8 of the Best State Parks in Northern Michigan

While most of the Wolverine State is full of untamed wilderness, there are a few pockets that are perfect for relaxing on the beach or hiking along a well-marked trail. A collection of Northern Michigan state parks offers an extensive list of summer and winter activities for everyone in your family! Keep reading to discover some of our favorite parks from Traverse City to the Mackinac Bridge.

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Discover These 8 Northern Michigan State Parks

Ludington State Park – Ludington

Ludington State Park is home to an array of activities for all interests and ages. The most notable attractions here are the miles of beach shoreline and Big Sable Lighthouse. You’ll find tons of hiking trails winding through the dunes along with boat rentals in the summer and cross-country skiing in the winter.

Interlochen State Park

If you want to enjoy a pleasant day of picnicking and fishing, head to Interlochen State Park. This 187-acre tract of land offers miles of lake shoreline that’s exceptionally beautiful during autumn. You can also enjoy swimming on the beach!

Leelanau State Park

Leelanau State Park marks the tip of the aptly named peninsula at the mouth of Grand Traverse Bay. Fantastic sightseeing and the Grand Traverse Lighthouse make this one of the best Northern Michigan State Parks to visit!

Petoskey State Park

Miles of beautiful sand await you at Petoskey State Park. You can spend your day here tanning on the beach, paddling around Little Traverse Bay, and soaking in the gorgeous views of the sprawling shoreline.

Young State Park

Young State Park is an excellent place to relax after a day of exploring the unique town of Charlevoix. This 560-acre park is full of rolling terrain and a cedar swamp bordering Lake Charlevoix, making it a prime spot for wildlife viewing.

Wilderness State Park

With over 10,000 acres of stunning nature, Wilderness State Park is one of the best state parks in Northern Michigan for outdoor enthusiasts. Summer activities include fishing, kayaking, swimming, and wildlife viewing while visitors can go snowmobiling and cross country skiing in the winter.

Fisherman’s Island State Park

Fisherman’s Island State Park may not be an island, but the beautiful rolling dunes and forests lining Lake Michigan offer three miles of great hiking during the spring, summer, and fall months. This Northern Michigan state park is also right around the corner from Charlevoix.

Traverse City State Park

This is one of the smaller state parks in Northern Michigan, but it makes up for its lack of size with a beautiful quarter-mile beach. The short three-mile trek from downtown Traverse City makes this an ideal spot to relax and enjoy a sunny afternoon tanning on the sand or splashing around in the lake before sitting down to enjoy a cold, frothy craft brew at a local restaurant. 

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Start planning your getaway today by booking one of our properties. We look forward to welcoming you to the Freshwater family.