• State Land Use Rules

    Read the state land use rules relevant to state parks and recreation areas.


    Reservations for campsites and harbor slips can be made up to six months in advance of a planned arrival date, or 12 months in advance for overnight lodging facilities and day-use shelters. Visit MiDNRReservations.com or call 800-44PARK. View camping modification and cancellation policy.

    Park Hours: 8 a.m. to 10 p.m.

    Only registered campers are allowed in the park after 10 p.m. with the exception of occasional events.


    • Check-in on your arrival date is 3 p.m. and check-out on your departure day is 1 p.m. for camping. 
      Check-in on your arrival date is 4 p.m. and check-out on your departure day is noon for all overnight lodging.
      Campers must check in upon arrival at the office or with a yellow phone in the off-season. Pick up the yellow phone and it will automatically connect you to the call center, M-Th 8 a.m.-10 p.m., Fri 8 a.m.-10 p.m., Sat-Sun 9 a.m.-10 p.m.). If you arrive after call center hours, please check the campground office window for information on site availability and instructions on how to self-register.
    • Camping is permitted in designated sites only.
    • No more than 6 people per campsite, 2 vehicles per site. A motorhome does not count as a vehicle when used as the camping unit.
    • In tent-only campsites, as many tents as necessary to accommodate a single camping party are permitted within the boundaries of the site. In other sites, one primary camping unit (ie. truck camper, trailer, RV, etc.) and one tent are allowed with the exception of children who may occupy up to two tents on the same site as their parents or guardians.
    • Campfires are permitted in designated fire rings only.
    • Discharge of firearms, air guns, slingshots or arrows aren't permitted in campground boundaries.
    • A responsible person (18 years or older) must register and be a member of the party camping each night.
    • Radios, generators or other amplified devices may not create excessive noise.

    Recreation Passport

    A Recreation Passport is required for entry into parks and recreation areas. Learn more about the Recreation Passport.

    Dump/sanitation station fees for non-campers

    In an effort to reduce the impact to infrastructure and protect natural resources, non-campers are required to pay a $10 fee (in addition to the Recreation Passport requirement) to utilize dump/sanitation stations except for locations where infrastructure can't withstand additional use, including Baraga SP, Burt Lake SP, Cheboygan SP, Fort Custer SP, Hoeft SP, Holly RA (currently closed), Interlochen SP, North Higgins Lake SP, Rifle River RA and Twin Lakes SP. (SP= State Park; RA= Recreation Area).


    Alcohol possession and use is limited or prohibited at some state parks. See parks with alcohol restrictions.

  • Pets

    Pets are welcome on a 6-foot leash in state parks, campgrounds, some state park cabins, state forest campgrounds, non-designated bathing beach areas, most harbors, the majority of trails and many boat launches. Learn more information about pet-friendly rules.

    Events (shelter rentals, event permits, etc.)

    Some events at parks require permits. Learn about shelter rentals and using state land.


    Please purchase heat-certified firewood sold in parks or purchase firewood that has been certified as heat-treated at local stores and roadside stands. In an effort to save Michigan's trees, we are considering a proposed firewood policy to combat this issue. Learn about our firewood policies.


    All state recreation areas are open to hunting unless designated closed. All state parks are closed to hunting unless designated open. Learn more and see a list of parks and recreation areas where hunting is allowed

    Metal Detecting

    Metal detecting is allowed in designated parks when it is conducted in ways that do not damage the resources or violate state laws. Any items found must be reviewed by park staff and may be retained for further investigation. See a list of parks where metal detecting is allowed.


    All research activities within state parks, recreation areas, boating access sites and rail trails are required to have a use permit. Most research projects will require no fees, bonding or insurance, but will require submittal of a report at the conclusion of the project in place of monetary payment. Learn about the process for obtaining a land use permit for research

    Transfer (or sale) of existing reservations 

    Conducting commercial activity on state land is a violation of the notice 299.922(dd) and MCL 324.504. Selling or renting a state-owned campsite, cabin, lodge, or harbor slip is defined as commercial activity. Reservations must be canceled if they cannot be used by the original reservation holder;  selling the site and transferring to another party is prohibited and park staff may not honor a reservation that has been sold and transferred. 


    Fireworks are not permitted.


    With the exception of Free Fishing Weekends, if you are over the age of 17 you are required to have a license to fish. Buy your fishing or hunting license .