One of my goals in life is to visit as many state parks and national parks as I can. After moving to Michigan, I quickly fell in love with the state. So, I decided to jot down which state parks I’ve visited, and embark on new adventures to explore them all!
I’ll drop some hints about which parks rise to the top of the list, even parks in the region of Grand Rapids, the city I now call home.
National Lakeshores & Forests
- Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore
- Hiawatha National Forest, Upper Peninsula
- Ottawa National Forest, Upper Peninsula
Michigan State Parks
- Wilderness State Park — The wildlife sings on this secluded beach with dark skies!
- Duck Lake State Park — An intimate view of Lake Michigan away from the crowds
- Grand Haven State Park
- P.J. Hoffmaster State Park
- Indian Lake State Park — The land here feels sacred and the forest feels healing.
- Petoskey State Park — Steep inclines and some of my favorite hiking in the state.
- Saugatuk Dunes State Park — One of my favorites for the varied natural landscapes along the lake.
- Muskegon State Park — The dunes and unique features of the terrain beside this popular beach and lakeshore are incredible.
- Sleepy Hollow State Park — So very family friendly, with a dog beach too!
- Tahquamenon Falls State Park — Rivals Niagara Falls, for sure.
- Mackinac Island and Fort Mackinack Historic Park
- Newaygo State Park
- Porcupine Mountains Wilderness State Park — There is something almost mystical about this wilderness, and the views are some of the most impressive I’ve ever seen.
- William Mitchell State Park
- Bay City State Park
- Fort Custer State Park — Fantastic waters and launches for kayaking and canoeing, with no motors permitted. The park also has some beautiful trails around the lake.
- Interlochen State Park — Quite possibly the most beautiful forested lakeshore campgrounds I have ever seen.
- Traverse City State Park — The views of the bay are outstanding, but no animals allowed on the beaches.
- Ludington State Park — This park has so much to offer, from the classic views of the lighthouse in town to the dune climbs and hikes along the river under the forest canopy.
- Silver Lake State Park — The place to go to romp in an ORV, but there are impressive dunes to climb too!
- Straights State Park — Gorgeous views of the Mackinac Bridge.
- Burt Lake State Park — The perfect spot for lake life, as long as you bring your beach towels or a boat and leave the dogs at home.
Michigan State Recreation Areas
- Ionia State Recreation Area
- Brighton Recreation Area — Just beautiful!
- Waterloo Recreation Area — Very primitive feeling and a bit bizarre, especially when you consider the insect life…
- Island Lake State Recreation Area — Quickly becoming a favorite spot to hike out to the small sandy coves and enjoy a peaceful swim!
- Pinckney Recreation Area — Hilly hiking in Michigan with beautiful, varied terrain; a rare find!
- Proud Lake State Recreational Area — With one visit to this park, I was amazed! It is beautiful year-round, and filled with so much invigorating evergreen air, so close to the city. I will be back!
- Seven Lakes
- Dodge #4
- Empire Bluff Trail
- Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore
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