State Parks book for Christmas, and we decided that we would visit all of the state parks by the 100th anniversary in 2019. Our entire lives we have explored the beauty of the Michigan State Parks, and for the last 9 1/2 years have made it our goal not to let one pass us by. Together we have been camping, hiking, kayaking and picnicking the parks for almost 10 years, exploring those we'd never been to before, and re-visiting old favorites. We are very thankful to have the Michigan State Parks and Michigan as our playground.
The best playground for kids and adults! Climbing enormous sand Dunes and watching dune buggies, jeeps, trucks, and dirt bikes zooming by... A vast sand land of pure freedom and nature. Silver Lake on one side and Lake Michigan on the other. Both easily accessible to swim in.
It rained maple leaves all night!
Enjoyed a wonderful hike thru the October woods experiencing the wave dunes behind the campground Oct,3,2017
Thank you to the wonderful fellow camper who planted a sand dollar on the beach at Sterling State Park on June 21,2016 for my granddaughter Shelby to find. I think she was the luckiest girl in Michigan that day!
Camping at Michigan State Parks with our family, always included going to the nearest small town to find the local bakery for fresh baked good and the Catholic Church Mass schedule, because we always packed a dress to wear to Sunday Mass! This picture was in the Porcupine Mountains circa 1965.
Our family camped at many Michigan State Parks over the years, usually during the July automotive change over. Mom, Dad, 5 kids in the station wagon and tent. This picture is circa 1961.
Family Cottage on Silver Lake for over 70 years! A mile from Silver Lake State Park. Excellent ORV area on the Silver Lake Sand Dunes. Great swimming! We live here half the year and I wouldn't want to be anywhere else!
Silver Lake Sand Dunes has been a yearly vacation for my family for years. We go with usually a group of 20+ people who are all friends that we grew up with. I've made it a tradition that every year since I got Shelby, my dog in the picture that I will get a sunset pic of her. We love all the fun we have at silver lake. The park is great and the kids have learned to ride.
Sun, sand, sand, more sand. Go to beach on Silver Lake, beach on Lake Michigan, ride the dunes in your Jeep, walk the dunes, go into town and play play play or shop. Or just sit at home with a bonfire and watch all the wild vehicles go by. We want to retire here soon.
Grandsons first time at the top of test hill!
Love the view!
Another beautiful Lake Michigan sunset.
Found these downed trees out on the Lost Lake trail a couple years back.
I have loved spending summer vacations at Silver Lake State Park since 1963...now making memories there with my grandchildren.
Watching the sunset in the dunes is our happy place
Silver Lake Dunes
First time up at wilderness state park with my best fur-friend Millie and my camper Big Bonnie. Follow our adventures on Instagram @ greatlakesgallivanters
Just a cool pic!
Lots of wildlife!
His House Christian Fellowship from Eastern Michigan UNiversity took our annual camping trip to the beautiful sunrise side of the state! A relaxing spring weekend to celebrate the end of the semester!
In 1916, University of Chicago Department of Botany ecologists undertook a field trip to the west side of Michigan. As they surveyed the area near Big Sable Point, on June 6, 2016, photographer George Fuller captured this image of the barren sand dunes with the Big Sable Point lighthouse in the background. Titled "Dune complex behind the lighthouse at Big Sable Point, Ludington, MI," the image provides a view of the area over 100 years ago. Credit: University of Chicago Photographic Archive, apf8-03038, Special Collections Research Center, University of Chicago Library
My husband and I both went to Ludington State Park with our families when we were kids. We then took our sons there as they grew up. Now we have grandkids and it is still our favorite place to spend time with our family!
I've been coming to Maybury for over 40 years. But I always end my summer with long walks here.
Needed to get away after a busy summer
Winter camping at its best! Went camping the night the Polar Vortex started. We still had an very enjoyable weekend.
We got engaged by the pond at Maybury State Park. The spot was special for us because our first date was a hike at the same state park.
Jessica and Benjamin had family and friends beside them as they were married on July 8th, 2017 in front of the gorgeous marble James Scott Memorial Fountain on Belle Isle in Detroit, MI.
Ludington State Park is one of our favorite parks! Our kids and grand kids love it...lots to do! My wife and I met at Tahquamenon State Park, honeymooned there, married 45 years in May! Take our kids and grand kids camping to State Parks all over Michigan. We love it!
Our family met up with us here in the spring of 2018.
Very first Campbell Reunion in 1946 at lakeport in july.Still going strong. This year marks 73 in July.
Lake Michigan on a May afternoon, a short hike from Evergreen Cabin, where we stayed during a morel foraging weekend.
After my father got out of WW2 in 1945 he felt it was important to have family reunions. So the first reunion was held in July 1946 at Lakeport State Park. As of today the reunion goes on. This year will make 73 years of having it at Lakeport State Park in July. We also have been camping for many years there with as little as 4 sites with up to 10 sites. Memories will continue for years to come.
Family Reunion Sand Castle Contest "Olaf"
This was our view from the cabin deck at Onaway State Park overlooking Black Lake in June 2018. The sunsets were spectacular!
We shared Tahquamenon State Park in February 2017 with our exchange student from Indonesia. It was her first experience with snow.
I proposed to my now wife at Leelanau State Park (she said yes!). We have made many great memories together in the state parks, but this one tops them all.
I've been visiting Wilderness State Park since 1992 with my family, and in 2014 I went to Wilderness with my university's outdoors club camping. Another university was also camping that weekend, and that is how I met the love of my life! We have been together since the very weekend we met, and life continues to be an adventure everyday for us! I am always amazed at how a place so special to me in childhood continues to be a major part of my life and the stories that come of it.
The towers of the smelting furnaces in the ghost town of Fayette.
In 1971 I met my future wife at Hoffmaster State Park.
Copper Harbor Light House
Hiking to Mt Nebo (Nebo/Big Stone Loop trail) with our kids to show them the spot where their parents became engaged.
On a bitter cold day in January 2000, while snowshoeing the Nebo/Big Stone loop with my girlfriend of ten years to the day, we paused to catch our breath and take in the view from Mount Nebo. With a pounding heart and hand anesthetized by cold, I fumbled through my pocket, apologetically removed her left mitten, and slipped the engagement ring on her dainty, shaking, frozen finger. Fifteen summers later we returned to Mt Nebo with our two children. The exhausted, hangry kids and relentless cloud of mosquitoes posed an amusing contrast to the solitary bliss of our engagement day. But that's why we went there in the first place. Happy Valentines Day Elizabeth!
Spartan Sierra Club went up with about 24 or so of its members this February to Wilderness, stayed in a tight rustic cabin with just a dinky stove for heat. Hiked out to the peninsula on Saturday, and the lake was so massive and white, it made everyone so bright and tiny on the arctic landscape that laid before us all. We walked out about half a mile onto the ice, where we saw gigantic flows of ice and snow piled on top of each other, very epic. I took this from the shore as the last few members were hiking back from off the ice. The most in awe I have been in from Michigan's wonderous, everlasting beauty.
Nancy Brown Peace Carillon - August, 2017
Anchor from the Edmund Fitzgerald - Dossin Great Lakes Museum - August, 2017
Anna Scripps Whitcomb Conservatory & kayakers on Lake Takoma - July, 2017
James Scott Memorial Fountain - July, 2017
Working on the Belle Isle calendar I wanted to get a picture of the Casino showing two sides of the building. That had to be done when the leaves were off the tree in front so I could capture the tower. Shot before sunrise and after a fresh snow. Waited a couple weeks and finally got a snow forecast. So at 5A.M. on a below zero February morning I set out, got the camera set up and under the watchful eye of the border patrol got my long awaited photo.
Flying a skeleton kite on a cloudy day at Tawas Point State Park, one of the best places in Michigan to fly a kite
Great finds at Sturgeon Point!
Found a Petoskey Stone!
Looking for Petoskey Stones
Sturgeon Pont Light House
Bridge view from the north side.
In 2008, I met my future husband. We started dating and the Highland Recreation Area became our stomping grounds. From Bob's first trail run where I ended up carrying him out of the snow-packed D Loop from dehydration and exhaustion, to our engagement at the intersection of A/B Loop, to our first 17 mile race together called Highland Loops to multiple training runs, we can't love this trail anymore than we already do. From the lush greenery to the lack of people, it is a peaceful, technical trail that gives you many opportunities...just take that first step and that trail just might lead to a forever love.
