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.