Michigan has fantastic state parks.

Michigan has a slew of beautiful parks and outdoor areas that are a major tourist attraction for Michiganders and those beyond the Mitten. It’s easy to find state parks, campgrounds and outdoor recreation areas throughout the state, which makes it simple to find summertime things to do in the state.

Of course, many of Michigan’s most charming state parks are located on or near one of the Great Lakes. It doesn’t get much more beautiful than exploring a state park near the water. I’m actually more of an ocean kind of girl, but since we’re so far from the ocean here in Michigan, you really can’t go wrong enjoying the gorgeous lakes.

If you’re looking for some summertime fun, I’ve put together a list of 30 beautiful Michigan state parks to get on your to-visit list. I’ve only been to a few of these parks, but the ones I’ve visited are breathtaking. Last summer, I traveled to Sleepy Hollow State Park in Laingsburg and did some hiking, which offered an endless array of beautiful views of nature. Another one on the list that I’ve visited is Ludington State Park Beach, which offers some great views of lighthouses.

If you’re looking for some interesting Michigan state park trivia, Michigan’s 101 state parks and recreation areas cover 306,000 acres (124,000 ha) with 14,100 campsites in 142 campgrounds and over 900 miles (1,400 km) of trails. The state parks get 28 million annual visitors. Michigan’s state parks system was launched in 1919. There are three Michigan state parks that pre-date the creation of the park system in 1919, and those include Mackinac Island State Park (1895), Michilimackinac State Park (1909) and Interlochen State Park (1917). According to Michigan.gov, Michigan has 103 state parks and 138 state forest campgrounds. “In Michigan, you’re never more than a half hour away from a state park, state forest campground or state trail system,” they state.

  • Sleepy Hollow State Park

    Sleepy Hollow State Park

    Sleepy Hollow State Park contains over 2,600 acres including a river winding its way through the woods, fields and trails. Lake Ovid nestled in the middle of it all was developed by damming the Little Maple River and covers 410-acres. The park offers a year-round opportunity for recreation with 181 modern campsites.

  • Fayette Historic State Park

    Fayette Historic State Park and Harbor

    The 711-acre Fayette Historic State Park blends both nature and history. The park features a historic townsite, harbor slips, a boat launch, a beach and five miles of hiking and cross-country skiing trails with impressive views from the limestone cliffs that surround the harbor. The modern campground has some campsites with 50 amp service.

  • Hartwick Pines State Park

    Hartwick Pines State Park, Visitors Center & Logging Museum

    The principal features of this park are the 49-acre forest of old-growth pines and logging museum. With 9,672 acres in which to roam, Hartwick Pines is a great destination for paddling, mountain biking, snowshoeing, hiking, picnicking, birding, metal detecting, and exploring Michigan's great outdoors.

  • Harrisville State Park

    Harrisville State Park

    Harrisville State Park features a campground, some campsites have 50 amp service, and day-use area nestled in a stand of pine and cedar trees along the sandy shores of Lake Huron. Pet-friendly shoreline. Great Lakes beach safety. Established in 1921, it is one of Michigan's oldest state parks.

  • Bald Mountain State Recreation Area

    Bald Mountain Recreation Area

    This 4,637 acre recreation area has several picnic areas, a modern accessible shooting range, large hunting areas, several fishing lakes, two trout streams, a sandy swimming beach and 15 miles of marked hiking and biking trails. Immensely popular for its eight miles of groomed cross-country skiing trails and snowmobiling, sledding and ice fishing.

  • Hiawatha National Forest

    Hiawatha National Forest

    To help us reduce the spread of COVID-19, effective immediately, all employees, vendors and guests visiting USDA Forest Service facilities are required to wear a face mask and maintain physical distance. The Hiawatha National Forest offers something for everyone. From hiking and swimming to camping and hunting, you can find something you'll love on the Forest.

  • Yankee Springs Recreation Area

    Yankee Springs Recreation Area

    The rugged terrain, bogs, marshes, lakes, streams and unique beauty of the park's 5,200 acres lend itself to many forms of recreation--metal detecting, hiking, biking, cross country skiing, snowmobiling, snowshoeing and ice fishing are popular winter activities. Nine lakes are located within the park boundaries providing fishing and water sports of all kinds during warm weather.