Our family camping tradition has been to camp here for over 55 years! I now love continuing it with my family and grandkids. The Lost Lake Trail is our favorite trail that is a must do every time we camp. Many wonderful memories this great park has given us all through the years!
May 13th, 2017 I married my best friend and love of my life in a small little ceremony at the Chapel in the Woods in Hartwick Pines State Park. The day was absolutely amazing surrounded by all the beauty of the woods and we could not have wished for anything better! For us, it was perfect.
Ice breaking up along Detroit's International Riverfront on a February winter morning
Spent a season working at Yankee Springs. A beautiful park with so many recreational opportunities!
Beautiful grounds to explore and ride your bikes around, great little hikes, sunsets within touching distance and fireflies at night!
We love camping at our state parks so we decided to use the beautiful backdrop of the Bay City State Park to use for our engagement photos. We took shots in a few areas around the pond, the marshes and on the beach in the middle of January. The fresh snow provided a perfect back drop for our pictures.
Great times with the Tin Can Tourists at Hoffmaster State Park, in our restored 1956 Southland Runabout. We are thankful the park allows us to have our rallies there.
This is a picture of my mom and dad in 1948 on the beach at Grand Haven SP. It was their first (blind) date, arranged by a mutual friend. They later married and spent 61 years together. They always remembered and referred to the Grand Haven date in their stories for years; it was a special place for them.
Upper falls, where the love of my life asked me to be his wife!!
I recently moved to Ludington and I am LOVING winter hiking at the state park. Turns out hiking to the lighthouse in snow is easler than in sand!!!! The staff at this park are wonderful.
Kayaking, hiking, and biking at this lovely recreation area is a big part of my fitness routine. I have lost a lot of weight and being OUTDOORS is a a huge part of keeping it off. State parks feed my mind, my body and my soul
Many generations of our family have run down and jumped off the sand dunes at Ludington State Park. Now grandparents, we took our grandson to the park a few years ago for his first run! As you can see by his smile, he loved it!!
Clara and Henry watching sunset at Station Pointe cabin.
First time visiting the sand dunes and we spent joyous hours rotating between climbing the dunes and rinsing off in Lake Michigan.....
We couldn't believe the beautiful sights in store for us when we stopped at Fayette Historic State Park. Our visit was just a spontaneous detour--a way to drag our feet before heading back to our boring lives south of the Mighty Mack. However, the stunning vistas of Lake Michigan and Big Bay de Noc that awaited us became one of the highlights of our U.P. trip. And better yet--we practically had the place to ourselves, it was truly a hidden gem! Just add to the reasons Michiganders like to refer to this land as "God's Country." Can hardly wait for our return.
We had never been here before so we talked the family into meeting us there in summer 2018. It was wonderful and unique. We all had a great time and loved hiking out to the end of "the point." There are ponds and a light house. Because of its location you can stick your toes into Lake Huron on one side and Tawas Bay on the other. My sons caught a couple nice bass in one of the ponds and the dogs loved their own designated beach. Great bike riding and nice town. The sunsets over the bay were breathtaking. We'll be back!
Grandpa rose to his feet at the high water mark, "Give her to me," he said. Filled with trepidation, Annelise responded with two out-stretched chubby arms. He held her close and crouched down then used one hand to draw a face in the wet sand. "Look it's a baby!" he exclaimed. I wanted to rescue this scared Brooklyn baby on her first trip to the beach, but my son's eyes flashed a knowing look - "She'll be ok, Mom." Grandpa drew another face, "Oh my, where did the baby go?" he asked over and over as each smiling baby face washed out on a wave. Annelise mustered the courage to stay, settled in, and relaxed one foot into the sand. Her toddler finger reached out to touch the baby's face, but the wave lapped it up first and washed it out into the lake. "Where did the baby go?" she asked Grandpa. With each new baby face her fear subsided until her bottom sat on the sand and Grandpa let her go. This photo captures that moment in time on June 13, 2013, a windy summer day on the beach at Grand Haven State Park.
I could not pass up taking this photo of the Tahquamenon River last fall (2018). The colors were breathtaking to say the least and I am so grateful to have had that time with my family in such a beautiful place. It reminded me of the gift from a higher power that is there if we only take the time to look and let it in. I love this park and look forward to visiting again soon.
At a certain time of year we have the beach to ourselves and warm weather to boot! Don't tell any one, ok? This certainly has been one of our favorites for over forty years. The kids were so young when we first came here. Such memories, like the time we were all sitting around the fire after dark and Grampa was nonchalantly hand feeding potato chips to what we all thought was a bear cub. In the dimly lit periphery as it turned out, was one of the largest raccoons we had ever seen. (at least that close-up) After Gramma began her "tirade" which scared the raccoon away, Grampa apologized for forfeiting an entire bag of chips to feed the "poor starving" animal. It's hard to teach the kids not to feed the animals when Grampa does it right in front of you. I miss that man. What adventures we had...
Best sunsets in the state
After being coaxed into visiting this park for the first time by my ORV loving sons, I thought my wife was going to have a heart attack when # 2 son got us stuck at the top of "Test Hill." #1 son had to come up behind and pull us off the crest of this dune with his truck and a tow strap. At the time the experience seemed somewhat nerve wracking but I have to admit it was really exciting. As for my wife, she expressed herself explicitly upon our return to the bottom of the dune. Another state park memory to revisit with the boys for years to come. Summer 2018.
After over forty years of michigan camping, we finally stayed at this park for the first time. We quickly realized it was going to be on the one of our favorites list. Summer 2018
Bird of prey and river area
Camping at the park
The summer that we bought our camper, we decided to make a vacation out of the drive to pick her up in MI. We loved the UP!!
The summer that we bought a pop-up camper, we had to drive to Flint, MI to pick it up so we decided to make a vacation out of it and we LOVED the shore of Lake Michigan!
Wintertime in Northern Michigan. Madilene can not Luge yet... but we will get her ready! Sarah and I are having so much fun with her. We went to Muskegon Luge & Sports Complex, Muskegon State Park, Muskegon State Park , White River Light Station, and Lake Michigan Shoreline & Dunes.
We got Married in the middle of Trail 14 at Duck Lake State Park. It literally looked like a fairy-Tale, couldn't have chosen a better location!
Experiencing the fall with my bae in northern Michigan was a life changing and character building experience. I can't wait to go back to Craig lake and continue exploring this spring!
First time visiting this amazing scene with my partner, who has come here for solace & adventure for many years. Now, we adventure together!
Epic hour and a half hike with my dog, Pokka, in the early fall at Petoskey State Park! Steep ridge trails, deep ravines, beautiful canopy of trees.
A great bike ride from Holland State Park to West Olive and back. Really enjoyed the dedicated bike route and smooth roads.
Visited Holland for the tulip festival and had to make a stop at the state park!
We just found this state park! We love it!
My husband and I come here to camp every year! Love bringing our dog!
Took my sister camping and up to the Falls and we hiked for hours. Love this place!
Freighter passing on horizon during a stunning sunset
A very cold night in Sept. 2016. My son Jeremy, his fiancée and I shooting the stars.
Started hiking a trail in Wilderness State Park and then he got down on one knee and asked me to marry him! We have been married for almost two years now and loving him more and more every day! Our favorite thing to do is go camping in Michigan State Parks, but it all started at Wilderness!!
Family road trip to see the eastern shore of Lake Michigan, specifically the sand dunes area. It was an amazing trip, we've told tons of others they need to visit if they have never been! Our favorite spot was just north of Pentwater where the above picture was taken as the sun was setting over beautiful Lake Michigan!
August 2017, Lake of the Clouds from Escarpment Trail during maximum solar eclipse. 75% of the sun was obscured. Overcast, but still awesome!
