Michigan State Parks Celebrating a Century

Discover Michigan State Parks both here in metro Detroit and all around the state during its 100th anniversary year in 2019 – or any year – with your family.

Whether it’s hiking through the waterfalls of Tahquamenon Falls, pedaling around Mackinac Island or barbequing on Belle Isle, we all have a few #PureMichigan memories of our 103 state parks.

And on May 12, 2019, the Michigan State Parks system turns a century old! Here are ways to celebrate all summer.

Centennial GeoTour

Starting May 23, 2019 join a statewide treasure hunt. Michigan’s first GeoTour invites visitors to discover 100 geocaches hidden across state parks. Finding 20 or more nets you a prize. Start a new hobby, find some treasure and claim your reward.

There are plenty of opportunities to join in, too: This program is set to last the next three years, so through about 2022. Check ahead for details.

A few state parks close to home

So many Michigan State Parks are worth the journey, but there’s also fun to be had close to home.

Here’s a spotlight on several metro Detroit gems.

Belle Isle Park in Detroit

Declared a state park in 2014, this jewel of an island has drawn families for over a century. Explore native Michigan flora and fauna, hike, bird watch and fish – and enjoy the aquarium, conservatory, nature center and the Dossin Great Lakes Museum. The giant slide is open June 8-Sept. 2, 2019.

Maybury State Park in Northville

These 1,000 acres of nature – originally a tuberculosis sanitarium – transformed into a family-friendly park in 1974. Join in guided hikes, summer concerts or visit the family-owned Maybury stables for a horseback riding excursion. There’s also a farm where you can join in educational activities or just pick up some eggs and honey. Plus, enjoy biking, hiking and cross-country skiing, or cast a line into the eight-acre lake.

William G. Milliken State Park and Harbor in Detroit

Opened in 2004 as Michigan’s first “urban state park,” these 31 acres are located between Belle Isle and Campus Martius with the RiverWalk winding throughout.

The harbor has covered picnic areas and shoreline fishing, while the park offers a bike path that allows visitors to safely travel to Atwater Street or Rivard Plaza.

Campfire storytelling

On Saturday, Aug. 17, 2019, gather at Detroit’s Outdoor Adventure Center to hear five seasoned storytellers talk about their state park experiences. Audience members are welcome to share their stories, too, for a podcast.

Learn more

Head to the Michigan DNR’s website to add your stories to a memory map, learn some history, take a virtual tour with PBS show Under the Radar Michigan and discover more nature fun.


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