The 9 Best State Parks in Michigan

Tahquamenon Falls State Park

The Tahquamenon River flows into Lake Superior, and its namesake park encompasses the river's mouth and an incredible waterfall. The waterfall drops nearly 50 feet and spans more than 200 feet, making it an excellent spot for photos.

Porcupine Mountains Wilderness State Park

The biggest state park in Michigan, Porcupine Mountains Wilderness State Park, covers almost 94 square miles in the northern Upper Peninsula. Old-growth forests fill half the park, and rivers and hiking paths run through it.

Hartwick Pines State Park

Covering more than 15 square miles, Hartwick Pines State Park is one of the largest parks in Michigan's Lower Peninsula. The park's old-growth forest of white pines serves as a reminder of Michigan's history of logging and is also the park's primary attraction.

Palms Book State Park

Kitch-iti-kipi, also known as "the Big Spring," is in Palms Book State Park. It is Michigan's biggest freshwater spring. The spring goes for 200 feet, and water that is 45 degrees always comes out of a crack 40 feet below the surface.

Saugatuck Dunes State Park

Saugatuck Dunes State Park is 145 miles northeast of Chicago on Michigan's Eastern Lower Peninsula. The park has about three miles of beachfront, but beachgoers must walk approximately a mile from the parking lot.

Mackinac Island and Fort Mackinac Historic State Park

Mackinac Island located between Michigan's upper and lower peninsulas and accessible by boat or aircraft. Mackinac Island State Park spans approximately 80% of the island, while a small settlement lies in the south.

Ludington State Park

Ludington State Park has it all: a lighthouse, a Great Lake, a river, a dam, forests and dunes. From an ecological perspective, there's not much more a park on the western edge of Michigan's Lower Peninsula could offer.

Bay City State Park

Bay City State Park is mostly wetlands, meadows, marshlands, and grasslands covering about 3 square miles. Tobico Marsh and more than 1,000 feet of Lake Huron shoreline are included in the park.

Petoskey State Park

Located on the edge of Lake Michigan's Little Traverse Bay, Petoskey State Park sits on Michigan's Lower Peninsula, about 275 miles northwest of Detroit. The park particularly appeals to sun-seekers due to its impressive stretch of beach.