Burt Lake State Park-1923
Original Observation Tower at Burt Lake State Park
Tahquamenon State Park summer 2001
While serving as campground host for many years, John and I started a memory book in which returning campers would sign their photos of bicycle/Smokey Bear Parades, sand castle and scavenger hunts as well as craft activities and Explorer Guide programs. We have memories of homemade shuffle board equipment tournaments, very early street hockey games out side our door, and the wonderful guy who came every year from California just to wear the Smokey Bear costume to lead off the bicycle parade, of dog rescues after the fireworks and passing out comfort and taking insurance photo after running through hail storms to alert campers of the bad storms. We shopped yard sales all summer for bicycle parade decorations, took in donations for the loan out games, and received donations of trophies and ribbons to pass out for sand castle or scavenger hunts. When people started asking to leave beach equipment, we started a "Leave/Lend" trunk of beach toys and every day we watched it empty, only to see it fill again.Our lasting joy is that over 10 years later, we still have campers and summer staff come up to us at the the most unexpected times! We served but received the first blessing, even if I did have to set the alarm for 7 a.m. coffee everyday!
A perfect Ludington sunset
Every fall for 30 years our friends and family have gathered for the Harvest Campout at Metamora-Hadley. This picture is from the year after our dearest friend, Superman to us all, passed. We honored his memory dressed as Superman at our annual state park celebration.
A surprise visitor on the hiking trail
Early foggy morning fishing on Bodi lake. This campground is managed by Tahquamenon Falls State Park.
May of 2018 enjoying the sunshine
My husband and I, along with our 4 children, have been avid campers for 35 years. Back in the 80's a coworker told us about Wells SP and thus began a yearly odyssey from Chicago's NW suburbs to the shores of Green Bay. Over the years we've made some lasting friendships and watched the lake come and go and come again. One summer when the kids were still in school, we asked if they preferred Disney World or Wells SP for our summer vacation. Unanimously they chose "JDub"! And we'll all be seeing you again this summer at our happy place on the lake!
Wow! what an amazing place. Kitch-iti-kipi is one of the coolest places in Michigan. The raft and the fish you can see in the clear blue water. I visited it for the first time in September 2018. It is on my bucket list again for 2019. Thank you for keeping this place "pure Michigan."
My first visit to Fort Wilkins Historic State Park was to participate in the 2018 Michigan Cares for Tourism event last September. What an awesome historic site and I even got to help paint a historic building. Very cool experience and definitely a place to visit again.
We loved hiking at the Trailhead at the Leelanau State Park this past weekend. It was chilly but a great trail system and an amazing view of Cathead Bay. Thanks for keeping this place beautiful and open to the public.
The scenery around the park can be spectacular on a cold winter day.
Making a little splash during extended seasons!
Ready to ride at Silver Lake Sand Dunes
One of the best ways to experience our shoreline.
A most wonderful day riding our horses with our daughter on the shoreline of Lake Michigan!
Fabulous day at the beach! First public organized shoreline horseback ride, September 2018
Dreams do come true!
Our dog mushing group loves meeting up and exercising our dogs at Fort Custer! The park staff is great, and we like meeting local community members as well. The trail system is fantastic.
We had a great time on the January snowshoe hike around the lighthouse and park.
Sunset on the beach at PJ Hoffmaster, late summer 2018.
The most beautiful place in the UP!! Breathtaking and great falls.
We loved the Fat Tire Bike Event in January on the new trails!
Horseback riding on a winters day
Went camping for first time. We drove around the Union Bay Campground looking for an available site. Stopped to pay and noticed we were leaving a trail behind us. Upon further inspection discovered one heck of a mess. I spent the next 2 hours cleaning milk off the floor. Sometime in our travel the refrigerator had popped open. A gallon of milk had fallen out of the refrigerator. While driving around the campground the milk had slid next to the door and the milk's cover came off and made one heck of a mess on the floor.
My dad carrying my daughter off of the beach at Ludington in 2005. He has since passed away but I cherish this picture and our time at Michigan State Parks. As this picture shows, he was a terrific grandpa!
Nice view of the Milky Way over Grousehaven Lake during our stay at the campground - July 2017
Bo is Out on the boat during a hot summer day at Higgins Lake
The photo is of my two brothers and mom at Belle Isle back in 1973. This is at our annual Church Picnic. I'm the little guyð. Belle Isle was our family gathering spot for those hot summer days and my year round natural resources classroom. This place is where my natural resources career journey began. Thanks mom for always encouraging me to explore and learn on the island. Also, thank you Ms. Geri Jackson (Detroit Recreation Dept)for helping me land my first summer job on Belle Isle....I would have worked there for free!!!!
Taken at the beach. Watching the sun sink on the best day until the NEXT one. Great fun canoeing the Stergeon River that day with 26 of our closest friends.
This park is absolutely beautiful I love going all the time in the summer to walk the trails even my 9 year old son loves it as well. The water is so clean and very beautiful. If anyone lived closed I would most definitely recommend this park.
Beautiful camp site!
Taking our boys hiking to Lake of the Clouds in 2014 is a memory we'll never forget. The scenery and peacefulness of that hike were breathtaking.
One of our favorite beaches to visit, and also one of the most beautiful lighthouses, we love Little Point Sauble portion of the Silver Lake State Park. It is out of the hustle and bustle, and absolutely beautiful.
I have gone camping every year at Burt Lake State since I was 6 months old (1953). I have taken my children and now my grandchildren there every summer. This is a picture of 4 of my grandchildren playing and enjoying there new "beverage stix"
Swimming at Wilson St.Park Beach and ice cream from beach store. About 1958.
Our first (but not last) trip to Port Crescent State Park. Our family stayed in the cabin, kids had a great time in the warm August water.
Summer 2018. However, it looks like a campsite from 50 years ago.
Growing up on the shores of Lake Michigan
We always have a wonderful time with family here!
This was our first camping experience and one of those crazy warm days on May 5. We are lucky enough to live about 15 miles from here and stayed here for the test run in our brand spanking new camper. It was in the 70s but the water was still way too cold for most...but not my son, who absolutely loves the water. Great memory!!
Full Moon over Canada
Stair fountain at sunset on nice summer night
Fountain at sunset on a nice summer night
The 1st camper I owned, she was a goody ð' Holly State Park is awesome ð'•
The best vacation of our 2018 summer at Harrisville State Park. Nothing can beat time floating in the clear water on a sunny day.
A night of family rock hunting on the beach at Lakeport State Park.
LOVE, LOVE, LOVE going camping at Tahquamenon Falls State Park in October for their annual Harvest Festival! Halloween weekend, free pumpkin, campsite decorations, pumpkin carving contest, costume contests, apple cider making, CHILI CONTEST!! and trick-or-treating! Paradise usually has their haunted trail the same weekend.LOTS OF FUN! Haven't missed it in last 15 years.
We attend the St. Ignace car show every year. This was the first year for both our cars. Love the proximity to town.
Beautiful sunset, with wonderful friendsð'"
A beautiful August night with a full moon. One of my favorite parks and never disappoints.
We have camped at this park for over 40 years, and it's still our favorite.
Nice walk to sable Point from Ludington State Park with Della and Molly.
Kayaking on Cass Lake. Dodge Park # 4 is our favorite spot for hiking, picnicking, and kayaking. Happy 100 years Michigan State Parks!
Camping with the cousins!
Owen, Lyle and Bob out for a drive in 1968!
We've had many Birthday parties at Dodge Park over the years. Now we're wishing our favorite parks a happy 100 years. Grateful for all the memories!
Kiteboarding in December.
The whole family visiting our favorite place to see a Michigan sunset. For 20 years it has been a tradition to take a photo by this rock at Petoskey State Park. We've traveled the world but Michigan is by far the most beautiful place. Happy Birthday State Parks!
What a nice state park.
Setting up the tent for another great camping trip
I'm retired now and my wife will be soon. We have time now to explore parks that we have never visited. This is one of our favorite new finds. While our two boys were growing up we spent our weekends camping closer to home. Now we can venture out farther and spend longer periods of time in the woods and water. Our children join us when they can. Our memories are priceless. Happy 100th everyone!
You can't beat a sunset at McLain State Park on a beautiful clear evening in mid-June with clouds on the far horizon and the sun not setting until a few minutes after 10 pm. Just pull up your lawn chair and enjoy. This is one of 25 photos I took that night.
Mountain biking the Badlands
Sun rise over lake Huron
Halloween Camp 2017
I went camping with my Nanie and Grampie! Muskegon State Park was our favorite. This photo is circa 1973 and it was a late fall trip...
