Description - The federally administered forests and parks of Michigan pervade upper regions of the state and consist of diverse natural and historic attractions. Two National Forests, the Hiawatha and Ottawa lie in the Upper Peninsula while the Huron-Manistee sprawls from Lake Michigan to Lake Huron in the northern Lower Peninsula. Pictured Rock National Lakeshore falls along the Lake Superior shoreline while Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore encompasses a 35-mile stretch of Lake Michigan's eastern coastline. At the famous Mackinac Bridge, the Father Marquette National Memorial pays tribute to the life and work of the French priest and explorer. Keweenaw National Historical Park, still under development, honors the men and women from America's 19th century copper mining industry. Last, but certainly not least, is Isle Royale National Park, site of America's best backpacking expeditions east of the Rockies.
Copyright: USDA Forest Service
- There are a myriad of attractions within Michigan's National Forests and Parks. Sites vary in development from the popular waterside attraction of Father Marquette National Memorial to Isle Royale National Park, a remote archipelago 45 miles long and 9 miles supporting populations of moose and wolves while boasting 165 miles of scenic hiking trails and 36 campgrounds for backpackers and recreational boaters. Nearly one million acres of the Ottawa National Forest boast outstanding camping, fishing, hiking and canoeing amid the solitude of a wilderness experience. The Hiawatha National Forest is geographically tucked between three of the Great Lakes where winter recreation, scenic driving, and enjoying historical sights reign. Within a day's drive of Chicago, Detroit, and Grand Rapids, visitors descend on Huron-Manistee National Forest to hike, canoe, gather mushrooms, ski, horseback ride, and ORV. Both Sleeping Bear Dunes and Pictured Rocks National Lakeshores offer world-class vistas amid two very different shorelines comprised of sand bars, broad beaches, ancient dunes, waterfalls, historic lighthouses, and wind sculpted vegetation. Everything from swimming in summer to snowmobiling in winter, outdoor enthusiasts can pursue their favorite recreation while visiting a Michigan National Forest or Park.
Recreation - Recreations on the National Forests and Parks are as diverse as the landscape. Visitors can typically expect low-impact recreations including hiking and bird watching at the national parks to high-impact recreations from snowmobiling to ORV use on the national forest lands. Each property varies in size and facilities, but visitors can rely on well-maintained camping, picnicking, hiking, biking and fishing facilities. There are also opportunities for viewing exhibits, gathering information, backpacking, photography and viewing the landscape within all of the National Parks and Forests.
Climate - This state normally experiences mild summers with average temperatures near 70 to 80 degrees F. Nights can be cool in the northern reaches of the state with lows dipping near 50 degrees F. August and September are the wettest months on average. Fall temperatures begin to cool in mid September, which brings a spectacular fall foliage color change. Days are crisp and nights chilly during this time of year. Winters can be brutal in Michigan with lake-effect snows bringing 200 inches of snow to some areas in the Upper Peninsula. Spring reaches the southern regions of the state in late March and a few weeks later in the north. This time of year is also very wet with snow melt and spring rains.
The National Forests and Parks of Michigan are scattered throughout the state.