  • Wilderness State Park

    Wilderness State Park

    Wilderness State Park offers visitors many year-round recreational activities within its10,000-plus acres, including numerous trails and a designated dark sky preserve for observation of the nighttime sky. There are also 26 miles of beautiful Lake Michigan shoreline, a swimming beach, a dog beach. Great Lakes beach safety.

  • Warren Dunes State Park

    Warren Dunes State Park

    Warren Dunes State Park provides 1,952 acres of recreational opportunities along the beautiful shore of Lake Michigan in southwestern Michigan. The rugged dune formation rises 260 feet above the lake and offers spectacular views and excellent for hang gliding. The park has three miles of shoreline, six miles of hiking trails and is open year-round.

  • J. W. Wells State Park

    Wells State Park (J.W. Wells)

    Wells State Park is located on Green Bay about 30 miles south of Escanaba. Its 678 acres include a three-mile shoreline with a beautiful sandy beach for swimming, a large picnic area, a modern campground, a modern lodge that sleeps ten, and rustic cabins.

  • Van Buren State Park

    Van Buren State Park

    Situated on the shores of Lake Michigan, Van Buren State Park has one mile of sandy beach and high dune formations. It's the perfect place to lounge on the beach, walk through woodland trails and enjoy a picnic lunch. Located three miles south of South Haven, the campground is only minutes away from local shops and restaurants.

  • Tahquamenon Falls State Park

    Tahquamenon Falls State Park

    Tahquamenon Falls State Park encompasses close to 50,000 acres stretching over 13 miles. Most of this is undeveloped woodland without roads, buildings or power lines. The centerpiece of the park, and the very reason for its existence, is the Tahquamenon River with its waterfalls. The Upper Falls is one the largest waterfalls east of the Mississippi.

  • Holland State Park

    Holland State Park

    Holland State Park is best known for sugar sand beaches, beautiful sunsets and views of the iconic "Big Red" lighthouse. The park is home to two popular beaches located on Lake Michigan and Lake Macatawa, two modern campgrounds, concessions, paddle rentals, a new playground and connections to Holland's system of non-motorized trails.

  • Sleeping Bear Dunes

    Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore (U.S. National Park Service)

    Miles of sand beach, bluffs that tower 450' above Lake Michigan, lush forests, clear inland lakes, unique flora and fauna make up the natural world of Sleeping Bear Dunes. High dunes afford spectacular views across the lake. An island lighthouse, US Life-Saving Service stations, coastal villages, and picturesque farmsteads reflect the park's rich maritime, agricultural, and recreational history.

  • North Higgins Lake State Park

    North Higgins Lake State Park

    Higgins Lake offers 449 acres of lakeside recreation and camping in a natural wooded atmosphere. It is home to two campgrounds (some sites with 50 amp service), two mini-cabins, a boat launch, a popular swimming beach, a picnic area and more than 8 miles of trails, including a 1.5-mile looped fitness trail located adjacent to the CCC Museum.

  • Shiawassee National Wildlife Refuge


  • Petoskey State Park

    Petoskey State Park

    Petoskey State Park, located on the north end of Little Traverse Bay, is situated on 303 scenic acres and offers a beautiful sandy beach for swimming on the bay. Great Lakes beach safety. The park has two separate modern campgrounds. Tannery Creek modern campground offers 100 campsites and Dunes modern campground offers 80 campsites.

  • Seven Lakes State Park

    Seven Lakes State Park

    An endless variety of topography and ecosystems form the area called Seven Lakes. Its land was a combination of farmland, rolling hills and forests. About 230 acres of water with several miles of shoreline await the park user. The dam, formed one large lake from seven small lakes. Metal detecting area.

  • Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore

    Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore (U.S. National Park Service)

    Sandstone cliffs, beaches, sand dunes, waterfalls, inland lakes, deep forest, and wild shoreline beckon you to visit Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore. The power of Lake Superior shapes the park's coastal features and affects every ecosystem, creating a unique landscape to explore. Hiking, camping, sightseeing, and four-season outdoor opportunities abound.

