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Carl T. Johnson Hunting and Fishing Center

Classroom at the Carl T Hunt Fish Center

Carl T. Johnson Hunting and Fishing Center

Carl T Johnson Hunting And Fishing Center
Carl T. Johnson Hunting & Fishing Center
Phone: 231-779-1321

Ed Shaw, interpreter

Hours of Operation

January - Memorial Day: Saturday and Sunday, 10 a.m. - 4 p.m.

Memorial Day - Labor Day: Daily, 10 a.m. - 5 p.m.

Labor Day - Nov. 14: Saturday and Sunday, 10 a.m. - 4 p.m.

Nov. 15 - Dec. 31: Closed

Located within Mitchell State Park in Cadillac, the center offers a range of nature education programs for all ages. The hunt and fish center is also the home base of the DNR's Outdoors Skills Academy, with clinics that offer participants a deeper dive into hunting, fishing and other outdoor skills.

Visitor center and park information

  • Archery and pellet gun ranges are used by staff for education programs. Both ranges are outdoors and are covered by a pavilion roof. There are four shooting lanes each, and the shooting distance is less than 25 yards - perfect for youth.

    Hunter education classes are frequently offered and the archery and pellet gun ranges are used during these classes. The center also offers scheduled shooting programs on both ranges throughout the summer between Memorial Day and Labor Day.

  • The center offers group tours and guided hikes which explore the 2.5-mile trail leading through the woodland and Heritage Marsh. The nature trail is a study area that supports a variety of plants and wildlife. The trail, mostly crushed limestone path with bridges and boardwalks, provides an easy hike around the wetland areas.

    An elevated observation platform overlooks the entire wetland area. A small fishing pier and an accessible observation platform also improve the visual and physical access to this beautiful marsh.

    In the winter, we offer lantern lit snowshoe hikes.

  • Exhibit hall

    Michigan’s tremendous hunting and fishing heritage are on full display in the exhibit halls. The exhibits not only highlight the opportunities around the state to hunt, fish and trap, but they also reveal the huge impact hunters and anglers have made on fish and wildlife habitat.

    The hunting and trapping wing highlights bear management, trapping, turkey reintroduction, waterfowl opportunities and more.

    The fishing hall features Michigan’s variety of world-class fishing opportunities and includes a 200-gallon aquarium featuring arctic grayling, part of a species reintroduction effort. Warm-water, cool-water and cold-water species and the most common fishing techniques are presented including ice fishing and spearing techniques.


    The classroom is used regularly for conservation and outdoor education programs. Hunter education classes are frequently offered at the center, using both the classroom and outdoor archery and pellet gun range. See our hunter education page to find a class.

    Meeting space

    The classroom is available for conservation and education groups at no charge, reserve here. An event use permit may be required. A Recreation Passport is required for vehicle entry to the state park for all participants for your event. State of Michigan and DNR policies must be followed.

    We do NOT rent space at the center for the following:

    • Birthday parties
    • Graduations
    • Retirement parties
    • Weddings
    • Any other group activities outside conservation.

    However, Mitchell State Park has a pavilion available to rent for these other types of activities and events.

  • Mitchell State Park is a popular camping, fishing and boating destination and is situated between Lake Mitchell and Lake Cadillac. A quarter-mile historic canal connects the two lakes.

    There are plenty of fishing opportunities within walking distance. You can purchase hunting and fishing licenses at the center, online at eLicense or at Pilgrim Village across from the campground.

    Visit the Mitchell State Park webpage for information about the park's campgrounds, trails, amenities and more.

Programs for adults, families and classrooms

Outdoor Skills Academy

Hands-on clinics will build skills in hunting, fishing and more

Upcoming OSA clinics

School programs

Bring your students for a great field trip experience.

Field trip opportunities

Public programs

Programs for families are offered throughout the year.

Program schedule