This campground is a wonderful place, so quiet and peaceful. A quiet walk or bike ride to the waters edge sitting and listening to the beautiful sounds of nature. Although you can't swim there and short trip to Petersen Park or Christmas Cove makes for a cool dip on a hot day along with great rock hunting.
So much experienced in one day! We traveled from Picture Rocks to visit Mackinac Island for the day. After a dozen miles of bike riding, fudge and fun, we headed to our pre-reserved near beach campsite on Lake Michigan at Wilderness Park. What an amazing sunset to top off a day where we saw 3 Great Lakes.
For more than twenty-five years, we have been camping at Young State Park with family and friends. Great times and lasting memories
We got married. Yay!
Fantastic sun sets and weather while camping at the state park in September of 2015
Last min Late October weekend trip to Port Crescent but we rented a cabin and there was heat inside. Took a hike around and gazed out into Lake Huron from the beach. Very pretty and meditative place post-labor day season!
Beautiful hikes and scenery!
We took our 3 year old son and our dog for their first tent camping trip here. We camped on a site with a water view. We took the boat out on the Intercoastal Water Way and explored the area. It was awesome! !!!
I take a picture of this section of beach everytime I go to Sterling State Park. There is something that draws me to this part of the beach. I am calm and relaxed there. The sound of the waves is soothing.
This was me dressed like an old school television set on a table. the program was the Kennedy Nixon debate. We have gone tent camping that weekend for many years. The staff is always friendly, the park clean, and the water is beautiful to see. We take tons of pictures.
Years ago when our kids were young, we camped at Hoffmaster on Mother's Day weekend to take advantage of the Trillium Fest. This was back before the deer ate so many of them. We'd always hike from the campground to the Nature Center and watch the spring flowers movie before hiking back. I still remember those camping trips every time I listen to Vivaldi's "The Seasons." My daughter and I went back last year to recreate the experience.
Ice melts on a pond in Thompson's Harbor State Park
Thompson's Harbor is home to a large number of the rare dwarf lake iris.
A beautiful early summer day on Bell Bay
We have taken family vacations here. Love this place so peaceful and relaxing.
This was a 100 yards or so from my Yurt. The coast matched Superior in its toughness. I had a few awesome nights here.
Walking the falls with my dad, early 1970s
After hearing and seeing so many friends talk about Kitch-Iti-Kipi, my mom, daugher, and I took a weekend trip to the UP to see it. My daughter loved "steering" the boat! We all loved it and thought it was as beautiful as we'd heard.
In the spring, kayakers put in at the Grand Lake Dam and travel out into Lake Huron via the Grand Lake Outlet.
Millions of smooth stones can be seen through the crystal clear waters in the bay near the mouth of the Grand Lake Outlet.
An easy hike takes you from the trailhead to the larger sand dunes.
A serene winter wonderland
A winter scene at the Grand Lake Outlet
These dunes are just a few steps from a parking area at the road.
An easily accessible beach with sand dunes
Smaller, but beautiful and easily accessible sand dunes and a sand beach are located here.
My family has been coming here every summer as long as I can remember. I love that my kids now join us for a week of fun fishing, camping and swimming!
Unique landscape at Thompson's Harbor
The dunes along Lake Huron and Lake Michigan are known as "sliding" dunes which slowly consume the forest behind them.
The ruins of an old ranger's cabin lie along the trail to the sand dunes at Thompson's Harbor State Park
The view from the top of the larger sand dunes at Thompson's Harbor
Thompson's Harbor is home to beautiful sand dunes
Smooth stones near the mouth of the Grand Lake Outlet
Thompson Harbor was a bustling lumber site during the late 1800s and early 1900s.
A January evening on Detroit's Belle Isle State Park looking at downtown
Geese swimming in water with view of beach and dog nearby
Snowy view of Lake Huron with stairs leading down to beach
Great day to fish
Another great sunset from sunset pointe
Fishing with my niece right before construction started on bridge.
Had a bad day and decided to bbq at the dam.
Lake huron on a stormy day
Heading down the Cheboygan River from lake Huron to Aloha State Park
The children and I spent four lovely days camping on the beach. Popping into town in the mornings, and swimming our afternoons away. Dinner and breakfast on the beach, everyday.
We always get the cabins every year. Great place for hiking and fishing.
We had a grand time hiking the dunes and taking the Mac Woods Dune Ride at Silver Lake Dunes with our grandsons from Texas. They were fun to walk in the pure sand.
Hiking in the park 1 of the largest white pines in the park
Beach Buildings under construction 1968.
M-24 entrance booth with employees, sheriffs, and a DNR El Camino.
The campground is set on beautiful Mullett Lake. The park was created in 1923 from land that included a small park. Weeds were removed to make a nice beach. Electricity was added to campsites in 1949. Additional property has been purchased over the years to make room for 283 modern camping sites.
I have been bringing my kiddos here for the past few years for the meteors-n-s'mores event in August. We rent the mini cabin which they now refer to as "our little cabin in the woods." We have yet to actually stay up late enough to see the meteor showers, but the kids love the s'mores and love the park and we look forward to going each year.
Original deed from the State of Michigan's purchase of the park land in 1917. This marked the first time that land was purchased for the intention of creating a public park in Michigan.
As a Yooper joining the Michigan State University Outdoors Club, I felt it was my duty to share the unparalleled beauty of Autumn in the Upper Peninsula. I took a small group of nine students to Tahquamenon Falls State Park in October of 2018 where we camped under a canopy of red leaves, hiked the river, explored the falls, and made delicious campfire pancakes. Someone in our group even made $20 eating a live earwig. I don't think they thought it was quite as good as the pancakes though.
This was is a favorite memory of our family (and in one of our favorite state parks). We camped in the Porkies for five days with three families in the summer of 2018. We had a wonderful time exploring the park (mostly on foot). This photo is the first big hike that all 9 kids could do themselves (no carrying included). The highlight of this 5-mile hike was having lunch at this beautiful waterfall. The kids even took a dip in the cold water. If you want to check it out, the hike starts at Government Peak Trail.
The park is located on the fourth largest inland lake in the Upper Peninsula! We love to camp here and if you like photography there are so many cool shots waiting for you - like this one of my three kids.
A historic photo of Bond Falls, before there was a parking area and boardwalk, but the view is still very similar today.
Even with the addition of accessible amenities such as a parking area, vault toilets, boardwalks and viewing platforms debuting at it's grand opening in 2005, the spectacular view of Bond Falls has not changed much in many decades. It has actually selected as "Best Waterfall" twice by Lake Superior Magazine's readers in their Best of the Lake series, most recently in 2018! It has also made CNN's "10 of the best waterfalls across the United States".
Agate Falls Scenic Site is unique in that you park at a Michigan Department of Transportation Rest Area, walk through a tunnel under Highway M-28 on a paved path and continue under some railroad trestles before reaching the upper view of the falls. The short journey into the falls is part of the experience.
In the U.P., you truly never know what the weather is going to do and in 2014 for the Memorial Day weekend holiday, it was 80 degrees but we had icebergs on Keweenaw Bay! A "cool" sight on a hot weekend!
Spent a few days after Labor Day exploring Cheboygan State Park, and found they have miles of trails and shoreline to explore, with cabins, yurts, and tipis to spend the night in. It's a great place to visit.
Located in Elk Country, Clear Lake State Park is a quiet, secluded retreat offering a sandy beach, disc golf course, ORV trails and access to the High Country Pathway.
Maybury State Park is named for William H Maybury, a former commissioner on the Detroit Board of Health. He designed and oversaw construction of the Maybury Sanatorium on about 900 acres of open and wooded farmland in Northville. The facility was dedicated to the treatment of patients with tuberculosis and operated from 1921-1969. After closing, the City of Detroit sold the property to the state and after a period of site improvements the park opened in 1975.
Clear Lake State Park's day-use area is part of history. It was the Presque Isle Civilian Conservation Corps Camp during the depression years.
It is always a lot of fun to see all the different camping options of shelters at the parks. A camper brought their own tepee to sleep in!
Found this older picture in the files at the park. The Park Officer is showing a visitor citation.