  • River Raisin National Battlefield Park

    River Raisin National Battlefield Park (U.S. National Park Service)

    River Raisin National Battlefield Park preserves, commemorates, and interprets the January 1813 battles of the War of 1812 and their aftermath in Monroe and Wayne counties in SE Michigan. The Battle resulted in the greatest victory for Tecumseh's American Indian confederation and the greatest defeat for the U.S.

  • Muskegon State Park

    Muskegon State Park

    Muskegon State Park is home three miles of breathtaking shoreline (two miles along Lake Michigan and one mile on Muskegon Lake), Snug Harbor, forested dunes, sunbathing, swimming, picnicking, fishing, boat launch. Great Lakes beach safety. Modern and semi-modern campsites (some sites with 50 amp service), mini-cabins and a yurt.

  • Muskallonge Lake State Park

    Muskallonge Lake State Park

    Muskallonge Lake State Park is located 28 miles northwest of Newberry in Luce County. The 217-acre park is situated between the shores of Lake Superior and Muskallonge Lake and the area is well known for its forests, lakes and streams. Great Lakes beach safety.

  • Isle Royale National Park

    Isle Royale National Park (U.S. National Park Service)

    Explore a rugged, isolated island far from our connected communities. Isle Royale offers adventures for backpackers, hikers, boaters, paddlers, and divers. Cross Lake Superior and make a commitment: Become a part of this island, and let it become a part of you.

  • Maybury State Park

    Maybury State Park

    Maybury State Park has a wooded and gently rolling terrain that may be explored on foot, bicycle and horseback or cross-country skis. Maybury's working farm is open all year for visitors to explore farm life. 1900-1930 demonstrations, such as sheep shearing, honey extracting, and grain harvesting, are scheduled during the year.

  • Keweenaw National Historical Park

    Keweenaw National Historical Park (U.S. National Park Service)

    From 7,000 years ago to the 1900s people mined Keweenaw copper. Native peoples made copper into tools and trade items. Investors and immigrants arrived in the 1800s in a great mineral rush, developing thriving industries and cosmopolitan communities. Though the mines have since closed, their mark is still visible on the land and people.

  • Ludington State Park Beach

    Ludington State Park

    The park is home to three campgrounds, sandy beaches, scenic sand dunes, an iconic lighthouse, wetlands, marshlands and forests. The park is situated between Hamlin Lake and Lake Michigan with several miles of beautiful shoreline along both lakes. The park also offers wildlife viewing from its extensive trail system.

  • Lake Gogebic State Park

    Lake Gogebic State Park

    Lake Gogebic State Park covers 360 acres and nearly a mile of lake frontage on the west shore of Lake Gogebic, the largest inland lake in the Upper Peninsula. About a quarter of the 127 campsites are located directly on the lakefront and the rest are nestled among the trees, not more than 100 yards from the lake.

  • William G. Milliken State Park and Harbor

    William G. Milliken State Park and Harbor

    William G. Milliken State Park and Harbor is located in the heart of Detroit, just east of the downtown, along a portion of the picturesque Detroit Riverwalk. The park is conveniently located near the Outdoor Adventure Center, Belle Isle Park and many other major downtown Detroit attractions, including food and drink establishments.

  • Fisherman's Island State Park

    Fisherman's Island State Park | Visit Charlevoix, Michigan | Charlevoix the Beautiful!

    Located just a few miles south of the City of Charlevoix, Fisherman's Island State Park is not actually just an island, but a 2,678-acre park with five miles of unspoiled Lake Michigan shoreline. The park encompasses a tiny island, Fisherman's Island, currently Fisherman's Island State park is located just south of Charlevoix Michigan along the shore of Lake Michigan.

  • Burt Lake State Park

    Burt Lake State Park

    The park's boating access site will close for construction beginning Sept. 7, 2021. There are two alternative boating access sites that also provide access to Burt Lake. The project is slated for completion by spring 2022. Burt Lake State Park is located on the southeast corner of Burt Lake with 2,000 feet of sandy shoreline.

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