Description - When French fur traders first arrived in Michigan, towering forests, vast wetlands and pristine rivers stretched all the way from the shores of Lake Erie to the western Upper Peninsula. Since that time, these resources have spawned and sustained industries that provided jobs and the raw materials used to build America. Although human activities have changed the complexion of the land, Michigan is still a state of natural wonder.
Copyright: Michigan State Parks & Forests
Duck Lake State Park features a towering sand dune and ideal water sports.
- Michigan has been blessed with a great abundance of wildlife and natural resources and has long been known throughout the country as a destination for outdoor activities such as hunting, fishing, hiking, camping, skiing and boating. Diverse habitats, splendid scenery, healthy waters, and dense forests attract tourists year round.
Recreation - Recreational opportunities within Michigan's State Parks and State Forests include camping, hiking, fishing, picnicking, boating and sightseeing. Many outdoor enthusiasts also pursue mountain biking, wildlife watching, waterskiing, horseback riding, nature study, and sailboarding. Cold winter weather enthusiasts embrace ice skating, snowmobiling, ice fishing, downhill skiing, cross-country skiing, and lounging around a warm crackling fire.
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.
Seven travel regions beset the State Park and State Forest system. Southeast Michigan harbors the most state-operated recreation areas and parks (21) while the largest concentration of parks and forests lie within the most remote, wild, and beautiful region referred to as the Upper Peninsula (17). The West Coast Region, a linear section along the shores of Lake Michigan comprises 14 state parks. Mid Michigan and Saginaw Bay each have 5 parks while Northern Michigan contributes 15 units to the system. The Straits, a scenic and exciting area to visit, contributes 12 parcels.