Help shape long-range plans for Leelanau and Traverse City state parks via online survey

Oct. 10, 2019

paddleboards at Keith J. Charters Traverse City State ParkThe Michigan Department of Natural Resources is seeking public input on two new general management plans for Leelanau and Keith J. Charters Traverse City state parks. The plans will help set the course for future management planning. 

Visitors, community members, stakeholders and others interested in sharing their opinions and ideas are encouraged to participate in an online survey available through Sunday, Nov. 10. Links to the online surveys are available for Leelanau State Park at and Keith J. Charters Traverse City State Park at

General management plans are used to define long-range planning and management strategies that protect resources, while addressing recreation and education needs and opportunities.

"Public input is a critical component of the planning process, and one of several opportunities for the public and stakeholders to get involved," said Debbie Jensen, DNR park management plan administrator. "The DNR will also host a public open house in the spring or summer of 2020, which will provide an opportunity for review and comment of the draft general management plan that will be developed in response to this public input process."

Leelanau State Park lighthouse in the winterThe 1,500-acre Leelanau State Park, located at the tip of the Leelanau Peninsula, is home to 2.25 miles of Lake Michigan shoreline, a rustic campground, three mini cabins, 8.5 miles of hiking trails with scenic overlooks, winter recreation trails, land open to hunting, a new accessible playground, a picnic area and the Grand Traverse Lighthouse Museum. A majority of the park's southern portion includes critical dune habitat, habitat for the federally and state-threatened piping plover and a Natural Area Registry Site through an agreement with The Nature Conservancy. 

Keith J. Charters Traverse City Park is a 79-acre park located just 3 miles from downtown Traverse City. The park, which was established in 1920, features a quarter mile of Lake Michigan frontage on Grand Traverse Bay, a modern campground and lodge, a designated swimming area, seasonal kayak and paddleboard rentals, a playground and 29 acres of undeveloped woodland that was purchased in 2011. The TART trail, a 10.5-mile paved trail, can be accessed from the park and connects to downtown Traverse City and other regional trails. Mitchell Creek, a natural reproducing trout stream, runs through the park and empties into Lake Michigan at the west end of the beach. The park's campground is currently under renovations and is undergoing electrical upgrades and new bathroom building construction.

Additional information on the DNR’s general management plan process is available at

For more information about the Leelanau and Traverse City State Parks surveys or the proposed plan, contact Debbie Jensen at 517-284-6105 (TTY/TDD711 Michigan Relay Center for the hearing impaired) or via email at