The view from the campground is spectacular! My favorite place in the world to sit and think about life.
The trails and surrounding acres of land at Leelanau State Park are spectacular and full of history. There used to be a warming house for the crews who cut ice to bring back to town and the world's largest red maple tree was recorded here, although now it is mostly decayed and girdled by porcupines.
At the 2019 Michigan Cares for Tourism event, I was able to volunteer with my husband for the first time ever. We were married in a state park, so it was great to help preserve the history of a state park.
Visiting the area for a Michigan State Waterways Commission meeting in September and a local suggested we hit the Lake of the clouds overlook for sunrise. It. Was. Stunning!!! I will never forget how magical that morning was.
As a child my family and I would go for walks on the trails around the marshes. This remains such a special memory of mine; one that has truly sculpted who I am today.
Our neighbors have been a gift to my son, so it was great to introduce them to my favorite state park! From playing in the water to swooshing through leaves our kids love fall at this park.
My son loves two things...fishing and lighthouses -and this is one of his favorites! Great trails, a hidden beach and the lighthouse complex are all great reasons to visit.
We were walking through the park and found this colorful rock. On the back there was a note and information on how to log into a Facebook page to share where the rock had been found with a photo. Kid fun!
The Walker family grew up at YS horsemans camp
Pony rides at harvest fest
Annual New Years Day Ride
Forbidden Trail Ride
Grew up coming out to Gun Lake campground with a group of people. I have a lot of memories associated with the park and can't wait to create new ones with my young son.
Sunsets at Muskegon State Park are not to be missed! A perfect ending to a perfect day...
My Gram and Papa loved to travel. Often, they took my sister, Fawn and I along on their Michigan adventures. We visited a lot of state parks like Silver Lake, Palms Book, Tahquamenon Falls and more! Here we are at the falls...circa 1985 (ish).
One of the few locations in southeastern Michigan that has groomed cross country ski trails. When the snow is great, the park has dozens of Nordic ski enthusiasts enjoying the trails.
Established in 1836, the village of Yankee Springs was made famous by Yankee Bill Lewis who owned and operated a hotel along the stagecoach run from Kalamazoo to Grand Rapids. The Yankee Springs Inn flourished in the 1830s and 1840s and began it's decline when the railroad routed travelers through a different stop. Yankee Bill was elected into the Michigan Legislature in 1846, representing Allegan and Barry counties.
Most people think of GD Haven S.P. as a Summer destination. Beautiful beach, hot sun and jumping off the pier into Lake Michigan. I like it best in Winter. Very few hardy souls get to see it then. Huge Winter waves, ice volcanoes, pancake ice, migrating waterfowl. Been there hundreds of times. Always amazing in some way. (catwalk coming back in 2019.)
On a very rare 80-degree day in March 2012, we got to experience our first beach day of the season at Otsego Lake State Park. Sunshine, beach chairs, good friends and solid ice still on the lake made for one of our most memorable beach days ever!
A historic meeting that impacted the world.
The day use parking lot at Bewabic State Park was built on two levels purposefully so that park visitors could sit in their cars and listen to music! You can see the bandstand that was built by the CWA in 1934 in the center of the photo at the edge of Fortune Lake. The grassy slope and surrounding terrain formed a natural amphitheater which was perfect for musical entertainment.
I'll never forget the 1st time I got to go up in the tower of the Big Sable Pt. Lighthouse @ Ludington SP. It was in the late 1980's when the water levels of the Great Lks were extremely high. The Winter before the lake had destroyed some of the out buildings and there was some question if the light tower was going to be taken as well. It survived and I've been up there many times since then. It's always worth the hike!
Hoffmaster State Park encompasses 1200 acres, including 3 miles of Lake Michigan shoreline, and represents one of the finest examples of high relief, parabolic dunes and forested backdunes on the Great Lakes. Opportunities to explore the park are available during all four seasons.
Founded in the 1960's, P.J. Hoffmaster State Park was created in honor of Percy James Hoffmaster, the longest acting Director of Conservation and the first chief of state parks in Michigan.
Once destined to become a landfill, Bass River Recreation Area consists of open meadows, open brush land, mature hardwoods, small ponds and 300-acre Max Lake. It has approximately three miles of frontage on the Grand River. The park is used primarily for boating, hiking, mountain biking and horse back riding (on designated trails) as well as hunting.
During the early 1920s, Emma Genevieve Gillette developed a close friendship with P.J. Hoffmaster, superintendent of state parks (1922-1934) and later director of the Department of Conservation (1934-1951), now Department of Natural Resources. Hoffmaster enlisted Gillette in scouting the state for areas of land having state park potential, an assignment which the nature lover took as her life's work. Beginning in 1924, she helped locate and raise public support and funding for state parks at Ludington, Hartwick Pines, Wilderness, Porcupine Mountains, and what was to become the P.J. Hoffmaster State Park as well as Kensington Metropark and the national lakeshores at Sleeping Bear Dunes and Pictured Rocks. In 1976, as she looked on, Governor Milliken dedicated the E. Genevieve Gillette Nature Center in P.J. Hoffmaster State Park, as a lasting tribute to her countless volunteer efforts on behalf of the citizens of Michigan.
There is nothing better than a crisp Fall morning walk along Fortune Lake. When I observe the changing trees, I like to thank Herbert F. Larson for caring for them as much as I do. The Iron County Road Commission manager and engineer recognized the importance of protecting our natural resources- particularly virgin timber and natural scenic areas. He was the first person to establish a roadside park in the U.S, which subsequently led him to purchase part of (what is now Bewabic State Park) in 1923 in order to save the stands of virgin timber for future generations to enjoy.
Holland State Park was opened in 1928 on the land where one of the most visited lake-side hotels once stood. When the Historic Ottawa Beach Hotel burned down the State was urged to buy the property and in 1925 they did. It is now the site of one of the busiest State Parks in the system. Type the link below into your browser to learn more about the beach and surrounding historic area.
There is a great hike through Leelanau State Park to reach Cathead Bay! It is a perfect place for a swim and to look for Petoskey stones.
The Grand Traverse Lighthouse has a great museum to visit. I love this lighthouse!
Haunted Lighthouse Weekend at Tawas Point is always one of the highlights of the year. The staff and Friends Group always do a great job providing a fun and safe Halloween experience for the whole family.
We love Harvest Festival! This is a picture of only about 1/4th of the people dressed in costumes who entered the costume judging contest in 2018.
The sunrises at the park are magnificent!
There are three sets of stairs that are still being used in the park. They were built in the 1930's by the WPA.
Hiking on the trail. It is a sport for all ages!
Plans for Sleepy Hollow State Park began over a decade before it was developed and opened!
1991 news article about the first mini-cabin in the state opening at Metamora-Hadley Recreation Area
Old photos of camping at Metamora-Hadley Recreation Area 1960'-1970's
Undated pre 1964 brochure for Ortonville Recreation Area with Metamora-Hadley as a satellite park.
As Park Interpreter for 20+ years I continue to love the natural and cultural history this Park offers everyone! It's a place of never ending nature happenings and historic discoveries. It is a book that is always being added to and every visitor can experience and add to it. I am the luckiest person to have had the chance to work here year-round for over 20 years! "Someone has to do it and I accept the job!"
So Mears State Park, aka Pentwater State Park, is small in size, but large in memories. One of the iconic features is "old baldy" an elevated dune that serves as part of the trail system and scenic overlook of both the campground and the channel leading into Lake Michigan. It's a great locals vista to catch the fireworks (shhh, don't tell anyone!) and offers that million dollar view for all to enjoy. Our family has been visiting the Pentwater area continually for a few years now and we're happy to call it our home away from home.
In 1926, the citizens of Ludington and Mason County donated over 1,000 acres of dune land to State of Michigan for future State Park. In 1933 works starts on building a State Park by the Federal Government's Civilian Conservation Corp. (Great Depression Era) 1936 State of Michigan opens and names this park "Ludington State Park" in honor of the local citizens. P.J. Hoffmaster, Director of Department of Conservation, gives the park its name. The C.C. Corp continues building the Park until W.W.II breaks out in 1942.
