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  • Writer's pictureSam Hageman

The Michigan State Park Checklist

Updated: Jul 31, 2021

Michigan is home to many beautiful places, including 4/5 Great Lakes, 11,037 inland lakes, over 200 waterfalls, 19.3 million acres of forest, & more. Many of these amazing features can be found at over 100 Michigan State Parks, Michigan State Forests, National Forests, & a few National Parks. However, of all the places we have been in Michigan the Michigan State Parks include most of our favorite spots in the state.

Our goal as a family is to go to every Michigan State Park. To keep track of our progress I have created a list that you can now download & customize for yourself.


A few important things about the list:

(1) The list is categorized into 7 regions:

(a) Southeast Michigan: The western part of the region runs from Sleepy Hollow State Park slightly north of Lansing on 127 south to the border between Michigan & Ohio. The southern border follows the Ohio/Michigan border east & the eastern border is along Michigan's border with the Great Lakes system north until Lakeport State Park. The Northern line follows I-69 between Lakeport State Park & Sleepy Hollow State Park to complete the region. This region includes 26 State Parks & the DNR Outdoor Adventure Center in Detroit.

(b) Southwest Michigan: The eastern border starts in Lansing along I-69 & goes south until Coldwater Lake State Park. The southern border follows the Michigan/Indiana border west connecting to Lake Michigan, with the Western border following Lake Michigan north until Duck Lake State Park. The northern border follows slightly north of I-96 until Lansing. This region includes 16 Michigan State Parks.

(c) The Thumb: The Southern border follows Michigan 46 from Saginaw east to Lake Huron. The eastern & northern border follow Lake Huron along the "Thumb" until Bay City State Park. The western border goes from Bay City State Park south until Saginaw. This region only includes 4 state parks.


(d) Northeast Mitten: The western border of the region starts at the Mackinac Bridge following I-75 south to 127 until you hit Wilson State Park. The southern border follows Michigan 61 east until Lake Huron. The northern & the eastern border follow Lake Huron along the top of the "Mitten" & south until the Standish area. This area includes 20 State Parks.

(e) Northwest Mitten: The eastern border starts at the Mackinac Bridge following I-75 south to 127 until 46 (please note anything right next to the highway is included on the Northeast region). The southern border runs 46 west with an imaginary line from 46 going through Newaygo, White Hall, until reaching Lake Michigan. The western & northern border follow the western top of the mitten along Lake Michigan. This region includes 14 Michigan State Parks.

(f) Eastern U.P.: The western border of the region follows 41 from Marquette south to Lake Michigan. The southern, eastern, & northern border follow the Great Lakes around the eastern half of the U.P. This region includes 12 Michigan State Parks.



(g) Western U.P.: The eastern border of the region follows 41 from Marquette south to Lake Michigan. The southern border follows along Lake Michigan west & the Michigan/Wisconsin border, with the western border following the Wisconsin/Michigan border through the Keweenaw Peninsula on Lake Superior. The northern border follows Lake Superior to Marquette. This region includes 14 Michigan State Parks.



(2) This list does not inform you about the Michigan State Parks individually.

I will be doing a separate blog on every Michigan State Park we visit & hyperlink every Michigan State Park page about the park on those blogs. However you can find the list to the Michigan State Parks here.


(3) Michigan State Parks are all dog friendly, but there are still rules to follow.

Something we love about the Michigan State Parks is how dog friendly they are. Dogs are allowed almost everywhere, excluding some wildlife protected area, buildings, and many public beaches. You will be able to find a lot of information about which beaches allow dogs in Michigan, what cabins allow pets, & other rules on the State Park website. Please go here for all of the rules regarding Pets in Michigan State Parks.

***Please note most of my photos have leashes edited out of them***


(4) I added some extra lists including Michigan State Forests, National Forests, & National Parks in Michigan.

These extra lists can be taken out if you want, however I have started checking them off as a part of our own goal. Please note that although Michigan State Parks, Michigan State Forests, & National Forests are all very dog friendly, National Parks are not & limit access for people with dogs to certain areas.

Please find more information about these as follows:

Michigan State Forests can be found here.

National Forests in Michigan can be found here. (You will need to select the state to search).

National Parks in Michigan can be found here.

I hope you enjoy adventuring Michigan!

BELOW IS THE DOWNLOADABLE WORD DOCUMENT


Exploring Michigan
.docx
Download DOCX • 33KB

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