• State Land Use Rules

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

    Reservations

    Camping reservations can be made up to six months and lodging reservations (cabins, yurts, tepees, lodges, shelters, etc.) can be made up to a year in advance. A new policy was put in place Nov. 1, 2017 to encourage people to firm up their reservations further in advance of their planned camping dates. Learn about our reservation modification and cancellation policies.

    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 night time events.

    Camping:

    • Check in is 3 p.m., check out is 1 p.m. Campers must check in upon arrival, either at the office or with a yellow phone in the off-season (pick up the phone and it will automatically connect you to the call center, M-Th 8 a.m. - 8 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 instruction on how to self-register.
    • Camping is permitted in designated sites only.
    • No more than 6 people per campsite, 2 vehicles per site.
    • 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 shelter and one tent are allowed (exception: children 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 are not permitted in campground boundaries.
    • A responsible person (18 years of age or older) must register and be a member of the party camping each night.
    • Radios, generators or other amplified devices may not be used in a manner that creates excessive noise.

    Recreation Passport

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

    Dump Stations

    In an effort to reduce the impact to infrastructure, protect natural resources and serve customers more efficiently, a new policy will require non-campers to pay a $10 fee (in addition to the Recreation Passport requirement) to utilize dump/sanitary stations in all modern campgrounds except for locations where infrastructure can't withstand additional use. The locations that will restrict the use of dump stations to campers only include Bewabic SP, Burt Lake SP, Cheboygan SP, Fort Custer SP, Hoeft SP, Holly RA (currently closed), Interlochen SP, North Higgins Lake SP, Rifle River RA, Seven Lakes SP and Twin Lakes SP. (SP= State Park; RA= Recreation Area)

    Alcohol

    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 campground, 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.

    Firewood

    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.

    Hunting

    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.

    Research

    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

    Fireworks are not permitted

    Fishing

    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 .