My first Park Interpreter assignment at the Eddy Geology Center in Waterloo Recreation Area. From 1988 to 1992 I was year-round employee operating the Gerald E. Eddy Geology Visitor Center, head of all trail maintenance and signage for all of the Park, and producing/presenting all the educational programming within the Park. As a younger person it was exciting but also scary not having a lot of experience nor a park mentor to draw experience from. It was and is a beautiful southeastern Michigan State Park! The photo is a shot of Mill Lake from the bluff where the Eddy Visitor Center sits today. One of the very few lakes in this part of Michigan not urbanized.
In 1994 I left Waterloo Recreation Area for P.J. Hoffmaster State Park to be a co-Park Interpreter. The 4 years I served at Hoffmaster were very enjoyable and loved the mentoring I got from staff and volunteers. Aside from the layout which has a disconnect from the day use and camping areas the Park is a beautiful natural dune preserve. I miss the variety of vegetation like spring wildflowers blooming each year. Trilliums were and still are my favorite that introduced springtime with beautiful showy white flowers. Being so close to large urban areas the beaches were never super crowded like beaches in nearby communities of Grand Haven and Muskegon. It had that natural relaxing feeling. The history of Hoffmaster State Park is really amazing and unfortunately the local people that shared this history with me are mostly gone now with very little historic signage for visitors to view when visiting.
The Ludington State Park's Lake Michigan Beach House is a historic structure built in the mid-1930 during the Great Depression by the men of the Civilian Conservation Corp, Camp Ludington - Pere Marquette. In 2014 it was restored back to its original look and function. It has an open layout plan on the upper level which contains a beautiful stone fireplace, lounging / picnic area, and natural / historic exhibits. The lower level houses a beach store and restrooms. The upper and lower verandas are popular with park visitors watching over the golden sandy shoreline, Lake Michigan's vast endless sea of water, and glowing sunsets!
Photo taken from an airplane in the summer of 2018
Sunrises at the park can be magnificent! I love the peaceful mornings at the park.
I was so pleased to discover this little friend carved into a stump in the campground. He kept me company the entire weekend I was there. I love how the campsites are nestled in among the cedar grove. It was is so beautiful and peaceful!
One of my favorite state park memories is fossil hunting on the beach at the state park. I spent hours in the cool bay, sifting through the rocky shoreline to find some pretty rocks. I did find a couple of small Petoskey stones, but I love all the fossils! And I left behind all but these four for other treasure hunters!
In 1980 the Pinckney Rec Area totaled approximately 9800 acres. Today, it is well over 11,000 acres of park land making it the fourth largest State Park by acreage. Located only one hour from metro Detroit and 20 minutes from Ann Arbor, the park provides a large land base for a variety of recreational pursuits.
Mid 1960's picture of Silver Lake Beach with the old concession building in the background. Evidently, the beach was as popular then as it is now!
Memorial Day 1965 picture of the Crooked Lake Campground. Juniper was the common tree due to the fact that formerly, most of this property was pasture and the animals found the tree undesirable to eat.
Michigan State Parks first Yurt was installed overlooking Halfmoon Lake in 2006. It remains as the most popular lodging option at Pinckney with approximately 220 camp nights reserved annually. Located just off the Potawatomi Trail System and the Halfmoon chain of lakes, this yurt affords you the option to hike, bike, paddle or drive your car to this comfortable destination.
The Summer or 1999 proved to be an exciting yet scary one, as an Summer Worker one of the responsibilities we had was to lock of the old iconic Blockhouse, located on top of the South Scenic Drive. That Summer the Blair Witch Project movie came out and all the staff went and saw it. Well needless to say, the next night was my turn along with a friend to close the Blockhouse after dark. Nervously, my friend and I ascended the Block house hill with key and flash light in hand. As usual, there weren't any signs of life and any noises coming from the old structure. We climbed the stairs as procedure, to check to see if anyone was inside before locking. We announced ourselves a few times, "Park Ranger, locking up." Still no sound. We made it to the top of the stairs and flashed our lights, right into the face of a couple star gazing... ... It freaked us out! How my friend and I didn't scream in terror and run out of the building was beyond me. We informed the guests that we were closing up and waited outside for them to leave. The guests left shortly there after. We locked up the building a ran back to the truck! I'm proud to say I still work for the department and never gave up working for PRD, even though the Blair Witch was waiting for us in the Blockhouse that night!
It's been almost 15 years ago now, but the Lighthouse of Ludington State Park has a very special place in my heart. That September, I was prepared to propose to my wife. I made preparations the week before to have the light house keepers prep the light house right around sunset to have the tower ready for me to ""pop the question.""
The night before, I prepped the staff that around dinner time I would come to the park with my wife to be, and her son. The Lighthouse folks were ready to watch my step son, who was 2 at the time, while I proposed up in the tower. I had also prepared a large, ""Will You Marry Me,"" in the sand right below the tower for her to see.
All was set, however, for all those who are married and for all those that have tried to pull off the ""MOST AMAZING PROPOSAL OF ALL TIME,"" things didn't go according to plan.
Instead of my wife showing up just before supper time as planned, she showed up at Lunch (I think she knew, something was going to happen ; )
To make it a little more challenging, our step son wasn't feeling good and had a nagging cold.
So what would I do...
... I tried to stall, that didn't work... we made our way to the park and I stopped by the office to 'check on some information.' I called the light house keepers to inform them I'm 5 hours early!!! They were so gracious, they rewrote the Will you Marry Me and took care of our step son, while I popped the question!
It was awesome & yes, she said YES! What a day! "
One of the best parts of being a Park Ranger is all the variety of tasks we get to complete, one of the biggest challenges as a Park Ranger is all the variety of tasks we get to complete;)
In the late Fall and early Winter of 2011, my friend and I were tasks with building and setting up a Yurt. The park had purchased the Yurt a season or so ago and it was time to build it. We both had experience with minor construction, codes and permitting before, but never an installation of a Yurt.
Site selection was completed, along with permitting and we started to build the deck. The Yurt is roughly 20 feet diameter structure and needs a sturdy structure. We talked to other parks that had Yurts and did some online research to make sure we had all our ducks in a row.
We started the footings and frame work on the deck and just as the snow started to fly we completed the majority of the work.
In Spring we finished the decking and put together 80% of the hand railing.
NOW THE FUN PART, building the Yurt!!!
We eagerly, moved the majority of the Yurt supplies to the deck area and began to unwrap the manufactures instructions...
... AND THERE IT WAS... STEP ONE, BUILD A ROUND DECK!@!#!@#
Oh, what fun, the deck stayed square and hundreds of people have enjoyed the location, but every time we would go to clean it, we would remember...
... STEP ONE!!! "
Letter from the park manager in 1965 regarding the 20,000th camper and the overall history of camping at the Pinckney Recreation Area.
So, it was frowned on and definitely not encouraged but from time to time fellow employees at the State Parks fall in love! That's what happened the Summer of 2003. I had recently transferred from Van Buren State Park up to Grand Haven State Park to work with a few ranger friends and love struck!
I was a Park Officer at the time and a late hire around June came aboard, who I thought was pretty cute. I came up with a couple lame accuses to hang out... ""We should get everyone from the park staff together and hang out some time..."" Even though we worked different shifts??!?!!? Real smooth, dude.
I came up with a few other one liners but nothing really stuck.
I went on a small vacation with another friend to the U.P. and had some guy talks over the campfire. He told me, 'just ask her out!'
So I got back from vacation and the next day during my shift I road up the contact station and asked her out to coffee. She said YES! I continued on my patrol that afternoon feeling ten foot tale.
That Yes, turned into a YES a few months later that turned into a forever vow!
Thanks Grand Haven State Park, you helped me meet my forever gal! "
The cottage is a great place to rent with family. It has 3 bedrooms, two baths and plenty of space to hang out. Many people rent the cottage year after year.
Hey! Can someone help me down? Never mind, I love the views from this tree!
Sunrises are the best on East Grand Traverse Bay!
The Grand Traverse Lighthouse was lit up blue for Autism Awareness in April.
The Memorial Building is the original Visitor Center at Hartwick Pines State Park. When Karen Hartwick donated the land for the park in 1927 she put in the deed that such a building must be constructed. The building and park are dedicated to the memory of Karen's husband, Edward Hartwick. Edward died of cerbro-spinal meningitis in 1918, while serving in France during WWI.
