Michigan National Parks
With miles and miles of lakes and shoreline, Michigan has just the perfect spot to enjoy a sunset or two. Come #FindYourPark in Michigan.
Michigan National Parks
Table of Contents
5 National Parks in Michigan
Other NPS-Affiliated Sites in Michigan
Isle Royale National Park - Houghton, MI
Isle Royale National Park, designated as a national park on March 3, 1940, is a remote and pristine wilderness area situated in Lake Superior near the Canadian border. The Park is unique for its isolation and untouched natural beauty. The park encompasses the entirety of Isle Royale, the largest island in Lake Superior, along with approximately 400 smaller islands.
Isle Royal is remarkable for its rugged terrain, pristine lakes, and diverse wildlife allowing visitors to enjoy unspoiled natural landscapes. The park offers a range of outdoor activities, including backpacking, canoeing, and hiking some of the 165 miles of scenic trails that provide breathtaking views of Lake Superior. The park is also famous for its backcountry camping, allowing visitors to experience the solitude of this wilderness.
Isle Royale is also renowned for its wildlife, particularly the population of gray wolves and moose that inhabit the island. Observing these animals in their natural habitat is a highlight for many visitors. The park is also an excellent destination for birdwatching, fishing, and stargazing. Due to its remote location, Isle Royale National Park offers a true escape from the modern world, providing a unique and serene experience for outdoor enthusiasts and those seeking to connect with nature.
Keweenaw National Historical Park - Calumet, MI
Keweenaw National Historical Park preserves and celebrates the rich history of the copper mining industry that thrived in the region during the 19th and early 20th centuries. The Keweenaw Peninsula was once known as the "Copper Country," and it played a pivotal role in the industrial development of the United States.
Situated in the Keweenaw Peninsula of Michigan's Upper Peninsula, Visitors to Keweenaw National Historical Park can delve into the history of the copper mining industry and the cultural heritage of the region. The park encompasses several historic sites, including mines, industrial buildings, and the Quincy Mine Hoist, which is available for tours. The Quincy Mine tour takes visitors deep into the underground workings of a historic copper mine, providing a fascinating and educational experience. The park's visitor center, located in Calumet, offers exhibits, artifacts, and informative displays that provide insights into the copper mining history and the lives of the miners and their families.
Keweenaw National Historical Park was designated as a national park site on October 27, 1992 during the presidency of George H.W. Bush.
Motor Cities National Heritage Area - Detroit, MI
Motor Cities National Heritage Area celebrates the role of Detroit and its surrounding communities in shaping the automotive industry and the development of American mobility. The area is often referred to as the "Motor Capital of the World" due to iconic automobile companies like Ford, General Motors, and Chrysler who were founded here.
Visitors can explore museums, historic sites, and attractions that showcase the development of the automobile, from Henry Ford's Model T to the modern era. The Henry Ford Museum in Dearborn, Michigan, is one of the most prominent sites within the heritage area and offers an extensive collection of automobiles and exhibits, providing an in-depth look at the history of transportation and innovation. In addition to the museums and historic sites, visitors can also explore the industrial and architectural legacy of the automotive industry, including factory tours and visits to historic plants.
North Country National Scenic Trail - MI, MN, ND, NY, OH, PA, WI
The North Country National Scenic Trail spans eight states and is part of the National Trails System Act singed into law by President Johnson in 1968. The North Country National Scenic Trail was added in to the system in 1980 with seven states. Today, New York, Vermont, North Dakota, Michigan, Montana, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin host parts of the trail.
There are currently over 1775 miles of NPS-certified trail with another 500-700 miles yet to be certified. It connects various landscapes, urban districts, historic sites, forests, lakes, canals, towns, and large cities.
Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore - Munising, Grand Marais, MI
Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore is a natural wonder situated on the southern shore of Lake Superior in Michigan's Upper Peninsula. Stretching for over 40 miles, the Park showcases stunning sandstone cliffs, colorful mineral-stained rock formations, waterfalls, and pristine beaches. The park's name is derived from the picturesque cliffs that are naturally decorated with mineral streaks and patterns, creating a vibrant and unique shoreline.
The lakeshore features a range of hiking trails that lead to scenic overlooks, serene forests, and cascading waterfalls. Kayaking and canoeing are popular ways to explore the park from the water, offering a close-up view of the remarkable cliffs and rock formations. Pictured Rocks also boasts excellent opportunities for camping, wildlife watching, and birdwatching, with a diverse range of avian species calling the park home. A Pictured Rocks Cruise is also a popular way for visitors to admire the cliffs and geological wonders from the water.
River Raisin National Battlefield Park - MI
River Raisin National Battlefield Park commemorates the Battle of Frenchtown, which occurred during the War of 1812. This battle, often referred to as the "River Raisin Massacre," was a pivotal and tragic event in the conflict, with American forces facing British and Native American opposition. The site serves as a reminder of the sacrifices made by those who fought in this war and the importance of preserving the nation's heritage.
Visitors can explore the history of the War of 1812 and the events that unfolded during the Battle of Frenchtown. The park includes a visitor center with informative exhibits, artifacts, and displays that provide insights into the battle, the soldiers who fought, and the impact on the local community. Guided tours and interpretive programs are also available.
Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore - Empire, MI
Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore spans over 35 miles of pristine shoreline, encompassing vast sand dunes, lush forests, crystal-clear lakes, and an array of unique landscapes. The park's name is inspired by a local legend of a mother bear and her cubs who, upon swimming across Lake Michigan, were said to have made the dunes their resting place.
The Park provides visitors with many outdoor activities including numerous hiking trails that lead to stunning vistas overlooking Lake Michigan, as well as trails through dense forests, meadows, and along pristine beaches. The most iconic attraction in the park is the towering sand dunes, and one of the most popular activities is dune climbing, which allows visitors to ascend the dunes and enjoy sweeping panoramic views of the lake.
Other opportunities for visitors include camping, wildlife viewing, birdwatching, and water-based activities, such as swimming and kayaking. Additionally, the park's visitor center provides informative exhibits and displays that offer insights into the natural and cultural history of the area.