Closed since the new Visitor Center was completed in 1995, the Memorial Building has just undergone a thorough cleaning. It will be open for guided tours in spring 2019!
Help the Friends of Hartwick Pines State Park fundraise for the complete renovation of the Memorial Building by purchasing a t-shirt or coffee mug. Visit the gift shop inside the Hartwick Pines Visitor Center to purchase.
Interesting early history of the Hadley Hills up to becoming part of Ortonville Recreation Area
Generations of visitors remember wrapping their arms around the Monarch. The Monarch was one of the largest trees in Hartwick Pines' old growth forest. In 1992 the top of this massive tree blew off in a wind storm. Decades of guests walking around the tree to hug it had the unfortunate effect of crushing the soil and root system. In 1996, the weakened tree was officially declared dead.
Today, the Monarch is a 60 foot tall stump. It is marked on the Old Growth Trail and thousands of visitors continue to visit it every summer.
For a small park Duck Lk has it all. This has always been our families favorite when we have young kids visiting. The short distance between Lk Michigan & Duck Lk makes it easy to enjoy both. I really like the fact that one side of the lake is developed and theNorth side is all natural. No development . I often think that if this had been mandated by the State early on all our lakes ( they belong to the people of MI) would be so much more enjoyable. Imagine Torch Lake with no homes on one whole side.
I have worked at Grand Haven for some time now. As a state worker days can get long, the heat wears you down and so do all the guests, on days like that you have to rely on your coworkers to help get through the long days. There was on day when it had just stopped raining and he decided to take the golf cart and go through a huge puddle, we got soaked from head to toe. We had a really good laugh after I got over the initial irritation of being soaking wet. I am so thankful for the people I have got to work with and get to know along the way of my state park carrer.
Duck Lake State Park is the perfect place for kids of all ages. Many generations of families have been enjoying the park since its opening in 1988. Previously the park was a boy scout camp from the late 1920's to 1960's and President Gerald R. Ford was a camp counselor there. If you take a hike along the shoreline of Duck Lake you can still see the remnants of the old boy scout building foundations and there is also a small monument dedicated to President Ford. The park features over 700 acres of land including hiking trails, dunes, woods, beautiful pine plantations from the CCC and a small inland lake which has a channel that runs into Lake Michigan. Families with small children enjoy swimming in the calm shallow channel and warm inland Duck Lake. One of my earliest memories is swimming in the channel with my older brother and chasing minnows when I was very small. My mother tells me she sailed on Duck Lake with my Grandpa and her siblings when they were very young.
One of the many things I have loved about this park is being able to teach youth of varying ages the sport of archery.
Some of the best sunsets around!
For each visitor Charles Mears State Park holds unique memories but for me many of them focus around sunsets and sandcastles. These experiences, passed from generation to generation, remind us to enjoy the little things in life. State Parks are as timeless as these time honored experiences.
Back before it became a state park, Twin Lakes Park was owned and run by the county. This is the old sign that used to be posted at the park back in the 1930s. Twin Lakes did not become a state park until 1964.
Back in the 1930s when Twin Lakes Park was run by the county, a swim dock was built at the park. The dock was present at the park and used regularly by park visitors until the 1970s when it was removed. The locals of the area built a diving platform for their own personal use, as depicted in the photo just beyond the dock. the platform stood approximately 20 feet off the water. The kids in the area would come to swim and dive off the platform. Some even recall how they would stand on the railing at the top to add height to their jump! Twin Lakes no longer has a swim dock or pier at the park, but the boat launch does have a skid pier.
We love camping at Leelanau State Park! It is our happy place!
Thank you to the park for allowing us to come out and enjoy a morning on the trails to do a 5k. We are the Northport Elementary School. It was a blast!
Caught the 2017 solar eclipse at this beautiful historic state park along the Cass River.
Breathtaking sunset from the beach at Port Crescent State Park campground.
Found my first Petoskey stone!!
Camped here with Friends in Dave's RVs!
Got Married June 30th in the chapel, had reception in the picnic shelter. Was a beautiful day!!
Beautiful sites right on Lake Superior.
My Great Grandparents Thomas and Louise Ballard were the first caretakers of Aloha State Park and we hold a Bi-annual family reunion there.
We visited in October. The park was virtually empty except for a few deer eating apples. They weren't afraid of us at all and stood quietly while we watched them. A beautiful rainy day at spooky Fayette.
Mid-October camping weekend with friends at our favorite, Holland State Park. It was chilly but invigorating, as we hiked up Mt. Pisgah & enjoyed the trails up there. We also dressed in layers to ride our bikes and walk on the beach. Campfires were particularly enjoyable in the colder weather, and the warm sunshine was much appreciated!
Absolutely gorgeous. A pristine lake tucked away in variety of rich browns and deep greens. I would like to come back just to this spot and sit all day enjoying the view. This park is truly a gem.
A lovely stay in late August. Our own private beach in the beautiful Upper Peninsula.
One of the best spots in Michigan to view Great Lake Freighter's and other large ships.
A scenic aerial view of the Wagonwheel Campground.
Taken from our favorite campsite, lot 26 as the setting sun reflected on the clouds.
Last day open for camping 2018. Site 25. Beautiful place to spend with the family
August 10th 2017... campsite #29 was the BEST lakefront site I've ever camped at! Great view, bald eagle hanging out and it was so quiet and beautiful, loved it sooo much. We will be returning to this site yearly to continue making memories.
Wonderful memories of the original campground camping under the old pines. Year after year running into the same families in August. What a park!
Best sunsets and beaches in Caseville Michigan
Camper cabin at Port Cresent truly is paradise!!
Meet Earl the Squirrel! He hung out at our campsite all weekend. Little did we know, he loved scones just as much us. We got tired of him getting into our scones so when we left the campsite we would leave one out for him, so he wouldn't get into ours. At the end of our trip we left him what was left. As you can see he didn't wait for us to leave before he came to get his goodies!
Favorite staycation spot!!!!!
Sunrise on the beach
Made it to the tip!
Sunset over Lake Michigan (having seen the sun rise over Lake Huron earlier that day)
Our BSA Venture Crew spent a week backpacking around the Porkies. On the way to Mirror Lake, someone else hitched a ride ;)
Small state park, but unbeatable sunrises over Wampler's Lake! Great way to spend Memorial Day weekend.
Got an excellent view of Seven Lakes State Park on a hot air balloon ride! Once-in-lifetime experience for my mom and I as a celebration for my college graduation.
Beautiful place for an overnight backpacking trip in preparation for a week-long trek in Isle Royale National Park! This was our reward for a long day of hiking.
Seven Lakes State Park has been the location of many scout outings over the years. For many scouts it was their first experience camping. We enjoyed hiking, fishing, swimming, playing bucket ball, making can ice cream and telling ghost stories around the campfire. A beautiful camp close to home.
Holly Recreation Area Organization campground holds years of scout memories as a local "first time camping" location. Scouts learned to set up tents, cook and build campfires. Hiking the many beautiful trails in the area, fishing, climbing trees and a surprise visit by the LLama club through our campsite are some of our fondest memories. It's great to have a rustic campsite so close to home.
Hartwick Pines was our base camp for canoeing the Au Sable River. When not on the river our scouts learned the history of lumbering at Lumberman's Monument.
Wendel Hoover's evening programs in the 70's. Mr Hoover would walk the 47 sites personally inviting you to his evening outdoor talk about the park. The smell of his pipe and the great presentations will never be forgotten by the Toledo Ohio families that made Hartwick Pines our home.
Playground and beach access to Muskallonge Lake from the campground
My husband and I camped at Brimley for the first time! Our site was small but very close to the water. We sat on the beach and watched the freighters! It was wonderful!
Born and raised in Michigan, we are now long time residents of the Aloha State! We stayed at 6 Michigan State Parks this summer and Aloha State Park was a favorite! Our site was near the water! Aloha until next time, Michigan State Parks!
We come to Michigan every summer and Petoskey has been a family favorite for years! The park is beautifully maintained and is very peaceful! Little Traverse Bay is a short walk from any campsite! Looking forward to next summer!!
In early May (the 6th) 1972 my wife and I were on our honeymoon. We had the bright idea that we would camp one of the nights at the lower falls campground. Well, we had a tent, camp stove, and sleeping bags along with some borrowed camping utensils all in the trunk of our 66 Ford Galaxy. We probably should have realized we were making a mistake when we drove in and we were the only one's there with a tent. Also that year there was snow on the ground that we had to scrape out of the way in order to set up the tent, we also should have re-thought the idea when we were driving in and saw a black bear walking along the edge of the campground. Anyway we stayed somewhat barely warm that night. (it was our honeymoon after all)
That was the only night spent camping on our honeymoon. The rest of the nights were spent in warm heated Motel rooms on our trip to Niagara Falls. So we have enjoyed coming back to the campground, and the upper and lower falls many times in the autumn over the years to see the beauty of this area, and reminisce of our first camping adventure.
Gisele and Joe at one of their U.P. fav"s
Gisele and Joe on the walk way to Lake In The Clouds
Gisele and Joe hangin out at Bond Falls
An excellent opportunity for equestrians at Silver Lake State Park. We rode our horses across the ORV dunes (after ORV season) and along the Lake Michigan shoreline. We hope more opportunities will be granted and organized. Thank you State Parks and DNR!! What a perfect way to celebrate your 100th, with horses, just like 100 years ago :)
Riding our horses along the Lake Michigan shoreline is a dream of many equestrians and tourists alike. Thank you State of Michigan DNR for making dreams come true. Happy 100!!
Spent the weekend in this beautiful park nestled between 2 lakes with completely different views. They're connected by a channel with boat stalls and sidewalks that take you from one end to the next. A modern bathhouse with hot showers was within a short walk (5 campsites) from our large corner lot. We were in town for a wedding and loved the idea of coming back to a campfire each night rather than staying in a local hotel. Will definitely be back soon!
A fantastic opportunity granted by the State of Michigan DNR made dreams come true for many people and smiles all day long. Thank you! Happy 100th!! Let's ride again!!
Dreams came true for 69 riders at Muskegon State Park. Memories made in Muskegon. Watch us go! Happy 100th! Let's celebrate like it's 1919, horseback style.
Riding horses along the shoreline was common practice 100 years ago. Let's bring back these opportunities and adventures. Happy 100th, Ride on!
Happy 100th!! Hoping for many more years of equestrian enjoyment. Thank you State of Michigan DNR. Share the joy
Thank you State of Michigan DNR for providing excellent recreational opportunities along the shoreline just as they were experienced 100 years ago, still enjoying them today.
The tower at Rifle River Rec Area, always a must climb with our kids Memorial Day weekend. What a great park, and base camp for Morel Mushroom hunting.
As a child, a trip to a state park was a favorite experience for our entire family. Camping as a family, church camp outs or a day at Lake Michigan are memories that fill my childhood. There of been stretches of years, as an adult, where I did not make efforts or create opportunities to visit Michigan's state parks. Beautiful wooded areas, great land and lakes all around the state are amazing spaces to experience life. For me, there is no other way to describe the sandy dunes along Lake Michigan and the cool waves of that beautiful blue water than to say the word "home". In 2017, a year after my husband abandoned me and our marriage and six months after my father passed away, it restored my broken heart. I choose to visit Grand Mere, a state park I had never been at before, to take my 48 year old, extremely overweight and hurting self to see "home". Climbing the dunes on that trail took all I had. I was alone, yet determined. When I got to this spot and saw "home", tears welled up and I felt the healing begin. The time spent at that small Michigan state park that day was "The Reward for The Climb" and I am forever better for it.
Muskegon State Park, my happiest place since I was little, even better now that my kids say this is *their* favorite place too!
Beautiful overlook of Michigan.
Believe it or not, Twin Lakes State Park used to have a convenience store - and it was located in what is today known as the Twin Lakes Enclosed Shelter. This old picture shows price signs for some of the goods the store sold. In the lower left corner you will find a sign for boat rental ""Boats for Rent $0.25"". In the lower right corner of the photo you will find a price list ""Ice Cream, Candy, Tobacco, Can Goods, Hotdog $0.10, Hamburger $0.10, Coffee $0.05, Tea $0.05, Pop $0.05, Malted Milk $0.15, Milk $0.05. How much would these items costs at your local store or drive-in today?
The Twin Lakes Park store is no longer open but the building still stands and is rented out to the general public for events and gatherings. In June and September it also serves as the event gathering place for the Annual Sport Ride and the Senior Ride which are both hosted by MiTRALE. Krupp's Mini Mart down the street is now one of only two stores found in Twin Lakes, MI. Krupp's Mini Mart has also been an avid supporter of the Senior Ride since the ride began, donating over a hundred pasties each year to the riders.
Close to the Mackinac bridge walk, great swimming, hiking. Loved it. Would return*****
Fort Custer Recreation Area was developed on land that was once used by the Department of Defense as an induction center for World Wars I and II and the Korean War; a hospital for returning wounded soldiers and a German POW camp. We now offer many forms of outdoor recreation, including cabin rentals, camping, fishing, kayaking, hiking, mountain biking, horseback riding and hunting. Our campground offers an 'Up-North' feel downstate with most campsites separated from each other. Pictured is our Riverside Family Cabin, located along the Kalamazoo River, which sleeps 6 people. It is heated and is very popular with both families and hunting groups.
Governor Alex Groesbeck inspects Island Lake in 1922.
Ahoy there Mateys . Princess the GSD on board at the south shore
Kathleen enjoying the crystal clean waters of Higgins lake on the Sea Ray boat.
The Wrona Family cooking up a camp meal.
Highland State Rec Area is beautiful in all seasons! This is the original Carriage House at the top of Haven Hill. It is the last remaining vestige of the once great Haven Hill Lodge complex, the quiet retreat of Edsel and Eleanor Ford. The Friends of Highland Recreation Area are working to bring this building back to life for many future generations to enjoy! For more info, visit fohravolunteers.org.
Gloria Lake in October.
In 2005 when my wife Eva and I first moved to White Lake, Michigan and quickly discovered Highland State Recreation Area and its Haven Hill history. We immediately fell in love with the natural beauty of the park and the history of prior ownership of much of the land by Edsel and Eleanor Ford and their family. The iconic Edsel Ford Barn, which was eventually damaged in a severe storm, stood large and back in 2008 and was a focal point for the earliest days of the Park's all-volunteer Friends of Highland Recreation Area support group.
The trails at Highland State Recreation Area offer something for everyone. Choose from the crushed gravel Cedar Creek Trail, the technical mountain bike trails, or miles of single track and horse trails! This foggy, fall day from 2016 was one of the most beautiful, peaceful days I've ever experienced in the State Natural Area portion of the park, located just west of the main park road.
A unique discovery in the MI State Park system was Rockport! We are amateur radio operators and are participating in Michigan State Parks on the Air - with a goal of operating our portable radio station at everypark in the state!
Craig Lake State Park is a great place for a family fall hike!
The overlook trail at Van Riper State Park is a bit challenging in elevation however once you reach the peak the view is well worth the hike.
Did you know that Van Riper State Park was named after Dr. Paul Van Riper, MD, the local town doctor?
Van Riper is a great starting off point to find the elusive Michigan moose. www.michigan.gov/moose
Brought my kiddos here to camp for Labor Day weekend. We loved being right on the lake with a pet friendly beach! This was a great home base for going to Mackinac Island, and the campground hosts were fantastic.
I started my DNR (then Conservation Dept.) career as a seasonal park ranger at Proud Lake Recreation Area at the Dodge 5 Unit in 1963. I spent about 25 of the 35 years on the DNR with the Parks system and ended up as the Administrative Officer for the Division when they consolidated with Recreation Division. Here is an early photo a camper took of me at the Dodge 5 unit in Commerce MI in 1963.
Main park road and entrance booth in 1969 as it entered final phase of construction.
Old Campground at Bald Mountain located at what is now the Cherry Ridge Picnic Site. In the background you can see the start of the Trout Lake beach complex.
2 articles from July 1969 regarding the construction of the beach and day use areas of Bald Mountain, as well as upgrades to many other local state parks.
Photo donated by park patron of coyote puppies. From the ranger archives.